Edward Snowden is backing a treaty providing for the inalienable right to have human mobile phone and private records kept secret. On the eve of the biggest gathering of world leaders at the UN Summit, former employee of the National Security Agency (NSA) and notorious whistleblower, Snowden, is appealing for public privacy.
Snowden appeared before a New York Forum by live video conference from Russia appealing passionately against the “global” problem of privacy rights violation. Snowden said, “We have to have a discussion, we have to come forward with proposals to go 'how do we assert what our rights are, traditionally and digitally and ensure that we cannot just enjoy them, but we can protect them.”
The former NSA advisor made reference to the UN Declaration of Human Rights Article 12 which states in part, "no one shall be subjected to arbitrary interference with his privacy.”
Snowden urged all world leaders to embrace a new treaty aiming at securing the privacy rights of citizens. The new treaty labeled the “Snowden Treaty” specifically provides that governments signing it will not infringe on its citizens’ rights to privacy through spying on their online or mobile connections. The treaty also provides that countries signing it provide asylum for whistleblowers.
Snowden said, "This is not a problem exclusive to the United States ... This is a global problem that affects all of us. What's happening here happens in France, it happens in the UK, it happens in every country, every place, to every person."
Snowden showed deep rooted concern over the actions of many governments aimed at increasing surveillance on private citizens rather than reducing it. He was speaking in the wake of a recent release of documents showing the massive surveillance by UK authorities on their people through a Government Communication Head Quarters (GCHQ) program. The surveillance targeted private persons’ data with regard to online radio, search engines, news and pornographic content.
The documents revealing the secret program called “Karma Police” narrates how peoples’ profiles were gradually built to reveal intricate details such as when they visited news sites like BBC and for which specific content they searched.
The Snowden Treaty has received support from various personalities including David Mirada, lawyer Glenn Greenwald, Kim Dotcom, DJ Spooky and Vivienne Westwood.
Edward Snowden shot to fame in 2013 when he released a host of documents detailing US surveillance practices on private individuals. Through the new treaty, the long time whistleblower wants to place private persons rights at the forefront of government security concerns.