WHISTLEBLOWER Edward Snowden will testify at a Council of Europe hearing on US National Security Agency (NSA) surveillance today.
Snowden has been asked to speak at a plenary session of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) in Strasbourg. That will happen today at 1pm BST, and will be streamed live by the council.
Snowden is the star attraction at a session that will discuss internet privacy. He and the gathered ministers of the European Parliament (MEPs) will be joined by Hansjörg Geiger, the former head of Germany's Federal Intelligence Service and legal expert Douwe Korff.
More input was requested, but it has not been delivered. MEP Pieter Omtzigt said that the NSA was invited to participate but apparently declined.
"Edward Snowden has triggered a massive public debate on privacy in the internet age. Among other things, we hope to ask him what his revelations mean for ordinary users, how they should try to protect their privacy, what kind of restrictions Europe should now impose on state surveillance, whilst remaining effective in the fight against terrorism, and how these might be enforced," he said.
"Furthermore, we would like to know more about how the NSA deals with whistleblowing. I regret that the US administration has not responded positively to our invitation to present its side of the story."
Snowden has already made a couple of public appearances, albeit limited ones. He recently appeared at a TED talk about privacy and was presented onstage as a robot. Today, as then, the NSA whistleblower will be testifying via video link from Russia. µ