• On June 5, 2013, media outlets published the first revelations of former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden, a watershed moment for the right to privacy in the Internet age. The disclosures of the last year have drawn a devastating portrait of unchecked government surveillance. To mark the first anniversary of the revelations, Human Rights Watch releases perspectives from the United States, United Kingdom, Germany, India, and Brazil on how the Snowden documents have shaped the debate on surveillance and human rights. This page will update throughout the day.

  • Photos of Snowden, former NSA employee, and president Barack Obama, on the front pages of English- and Chinese-language papers printed in Hong Kong.
    Is the Obama administration blind to the real and tangible harm the NSA surveillance program is doing to America’s credibility?

  • Despite the global outrage, not enough has been done to protect the privacy of the millions of people worldwide swept into NSA and British GCHQ databases. Reforms proposed in the US to date do little to rein in the sheer scale of information the NSA acquires globally, nor provide protections for national security whistleblowers. The debate in the UK is even less developed, with the government unwilling to answer even the most basic questions about its practices. Germany and Brazil have stepped into the leadership vacuum and placed the right to privacy squarely on the human rights agenda, at the United Nations and at home. In contrast, India has sought to build its own system of mass surveillance, with inadequate protections for digital privacy.

Edward Snowden