MOSCOW (Sputnik) — US National Security Agency (NSA) whistleblower Edward Snowden in an interview published Tuesday compared UK Prime Minister Theresa May to Darth Vader over her surveillance bill, which in his words is a violation of human rights.
In February, then-UK Home Secretary May pushed forward a revised Investigatory Powers Bill to parliament that seeks to extend police powers to browse people’s web history and hack phones whenever they deem it necessary. She argued that the revised bill had stronger privacy protections and oversight arrangements, as well as a strict requirement that police obtain a senior judge’s permission before accessing communications data, for instance to identify a journalist’s source.
Snowden told The Guardian newspaper that Theresa May is a “a sort of Darth Vader in the United Kingdom”, whose surveillance bill is “an egregious violation of human rights, that goes far further than any law proposed in the western world.”
REUTERS/ Kerry Davies
In 2013, Snowden started revealing classified documents pertaining to mass surveillance practices carried out by US authorities around the globe. The same year, Russia granted the whistleblower temporary asylum for one year. In August 2014, Snowden received a three-year residence permit to live in Russia.
In the United States, Snowden faces up to 30 years in prison on charges of espionage and theft of government property.