Nick Hopkins and Ian Traynor, UK Guardian: “Mass surveillance programmes used by the US and Britain to spy on people in Europe have been condemned in the “strongest possible terms” by the first parliamentary inquiry into the disclosures, which has demanded an end to the vast, systematic and indiscriminate collection of personal data by intelligence agencies. The inquiry by the European parliament’s civil liberties committee says the activities of America’s National Security Agency (NSA) and its British counterpart, GCHQ, appear to be illegal and that their operations have “profoundly shaken” the trust between countries that considered themselves allies. The 51-page draft report, obtained by the Guardian, was discussed by the committee on Thursday. Claude Moraes, the rapporteur asked to assess the impact of revelations made by the whistleblower Edward Snowden, also condemns the “chilling” way journalists working on the stories have been intimidated by state authorities. The report also:
- Calls on the US authorities and EU states to prohibit blanket mass surveillance activities and bulk processing of personal data.
- Deplores the way intelligence agencies “have declined to co-operate with the inquiry the European parliament has been conducting on behalf of citizens”.
- Insists mass surveillance has potentially severe effects on the freedom of the press, as well as a significant potential for abuse of information gathered against political opponents.
- Demands that the UK, Germany, France, Sweden and the Netherlands revise laws governing the activities of intelligence services to ensure they are in line with the European convention on human rights.
- Calls on the US to revise its own laws to bring them into line with international law, so they “recognise the privacy and other rights of EU citizens”.”