We the undersigned strongly condemn the collection and surveillance of Pakistani citizens’ online communications and activities by the Government of the United States of America under its National Security Agency’s (NSA) Prism Programme. Reports about the programme reveal that the NSA has been involved in large scale surveillance of citizens – both at home and abroad. In terms of data gathering from other countries, Pakistan ranks second on the list of countries from where the most amount of digital data has been collected, following only Iran.
In the past years, the Government of Pakistan has cooperated extensively with the US Government on many counts – from joint operations to alleged information sharing. However, the recent leaks reveal that this is no targeted surveillance but blanket surveillance of citizens at the whims of the US security agency.
NSA’s mass surveillance cannot be justified under national security. The Prism programme has violated the fundamental rights of citizens in Pakistan and abroad.
We call upon the Prime Minister, the Ministry of Interior, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Ministry of Information and Technology to demand full disclosure from the US Government over this issue and protect our constitutional rights of privacy, freedom of expression and freedom of speech. The State of Pakistan must respond to this breach of rights immediately and demand an end to blanket surveillance.
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