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    Beat It! Millions Rail Against US Mass Surveillance

    Beat It! Millions Rail Against US Mass Surveillance

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    Ex-CIA Employee Discloses US Secret Surveillance Programs (254)
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    A new poll from Amnesty International has found that 71 percent of people questioned across all continents are strongly opposed to the United States monitoring their internet use and call on companies like Google, Microsoft and Yahoo to prevent government spying.

    The poll, which questioned 15,000 people from 13 countries across every continent, follows the revelations by former CIA and US National Security Agency (NSA) worker Edward Snowden that the UK and US intelligence services were intercepting email and internet activity on a mass scale.

    The findings come as a delegation from the European Parliament's Civil Liberties Committee is on a four-day mission to Washington DC to obtain up-to-date information on the state of play and progress in the US on data protection and electronic mass surveillance.

    In June 2013 Snowden revealed that the NSA was authorised to monitor phone and internet use in 193 countries around the world. In a snapshot of the agency's surveillance capabilities, it was revealed that it collected 5 billion records of mobile phone locations a day and 42 billion internet records — including email and browsing history — a month.

    The Amnesty study found that nearly two thirds of those questioned said they wanted tech companies — like Google, Microsoft and Yahoo — to secure their communications to prevent government access.

    Salil Shetty, Amnesty International's Secretary General told Sputnik:

    "The United States should see this poll as a warning that surveillance is damaging its credibility. President Obama should heed the voice of people around the world and stop using the internet as a tool for collecting mass data about peoples' private lives." 

    "Today's technology gives governments unprecedented power to watch what we do on the internet. We need independent scrutiny to watch the watchers so that power is not abused. Yet today there is little or no legislation in any country that really protects our human right to privacy against indiscriminate mass surveillance. Indeed, more countries are actually considering laws granting wider surveillance powers, at the expense of people's rights."

    Strong Opposition in Five Eyes Nations

    The strongest opposition to the US intercepting, storing and analysing internet use came from Brazil (80% against) and Germany (81%).

    Following the Snowden revelations, there was widespread public outcry in both countries after it was revealed that even the phone calls of Brazil's President Dilma Rousseff and German Chancellor Angela Merkel had been monitored by the US.

    The United States shares the fruits of its mass surveillance programme with Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the United Kingdom under the Five Eyes Alliance. Even in these countries, more than three times as many people oppose US surveillance (70%) than support it (17%).

    "The message is clear: even citizens of the United States' closest allies do not want their internet use recorded by governments. The UK and other Five Eyes countries should be open with their own people about how they are sharing the spoils of surveillance — our personal data," said Salil Shetty.

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    Ex-CIA Employee Discloses US Secret Surveillance Programs (254)

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    Tags:
    Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), spying, mass surveillance, cyber-intelligence, data collection, poll, technology, NSA spying, privacy, Five Eyes, Amnesty International, National Security Agency (NSA), European Parliament, Google, Yahoo, Microsoft, World, Germany, Europe, United States
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