19:05 GMT +306 December 2019
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    David Miranda (L) listens to American whistleblower Edward Snowden as he delivers remarks via video link from Moscow to attendees at a discussion regarding an International Treaty on the Right to Privacy, Protection Against Improper Surveillance and Protection of Whistleblowers in Manhattan in New York. (File)

    Brazilian Creator of 'Snowden Treaty' Elected to Legislature of Rio de Janeiro

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    Brazilian activist David Miranda was elected to the Legislative Assembly of Rio de Janeiro during the municipal elections on October 2. Miranda is the man behind the creation of the Snowden Treaty, a campaign to protect whistleblowers. He spoke to Sputnik Brasil right after getting elected.

    Edward Snowden
    © REUTERS / Glenn Greenwald/Laura Poitras
    Two years after Edward Snowden leaked information about the US government’s mass surveillance to reporter Glenn Greenwald, the two were joined by other journalists and leaders to draft an international pact for privacy rights called the Snowden Treaty.

    The global agreement aimed to “curtail mass surveillance and protect the rights of whistleblowers,” according to the website.

    “Protecting the right to privacy is vital not just in itself but because it is an essential requirement for the exercise of freedom of opinion and expression, the most fundamental pillars of democracy.”

    The draft treaty was designed to gain nation-states as signatories. It was the creation of Glenn Greenwald’s partner David Miranda, with whom they lived in Brazil.

    Miranda got elected into the Legislative Assembly of Rio de Janeiro on October 2. According to the Brazilian law, during the campaign Miranda could not talk to the press, however, immediately after the elections, the newly elected politician gave an exclusive interview to Sputnik Brasil.

    “Snowden is one of my closest friends; we talk to each other every week. In 2013, I ran a campaign in which we collected half a million signatures, [for asylum in Brazil] it reached the Congress, but then the position of the Brazilian government was very passive,” Miranda said.

    He further said that, “Currently, in the United States another campaign has been launched and it stands for him [Snowden] to be pardoned. We support it as well.”

    Talking about Snowden’s life in Russia, Miranda said that Snowden feels great because he has the “opportunity to live his life.”

    “His girlfriend of 11 years is living with him. He has the opportunity to participate in the debates which he started all over the world. He participates in them via the Internet. He even has a robot which he uses to move around the universities and communicate with people,” Miranda told Sputnik.

    The activist further said that Snowden’s position is much better than it could have been. “After all, he was faced with life in prison, but instead he is involved in the discussions and that is our big victory.”

    Miranda said that from the moment the publications were released, within just these three years, they have made great progress in matters of privacy and cryptography, more than in the previous 15 years combined.

    Speaking about the media in Brazil, Miranda said that there is a group of companies which primarily controls the media. This group has the same agenda, so they just duplicate the information from one another.

    “Brazilians have long been forced to consume the information supplied by this group and it complicates the dialogue and limits the perception of the outside world,” Miranda explained.

    He further said that alternative media such as Sputnik, El País and others which are present today in Brazil, bring a completely different perspective because they are feed information from the outside and talk about everyday life in Brazil without being a part of the big media groups.

    The activist said that it is very important to maintain a dialogue with the international media and at the same time it is vital to engage in the creation of independent media locally by trying to talk about what is happening on the international scene.

    The Snowden Treaty is supported by figures such as academic Noam Chomsky, security researcher Jacob Appelbaum, and actor John Cusack.

    Snowden currently faces charges in the US for revealing the extent of mass surveillance conducted by the NSA and other government agencies.


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