More than 500 renowned authors – including five Nobel laureates – from across the globe have signed a petition demanding to end ‘mass surveillance’. It follows the revelations over the last few months of US’ and other countries’ spying.

Their open appeal is called ‘A Stand for Democracy in the Digital Age’. Among the signatories are Nobel laureates Orhan Pamuk, JM Coetzee, Elfriede Jelinek, Günter Grass and Tomas Tranströmer.

Others who signed the letter include Bjork, Umberto Eco, Yann Martel, Ian McEwan and many others.

“WE DEMAND THE RIGHT for all people, as democratic citizens, to determine to what extent their personal data may be collected, stored and processed, and by whom; to obtain information on where their data is stored and how it is being used; to obtain the deletion of their data if it has been illegally collected and stored. WE CALL ON ALL STATES AND CORPORATIONS to respect these rights,” the open appeal read.

It adds that “a person under surveillance is no longer free; a society under surveillance is no longer a democracy. To maintain any validity, our democratic rights must apply in virtual as in real space.”

The letter also calls for the creation by the UN an International Bill of Digital Rights.

Everyone is invited to sign the open appeal at www.change.org/surveillance

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