NSA whistleblower, Edward Snowden, has denounced the UK’s emergency surveillance bill, criticizing the distinct lack of public debate it encompassed and its heightened powers of intrusion.
During an exclusive interview in Moscow with the Guardian, the whistleblower suggested it was highly unusual for a state to process legislation so hastily other than at a time of acutely endangered national security.
"I mean we don't have bombs falling. We don't have U-boats in the harbour”, he emphasised. Yet suddenly this legislation has become an absolute priority. "It defies belief", he said.
Snowden found the duress with which the UK government processed the Data Retention and Investigation Powers Bill to be remarkable, comparing it to the Bush administration’s introduction of the Protect America Act in 2007. The Protect America Act was issued after the New York Times exposed a “warrantless wire-tapping programme” that was both illegal and “unconstitutional”, he stated.
The UK government claims Britain’s emergency bill will preserve UK law enforcement and intelligence agencies’ access to data that is vital for “protecting national security and preventing serious crime.” According to Snowden, the case the US administration built to justify the Protection of America Act is notably similar.
"I mean the NSA could have written this draft…They passed it under the same sort of emergency justification. They said we would be at risk. They said comp...