Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Canadian authors join colleagues worldwide to condemn mass surveillance

More than 550 authors from around the world, including at least 8 Canadians, have signed an international petition condemning mass surveillance (Kim Nursall, "Canadian authors join worldwide condemnation of mass surveillance," Toronto Star, 10 December 2013):
Some of Canada’s most recognizable authors, including Margaret Atwood, Yann Martel and John Ralston Saul, have joined more than 550 writers from around the world to condemn mass surveillance by governments and corporations, the extent of which, in light of snowballing revelations, reads like a work of fiction.

“With a few clicks of the mouse the state can access your mobile device, your email, your social networking and Internet searches,” reads the online petition — “A stand for democracy in the digital age” — which includes signatories from more than 80 countries and five Nobel Prize laureates.

In addition to calling on governments to stop treating everyone “as a potential suspect,” the writers urge the United Nations to create an international bill of digital rights for states to sign and obey.

Although the petition does not name a specific country or program, its demands appear closely tied to the avalanche of state spying operations identified after a massive document leak by former intelligence contractor Edward Snowden.

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