NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden will address the European Parliament, probably in January on the topic of data security, over the objections of conservative parliamentarians.
He will not appear in person, however, as he is unlikely to leave Russia, where he has temporary asylum, for fear of arrest and deportation to the United States. Snowden will likely deliver a pre-recorded video of answers to a series of questions directed to him by the parliament’s leadership, which will be played for its interior and justice committees.
Snowden’s revelations have left many European leaders aghast (at least in public) at the scope and depth of the National Security Agency’s global snooping.
There has been some talk of testimony via a live feed but it seems unlikely, according to parliamentarians who spoke to Der Spiegel‘s Gregor Peter Schmitz. Der Spiegel has published many of the Snowden revelations that concerned alleged spying on Germany’s chancellor, Angela Merkel.
Conservative members of the European Parliament have maintained that Snowden’s testimony could “damage trans-Atlantic relations.” There may also be some concern that not as many European leaders could come out of any spying inquiry as clean as they are outraged.
Snowden already addressed the EP back in September, though only in writing.