US spied on rights workers: Snowden

US spied on rights workers: Snowden

http://www.presstv.ir/detail/2014/04/08/357760/us-snooped-on-rights-workers-snowden/

US surveillance whistleblower Edward Snowden has revealed another aspect of Washington’s spying programs, saying the NSA snooped on international human rights groups.Speaking via a videolink from Moscow on Tuesday, Snowden told the Council of Europe in Strasbourg, Europe’s top human rights body, that the US National Security Agency had deliberately spied on groups such as Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch.”The NSA has specifically targeted either leaders or staff members in a number of civil and non-governmental organizations… including domestically within the borders of the United States,” he said.The council members asked Snowden if Washington snooped on the “highly sensitive and confidential communications” of major human rights bodies like Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch. He replied: “The answer is, without question, yes. Absolutely.”Snowden, a former NSA contractor, began leaking classified intelligence documents in June 2013, revealing the extent of the NSA’s spying activities.Snowden leaked two top secret US government spying programs under which the NSA and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) are monitoring millions of American and European phone records and the Internet data from major Internet companies such as Facebook, Yahoo, Google, Apple, and Microsoft.The disclosures have revealed that the NSA has been collecting the phone records of millions of Americans and foreign nationals as well as political leaders around the world. In August, Russia granted him asylum for one year.Many regard Snowden as a whistleblower and a national hero for blowing the lid off the US government’s global surveillance operations.GJH/GJH

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