MOSCOW, January 22 (RAPSI) - Despite extremely invasive surveillance system in France, the law enforcement authorities could not prevent the recent terror attacks in Paris, former NSA analyst Edward Snowden said on Thursday in an interview to the Dutch NPO 2 news channel.
“When we look at the Paris attacks specifically, we see that France passed one of the most intrusive, expansive surveillance laws in all of Europe last year, and it didn’t stop the attack. And this is consistent with what we see in any country ”, says the surveillance whistleblower.
In December 2013, the French parliament passed a bill that simplified police and intelligence access to phone and Internet data of citizens. The bill was aimed at more effective suppression of extremism and organized crime.
On January 7, French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo was attacked as two gunmen forced their way into the office of the magazine in Paris and opened fire, killing 12 and injuring 11. Two days later, four Jewish hostages were killed by an armed terrorist in a kosher store, before being shot dead by police.
Almost 15,000 extra law enforcement officers have been rallied to tighten security across France since the attacks.
In the summer of 2013, Edward Snowden, a computer specialist and former contractor for the US National Security Agency, leaked classified evidence of US government surveillance programs to The Washington Post and The Guardian.
He then fled to Hong Kong. On June 14, 2013, US authorities charged Snowden under three articles, each of them stipulating punishment of up to 10 years in prison. Two of the charges were brought under the 1917 Espionage Act.
Snowden was in the transit area of Moscow’s Sheremetyevo Airport from June 23 to August 1, 2013, when he was granted temporary asylum. He is now living at an undisclosed location in Russia. In August 2014, Snowden was granted a Russian residence permit for three years.