Entertainment

500 of the world's most notable writers slam NSA surveillance

More than 500 of the world’s most notable authors have signed an open open appeal calling for an end to the extreme surveillance of the NSA spying program as revealed by the whistleblower Edward Snowden .

Authors from 81 countries call on UN to create an international bill of digital rights

More than 500 of the world's most notable writers, including Canada's Margaret Atwood and Michael Ondaatje, have signed a petition to demand a 'digital bill of rights.'

More than 500 of the world’s most notable authors have signed an open appeal calling for an end to the extreme surveillance of the NSA spying program as revealed by the whistleblower Edward Snowden .

The authors, five of which are Nobel prize winners,  hail from 81 countries and include: Margaret Atwood, Orhan Pamuk, Ian McEwan, Gunter Grass, Michael Ondaatje, Kazou Ishiguro, Don DeLillo and Yann Martel.

The authors state that the immense capability the intelligence agencies have in spying on millions of people means that everyone is becoming a potential suspect.

Information about how intelligence agencies spy on people, revealed by former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden, has lead tech-based giants like Google and Apple to ask for tighter controls on surveillance. (Associated Press)

“A person under surveillance is no longer free; a society under surveillance is no longer a democracy,” the petition reads.

“To maintain any validity, our democratic rights must apply in virtual as in real space.”

They are urging the United Nations to implement an international bill of digital rights that will protect the civil rights of billions in this technological age.

This comes upon the heels of an open letter published Monday by tech-based giants like Google, Apple, Facebook, Microsoft, and Twitter, urging U.S. President Barack Obama to change the laws regarding surveillance and spying in the United States.

The letters follow this summer's revelations by former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden, who leaked details of the secret programs that critics argue violate privacy rights.

Intelligence officials have argued such tactics help disrupt terror attacks, but these companies and authors counter that officials should still have sensible limitations. 

With files from The Associated Press

Comments

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.