500 authors slam US spying effort

More than 500 of the world�™s leading authors have criticized the US spying effort as a threat to democracy and urged an international response to the scandal revealed by American whistleblower Edward Snowden, a report says.

The authors, including five Nobel Prize winners, are from 81 different countries. They say the National Security Agency�™s capacity to spy on millions of people’s digital communications is turning everyone into potential suspects, The Guardian reported on Tuesday, citing a statement signed by all the authors.

The statement has called on the United Nations to create an international bill of digital rights that wound protect civil rights in the Internet age, according to the report.

Among the signatories are Arundhati Roy, Julian Barnes, Martin Amis, Ian McEwan, Irvine Welsh, Hari Kunzru, Jeanette Winterson, Kazuo Ishiguro, JM Coetzee, Yann Martel, Ariel Dorfman, Amit Chaudhuri, Roddy Doyle, Amos Oz, David Grossman, Mikhail Shishkin, Henning Mankell, Lionel Shriver, Hanif Kureishi, CK Stead, Thomas Keneally and Anna Funder.

The call comes a day after US-based technology giants called for sweeping changes to controversial surveillance laws in the United States.

Apple, Google, Microsoft, Facebook, Yahoo, LinkedIn, Twitter and AOL published an open letter on Monday to US President Barack Obama and Congress, criticizing the current laws that they said have hurt public�™s �œtrust” and their business.

The NSA spying scandal broke in early June when The Guardian reported that the super spy agency was collecting the telephone records of tens of millions of Americans. Since then, various documents revealed by Snowden have suggested that the agency is also spying on foreign nationals living in the United States as well as many ordinary people and political leaders throughout the world.

The revelations have sparked a huge debate on the legal framework and oversight governing Western spy agencies.

ARA/ARA

Source: Press TV