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One Year After First Snowden Revelations, World Wide Web Foundation Calls For Meaningful Reform

Web Foundation · June 5, 2014

Today marks exactly one year since the first story based on whistleblower Edward Snowden’s revelations appeared. To mark the anniversary, the World Wide Web Foundation is backing calls for swift and meaningful legislative reform in the US and UK.

Speaking to the media, the World Wide Web Foundation’s Chief Executive Officer, Anne Jellema said:

On the past year’s revelations:

Over the past year, we’ve learnt a lot about how GCHQ and the NSA have spied on web users everywhere – with scant accountability or regard for the human right to privacy. Yet, despite mounting public anger and a UN resolution, we have not seen meaningful legislative reform in the either UK or the US.

“Attention has largely focused on the US and the UK, but in fact, the issue is far broader than this. The Web Foundation’s 2013 Web Index showed that 94% of countries around the world are flouting norms and do not meet best practice standards for checks and balances on government interception of electronic communications.*

“Edward Snowden has repeatedly said that his greatest fear is that no change occurs as a result of his whistleblowing. It is up to us – ordinary Web users everywhere – to stop this fear from being realised by demanding positive action from our governments.”

On the USA Freedom act:

“The recent USA Freedom Act does not go nearly far enough. The Bill recognises that bulk data collection should be stopped, but the loopholes inserted will render it toothless.”

On the need for an independent enquiry and legislative change in the UK:

“In the UK, the ‘Don’t Spy on Us’ coalition is calling for an independent enquiry, followed by legislative reform based on six key principles. We wholly support this call – now is the time to update Britain’s analogue laws for our digital age. Intelligence agencies need powers to keep people safe, but these powers must be necessary and proportionate. Bulk data collection by default, with laws made and enforced in secret can never be acceptable.”

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