PRESS RELEASE
'Privacy and freedom from state intrusion'
30 Jul 2013
BY INDEX ON CENSORSHIP

Stephen Fry, Bianca Jagger and Anish Kapoor sign Index on Censorship petition to end mass surveillance by the NSA, GCHQ and other governments.

Celebrities, artists, activists and politicians have signed an Index on Censorship petition calling for Europe’s leaders to oppose mass surveillance by the US, UK and other governments, as revealed by whistleblower Edward Snowden. Supporters of 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. 15 international NGOs are also backing the petition.

Actor 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.’

Director of Campaigns and Policy, Marek Marczynski said:

‘Since the revelations about the activities of the NSA and GCHQ, Europe’s Heads of State have been slow to take action over the mass surveillance of European and other citizens.  Although some have voiced concerns, there has been no commitment to taking joint action. People from around the world are signing Index’s petition because they want Europe’s leaders to say no to mass surveillance, and condemn it as both an invasion of privacy and a threat to free speech.’’

As well as calling for Europe’s leaders to state 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

It is supported by Index on Censorship, English PEN, Article 19, Privacy International, Open Rights Group and Liberty, 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 (CJFE), the National Union of Somali Journalists and the Bahrain Center for Human Rights.

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