14:41 GMT +314 December 2019
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    NSA former intelligence contractor Edward Snowden

    Anti-Terror Laws Could Be Used by Politicians to Encroach on People's Rights

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    Anti-terror laws are often used by the political leaders to strengthen their power, even at the expense of restrictions on ordinary people's rights and liberties, US National Security Agency (NSA) whistleblower Edward Snowden said.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Governments sometimes use their surveillance tools to discover the sources of journalists more often than to tackle terrorism, Snowden added.

    "Terrorists are incapable of destroying our rights or diminishing our society they lack the strength – only we can do that… Rights are lost by cowardly laws that are passed in moments of panic. Rights are lost to the cringing complicity of leaders who fear the loss of their office more than the loss of our liberties," Snowden said Tuesday, speaking at the Estoril Conferences in Portugal via a video link from Moscow, as quoted by the RT broadcaster.

    In 2013, the whistleblower leaked classified documents on mass surveillance practices carried out by US authorities around the globe. Snowden fled to Hong Kong, then to Russia, which granted him asylum. In 2014, Snowden was given a temporary residence permit for three years, that was later renewed until 2020.


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