The UN’s special investigator on the protection of human rights while countering terrorism has opened an investigation into Edward Snowden’s revelations of mass surveillance by the U.S., the U.K. and their close allies. Ben Emmerson will report back to the UN general assembly in autumn 2014, having looked into: whether Snowden is a whistleblower; whether his leaks weakened American and British counter-terrorism efforts; whether surveillance powers in those countries should be curbed; whether oversight of their spying is adequate; and whether the U.K. Parliament was misled by the country’s intelligence services. The UN itself was a target of NSA surveillance.

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