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der Standard, Austria

NSA Affair: Constitutional Court President
Had Strong Words for the US

By Editorial

Translated By Amy Baker

15 February 2014

Edited by Gillian Palmer


Austria - der Standard - Original Article (German)

The president of the Constitutional Court, Gerhart Holzinger, has some very harsh words to say about the role of the U.S. in the National Security Agency affair. “If, from this moment onward, everything were to be intercepted and recorded by international heads of government, then that is a complete negation of privacy and the right to protection of privacy,” the judge told the Oberösterreichischen Nachrichten, an Austrian daily newspaper, on Saturday.

“Terrible Example”

According to the president of the constitutional court, the actions of the government in Washington set a “terrible example.” “How can one criticize the human rights situation in China or the Turkish government’s measures to restrict Internet usage, when basic civil rights are being disregarded in such a manner in the U.S.?” asked Holzinger. His concerns about data protection prompted him to submit a review of the EU’s data protection directive to the European Court of Justice. However, in the fight against NSA surveillance, one feels like Don Quixote fighting the windmills.

More New Spying Activities

Since June 2013, more new spying activities by the U.S Intelligence Service and associated security services are coming to light, as a result of revelations by the former NSA employee Edward Snowden. Not only did the NSA monitor email correspondence and telephone calls of innocent citizens around the world, but it also listened to top-level politicians from friendly nations, one of whom was German Chancellor Angela Merkel. According to media reports, the NSA is also alleged to operate so-called listening posts in Austria, where conversations in the United Nations organization in Vienna and Eastern European states are being intercepted. The government in Vienna chose not to comment on their possible existence.



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