Nearly 40 free speech groups from across the world are calling on the European Union to take a stand against mass surveillance by the US and other governments. The groups have joined a petition organised by Index on Censorship, which has already been signed by over 3,000 people. Celebrities, artists, activists and politicians who have supported the petition include writer and actor Stephen Fry, activists Bianca Jagger and Peter Tatchell, writer AL Kennedy, artist Anish Kapoor, blogger Cory Doctorow and Icelandic politician Kolbrún Halldórsdóttir.
Actor and writer Stephen Fry said:
‘Privacy and freedom from state intrusion is important for everyone. You can’t just scream “terrorism” and use it as an excuse for Orwellian snooping.’
Chief Executive of Index on Censorship Kirsty Hughes said:
‘A few of Europe’s leaders have voiced their concerns about the NSA’s activities but none have acted. We are demanding all EU leaders condemn mass surveillance and commit to joint action stop it. People from around the world are signing this petition because mass surveillance invades their privacy and threatens their right to free speech.’
As well as calling for Europe’s leaders to put on the record their opposition to mass surveillance, the petition demands that mass surveillance is on the agenda at the next European Council Summit in October.
The petition is at: http://chn.ge/1c2L7Ty and is being promoted on social media with the hashtag #dontspyonme
The petition is supported by Index on Censorship, Amnesty International, English PEN, Article 19, Privacy International, Open Rights Group, Liberty UK, Reporters Without Borders, European Federation of Journalists, International Federation of Journalists, PEN International, PEN Canada, PEN Portugal, Electronic Frontier Foundation, PEN Emergency Fund, Canadian Journalists for Free Expression, National Union of Somali Journalists, Bahrain Centre for Human Rights, Catalan PEN, Centre for Independent Journalism (CIJ) – Malaysia, Belarusian Human Rights House, South East European Network for Professionalization of Media, International Partnership for Human Rights, Russian PEN Centre, Association of European Journalists, Foundation for the Development of Democratic Initiatives – Poland, Independent Journalism Center – Moldova, Alliance of Independent Journalists – Indonesia, PEN Quebec, Fundacja Panoptykon – Poland, International Media Support, Human Rights Monitoring Institute – Lithuania, Warsaw Branch, Association of Polish Journalists, The Steering Committee of the Civil Society Forum of the Eastern Partnership, South African Centre of PEN International, Estonian Human Rights Centre, Vikes Foundation, Finland
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