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Academics petition for end to 'blanket surveillance'

Published on Jan 4, 2014 1:01 AM

WASHINGTON (AFP) - More than 250 academics from around the world signed an online petition this week calling for an end to "blanket mass surveillance" by intelligence agencies.

The petition said revelations of mass surveillance in documents leaked by former US National Security Agency (NSA) contractor Edward Snowden violate "a fundamental right" protected by international treaties, including the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the European Convention on Human Rights.

"This has to stop," said the petition (, an initiative of four academics from the University of Amsterdam.

"Without privacy people cannot freely express their opinions or seek and receive information. Moreover, mass surveillance turns the presumption of innocence into a presumption of guilt... secret and unfettered surveillance practices violate fundamental rights and the rule of law, and undermine democracy.

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