GPA Store: Featured Products

Friday, July 19, 2013

European Parliament may call on Snowden, NSA chief and Glenn Greenwald to testify about NSA spying

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
image credit:
Jon and Mel Kots/Flickr
Madison Ruppert

With the European Parliament getting prepared to launch an investigation into the massive National Security Agency surveillance programs, whistleblower Edward Snowden, NSA chief Gen. Keith Alexander and journalist Glenn Greenwald may be called to testify.

The series of hearings on the recently revealed NSA surveillance programs is slated to begin in September, which was established after the agency’s global spying efforts were revealed in June.

The fallout in Europe has been quite significant, though Britain and Sweden blocked an attempt to engage in wide-ranging talks on espionage and intelligence between the European Union and the United States earlier this month.

In addition to harsh criticism from government officials in Europe in the wake of reports indicating that the US spied on EU diplomats, a European student group has filed complaints in multiple countries over the NSA’s surveillance.

The outcry in Germany has been especially loud after it was reported late last month that the US collects metadata on a half-billion German phone calls and emails.

As Ryan Gallagher of Future Tense points out, it won’t only be high-profile figures involved in the NSA scandal who will be invited to speak before the European Parliament’s civil liberties committee.

The committee agreed last week that they “would invite U.S. authorities, surveillance and privacy experts, data protection authorities, and representatives from parliaments in EU members states to participate in a series of at least 12 public hearings scheduled for before the end of the year,” according to Gallagher.

Jan Albrecht, a German member of the European Parliament published a list on Thursday which includes the individuals he is requesting to be invited.

The individuals listed are incredibly diverse and include several NSA whistleblowers other than Snowden, including Thomas DrakeWilliam BinneyMark Klein and J. Kirk Wiebe.

“Dutch MEP Sophie In ‘t Veld, vice chair of the civil liberties committee, confirmed in an email Thursday that she intends to invite Gen. Alexander,” Gallagher reports.

At some point in the future, the conclusions of the inquiry will be presented in a report to the European Parliament.

That report could have major implications for data-sharing agreement between the United States and Europe.

However, it’s important to note that Britain’s GCHQ is directly responsible for tapping into fiber optic cables to gather data, so it’s not like the US is alone amongst nations spying on innocent people. The NSA, of course, enjoys the fruits of GCHQ’s surveillance programs as well.

It is unclear how Snowden would even attend the hearings if he chose to appear before the committee, which he most likely would.

Since the reaction to the slight possibility that Snowden might be on a plane was quite extreme, it is hard to imagine how Snowden would travel from Moscow to the hearings.

Currently, he is reportedly seeking temporary asylum in Russia.

After obtaining temporary asylum in Russia, Snowden “apparently hopes to then move on to one of the Latin American nations that have offered him a safe haven—Venezuela, Bolivia, and Nicaragua,” according to Gallagher.

How Snowden’s future will play out remains to be seen, but the fact that individuals who have been so important to the uncovering of the NSA’s surveillance programs could be called before the European Parliament is quite interesting.

It is not certain if Alexander, who is also the head of the Pentagon’s Cyber Command, would actually show up.

Given the fact that the NSA under Alexander hasn’t been all that accurate about the privacy protections enjoyed by Americans, it seems like Alexander might not play it completely straight with the European Parliament.

However, it seems that some of the other individuals listed by Albrecht would jump at the opportunity to speak about such matters before the parliament.

The hearing and report would be quite groundbreaking and could result in a significant blow to the current US-EU data-sharing relationship. We will be keeping tabs on this as it develops.

I’d love to hear your opinion, take a look at your story tips and even your original writing if you would like to get it published. I am also available for interviews on radio, television or any other format. Please email me at

Please support our work and help us start to pay contributors by doing your shopping through our Amazon link or check out some must-have products at our store.

This article first appeared at End the Lie.

Madison Ruppert is the Editor and Owner-Operator of the alternative news and analysis database End The Lie and has no affiliation with any NGO, political party, economic school, or other organization/cause. He is available for podcast and radio interviews. Madison also now has his own radio show on UCYTV Monday nights 7 PM - 9 PM PT/10 PM - 12 AM ET. Show page link here:http://UCY.TV/EndtheLie. If you have questions, comments, or corrections feel free to contact him at

Enter your email address to subscribe to our newsletter:

Delivered by FeedBurner
Be the Change! Share this using the tools below.
Fb Comments
Comments :

Jasper Roberts Consulting - Widget