Fight against terrorism does not justify mass surveillance, many young people say

Press release

Berlin, 09.10.2013

The recently disclosed mass surveillance programmes of the NSA and other intelligence services step over the line. That is at least the opinion of 62.3% of participants in the recent European Youth Poll. Still, differences in attitude exist between countres: In Sweden and Germany, less than a fourth of all participants think surveillance is justified by the fight against terrorism, while in Russia and Ukraine, more than half of all participants speak out in favour of surveillance. 59% of all participants also think they have to restrain their communication over the Internet, because it is being watched.

The young respondents from all over Europe were not happy with the role of their governments: Only 9.5% think their government is doing enough to reveal the extent of the mass surveillance programmes. A majority of 58.8% think the European Union should stop exchanging transaction and flight data with the United States as a result of the disclosures, while 70% believe their country should offer asylum to whistleblowers like Edward Snowden.

The Poll, which was conducted online by the European Youth Parliament in co-operation with the Stiftung Mercator foundation and with the help of other youth organisations, was taken by 2131 people aged between 16 and 27 from 42 European countries. The Poll was open between September 11th and 23rd, 2013.

The European Youth Parliament (EYP) is a non-partisan and independent educational organization active since 1987. Today it is one of the largest European platforms for political debate, intercultural encounters, political educational work and the exchange of ideas among young people in Europe. The EYP consists of a network of 36 European associations in which thousands of young people are active in a voluntary capacity. The European Youth Polls are conducted four times a year. They are open to all young people in Europe, but the results are not scientifically representative and do not represent the opinions of the European Youth Parliament. In 2012, 15863 young people participated.

For complete results and more information, please visit www.eyp.org/youthpolls

For more information, please contact:

Jacob Düringer
Project Manager
Sophienstraße 28-29
10178 Berlin
Tel.: +49 030 280 951-46
j.dueringer@remove-this.eyp.org

Christine Ehrig
Communication Manager
Stiftung Mercator
Tel.: +49 201 245 22-840
christine.ehrig@remove-this.stiftung-mercator.de