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Deputy Michael McNamara

McNamara chairs live Snowden video-link

CLARE Labour TD, Michael McNamara, will this afternoon chair a parliamentary hearing in Strasbourg on mass surveillance, which will include a live video-link from Moscow with US whistleblower Edward Snowden.

The video-link at the hearing on mass surveillance takes placethis afternoon at a session of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) in Strasbourg.

Other participants at the hearing include the former head of Germany’s Federal Intelligence Service Hansjarg Geiger, who wants to regulate intelligence activities between friendly states, and London-based international law professor Douwe Korff.

Deputy McNamara said: “Edward Snowden has triggered a worldwide debate on whistleblowers and that debate has fed into our internal discussions here. Given the recent controversies surrounding the practice of whistleblowing in Ireland, I hope to glean some interesting insights from today’s hearing in general. I’ll also be using the session to ask about the ECJ’s recent judgment on the invalidity of the data retention directive in Ireland and the implications it has for the rights of private citizens here.”

The Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights is preparing two separate reports on mass surveillance and on whistleblowers for the Assembly.

A report currently being drawn up by Deputy McNamara on European institutions and human rights in Europe plans to examine the degree to which the decisions of institutions – such as the ECB – are shaped or influenced by their potential effect on human rights and socio-economic rights in particular, as well as the overlaps of the roles and activities of the EU and the Council of Europe.

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