Snowden attacks British emergency surveillance laws

US National Security Agency whistleblower Edward Snowden speaks to European officials via videoconference, at the Council of Europe in Strasbourg, eastern France, June 24, 2014Fugitive US intelligence expert Edward Snowden attacked British plans for emergency laws to allow police and security services greater access to Internet and phone data on Sunday. In an interview with The Guardian newspaper, to whom the former National Security Agency contractor revealed the existence of mass surveillance programmes a year ago, Snowden said the planned laws were “beyond belief”. The British parliament is this week due to debate new legislation allowing Internet providers and mobile phone companies to keep details of communications between people in case they are needed in investigations. In April the European Court of Justice threw out an EU law that forced companies to retain data for at least six months, saying it breached the right to privacy.

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