Wolfgang Kaleck, Edward Snowden’s German lawyer and the founder and general secretary for the European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights, spoke to Democracy Now! on Monday.
Kaleck discussed Snowden’s prospects of returning to the United States:
It’s not only about the charges. Yeah, there are charges under the Espionage Act, a very doubtful law which deserves to be reformed very quick. But it’s the treatment, the special treatment, what whistleblowers like Chelsea Manning got in the recent year in the U.S., and that’s special administrative measures in—during the prison time. It’s incommunicado time. It’s inhumane treatment, what he might face, but especially it’s a very long and not appropriate prison sentence he might get. And so, I fully understand, we all fully understand—the German public, the European public fully understands—that he doesn’t return under these conditions.
He talked about the German government canceling its contract with Verizon:
…the significance of this is that there were some members of the Parliament who raised their concern that when Verizon is organizing the internal communication within the German Parliament on one hand, and on the other hand they are known for their cooperation with U.S. secret services, there is a danger that internal communication within the German Parliament will be kind of wiretapped by U.S. secret services. You know, no matter if this concern is right or not, but, I mean, this is a strong signal to all U.S. corporations, telephone corporations and Internet corporations, to do something about this problem, because they are going to lose more contracts than this if they are not willing to establish firewalls between, you know, their clients and the secret services.
Kaleck commented on what he thought was Snowden’s most important revelation:
I think it’s not one document. It’s the series of documents released all over the last 12 months. There is no way out. There is no excuse possible. All what we were suspecting over the last decade, many people were criticizing, but without real evidence, and now this evidence is out. And so, nobody can deny that this practice of mass surveillance, not only of so-called terrorists, not only of so-called dangerous people, but massive surveillance against many of us is taking place. And I think that’s the biggest—the biggest revelation, the most important.
Watch the full broadcast and read a full transcript here.