December 9, 2013
Hundreds of prominent authors and writers from around the globe have joined in on the movement to end the NSA spying program. Many of them are calling the NSA surveillance is systematic abuse of power. Nobel-nominated authors Orhan Pamuk, J.M. Coetzee, Elfriede Jelinek, Günter Grass and Tomas Tranströmer are among so-called "writers against mass surveillance" from around the world who have signed an open appeal. This appeal is calling on governments and corporations to respect citizens' privacy rights.
In Berlin, demonstrators rallied against the NSA program. Tensions between the United States and Germany have been especially high after leaked documents that exposed the NSA surveillance program revealed that the U.S. government had been spying on Germany. The demonstrators in Berlin were also acting in support of whistleblowers like Edward Snowden, who was a former NSA contractor that leaked the surveillance program to the Guardian, and Bradley Manning, the former U.S. Army intelligence analyst who leaked thousands of diplomatic cables and other documents to the whistleblower website WikiLeaks.
The goal of the writers' appeal is to convince the United Nations to create a resolution on digital rights, something the U.S. has sought to weaken in the views of some individuals. Janne Teller, a Danish writer who helped in organizing the open appeal, was quoted as saying, "We are really very worried about mass surveillance. We think it's undermining democracy totally, and we are shocked that more people aren't up in arms about it."