March 7, 2014 by UPI – United Press International, Inc.
STRASBOURG, Germany (UPI) — European Union lawmakers received a 12-page testimony from former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden that says the NSA has been spying on all of Europe.
“I know the good and the bad of these systems, and what they can and cannot do, and I am telling you that without getting out of my chair, I could have read the private communications of any member of this committee, as well as any ordinary citizen.” wrote Snowden in his testimony.
Snowden did not reveal any new information in the testimony but said there are more programs that would infringe on EU citizens’ rights but that information will be given to responsible journalists.
Snowden explains that the NSA exploited loopholes in data agreements with individual countries to spy on the whole of Europe. The report being considered by the European parliament could put an end to the Safe Harbor agreement, which allows U.S. tech companies to self-certify that they are following EU data-protection laws. Further action by the EU could spell trouble for companies like Google.
Snowden also added that he would accept asylum from a European country if offered and once again reaffirmed he has not worked with the Russian or Chinese governments, although he did say that the Russian secret service did approach him.
“Even the secret service of Andorra would have approached me, if they had the chance: that’s their job,” wrote Snowden, “But I didn’t take any documents with me to Hong Kong, and while I’m sure they were disappointed, it doesn’t take long for an intelligence service to realize when they’re out of luck.”