Edward Snowden: All Criminal Charges Should Be Dropped, Votes EU Parliament

Josh WolfordTechnology

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In a very close vote, the EU Parliament has decided to recommend member states drop any and all charges against NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden.

The body called on countries to "drop any criminal charges against Edward Snowden, grant him protection and consequently prevent extradition or rendition by third parties, in recognition of his status as whistle-blower and international human rights defender."

The vote was 285 to 281.

The vote came alongside a larger resolution urging the EU Commission to "ensure that all data transfers to the US are subject to an "effective level of protection."

The EU Parliament called on the Commission to “immediately take the necessary measures to ensure that all personal data transferred to the US are subject to an effective level of protection that is essentially equivalent to that guaranteed in the EU”. It invites the Commission to reflect immediately on alternatives to Safe Harbour and on the "impact of the judgment on any other instruments for the transfer of personal data to the US, and to report on the matter by the end of 2015."

Snowden has responded on Twitter, calling it a "game-changer."

"We welcome today's decision of the European Parliament recognizing Edward Snowden as a human rights defender and calling upon member states to grant him protection from prosecution," said Wolfgang Kaleck, Snowden's EU lawyer. "It is an overdue step and we urge the member States to act now to implement the resolution."

Edward Snowden is still in Russia, and still being sought by the US government. In July, the Obama administration responded to a petition to pardon Snowden with a resounding no thanks.

Josh Wolford
Josh Wolford is a writer for WebProNews. He likes beer, Japanese food, and movies that make him feel weird afterward. Mostly beer. Follow him on Twitter: @joshgwolf Instagram: @joshgwolf Google+: Joshua Wolford StumbleUpon: joshgwolf