Following whistleblower Edward Snowden’s allegations that the NSA is engaged in the surveillance of human rights organisations within the USA and beyond, Thomas Hughes, ARTICLE 19 Executive Director, said:
“Edward Snowden’s revelation that the NSA has been spying on human rights defenders is appalling. Human rights organisations like ARTICLE 19 deal with very sensitive information with the intention of holding governments accountable for their wrongdoing. Spying on them is nothing less than harassing the watchdogs.
“The USA’s surveillance practices need to be overhauled. Their spying has a chilling effect on the freedom of expression of human rights defenders and the people they are working with. State spying makes the work of human rights groups operating in dangerous environments even more challenging,” he added.
ARTICLE 19 is a founding organisation of the Don’t Spy On Us campaign, demanding changes to UK surveillance legislation so that surveillance practices respect the right to freedom of expression. ARTICLE 19 is also a supporter of the Day We Fight Back campaign to end mass surveillance worldwide.