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Author: Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, Published on: 29 January 2015
"Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights - Mass surveillance", 26 Jan 2015
The surveillance practices disclosed...endanger...human rights, including the rights to privacy...freedom of information and expression...the rights to a fair trial...and freedom of religion...The Assembly notes that the law in most states provides some protection for...their own citizens, but not of foreigners...In order to rebuild trust among...states...and also between citizens and their...governments, a legal framework must be put in place...which ensures the protection of human rights...An effective tool for the enforcement of such a...framework...is credible protection extended to whistle-blowers who expose violations.
With its PRISM programme...the NSA has “front-door” access to data from nine Internet firms, including Google, Microsoft, and Yahoo. The NSA has access to the customer data held by the companies through a (secret) court-approved process...The companies in question first denied having had any knowledge of this programme and later insisted that any cooperation with the intelligence agencies was compelled by law...The NSA paid companies to deliberately set weaker encryption standards as the default choice for their safety software clients...