Edward Snowden - 'True American Hero'. Photo: Richard Loyal French via Flickr.com.
Euro-Parliament turns against TTIP
15th February 2014
Euro-MPs have backed Green demands for the immediate suspension of talks leading to the proposed new TTIP trade and investment deal between the EU and the US, following wide scale US spying on EU citizens
The EU must defend the rights of its citizens' from this unwarranted attack on their basic human rights.
The Parliament's Civil Liberties Committee has voted not to pursue the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Programme (TTIP) - at least until the US agrees to change its law and halt all 'data mining' from 'phone and Internet use in the EU.
An investigation - set up by the Committee following leaks by the Nobel Peace Prize-nominated whistleblower Edward Snowden - found "overwhelming evidence" of a programme of mass surveillance of EU citizens by US security forces.
It also lifted the lid on the US PRISM project to monitor and record EU citizens' telephone and Internet usage, condemned PRISM, which it said "may entail a breach of EU ctizens' fundamental rights".
It calls for an end to all mass surveillance, observing that privacy is not a luxury, but a fundamental right in a free and democratic society.
A 'Declaration of Digital Independence'
But Greens on the Committee called for EU action to go further, establishing a 'Digital Declaration of Independence'.
Its aim is to ensure that no data is collected - without express permission - on any EU citizens' Internet or telephone use. It also requires that the EU ends all co-operation with the US unless and until it changes its law to prohibit all mass surveillance.
Additionally it demands that EU member states offer asylum to Edward Snowden and all US whistleblowers shedding light on US spying activities in the EU.
An 'attack on basic human rights'
Jean Lambert, London's Green MEP and a member of the Civil Liberties Committee which conducted the investigation, said: "The US has behaved abominably here - and the EU must defend the rights of its citizens' from this unwarranted attack on their basic human rights.
"More and more of us are using the Internet, and smartphones, to access basic goods and services, and we really must be able to do so without our privacy being breached.
"We must offer protection to everyone who sheds light on these activities, and end negotiations on TTIP, at least until the US has gauranteed such a blanket approach to hoovering up data will never be used again."
The European Parliament as a whole will vote on the Green proposals when it considers the investigation report next month.
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