Edward Snowden called on a Canadian police chief to resign after it was found that he spied on at least seven journalists, the NSA whistleblower said during a public lecture at McGill University in Montreal.
Snowden used the speech to call the police actions a “radical attack on the operations of the free press” and said the law might be beginning to fail as a guarantor of people’s rights, The Guardian reported. The police have admitted to spying on journalists to try to determine where leaks of information from the police department were coming from.
Montreal police have claimed that the situation was exceptional, and that they were trying to catch police fabricating evidence. Five police officers were arrested this summer over the issue. Montreal police Chief Philippe Pichet said he is reviewing the case to make sure everything is above board, according to CBC News.
“We are all being watched, regardless of whether we are doing anything right or wrong, and this is what drove me forward,” Snowden told the packed auditorium of about 600 people. “Now surveillance technologies have outpaced the growth of democratic control,” CBC News reported that he said.
Snowden currently lives in Russia where he sought asylum after he became wanted in the U.S. for giving thousands of classified documents about U.S. surveillance programs to journalists in 2013. He appeared at the McGill talk vial remote broadcast.
The Guardian noted that police said they had not broken any laws in tracking the journalists. Tom Henheffer of the Canadian Journalists for Free Expression responded to that statement by saying, “Which just goes to show that the whole system is broken.”
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