Birgitta Jónsdóttir attended the meeting and later revealed how Ban Ki-moon mentioned Snowden by name and spoke not too well about his predecessor Kofi Annan.
While stating how she disliked Ban Ki-moon's conduct in the meeting, she said also in Icelandic: "Hann er ömurlegur" which could translate to something like: "He sucks" or "He is 'awful', 'hopeless' or 'impossible'."
The Guardian covered the story:
Edward Snowden's digital 'misuse' has created problems, says Ban Ki-moon
Ban makes remarks in Reykjavik but MP Birgitta Jónsdóttir says it was 'wrong for Ban to condemn Snowden personally'
The former NSA contractor Edward Snowden misused his right to digital access and has created problems that outweigh the benefits of public disclosure, the UN secretary general Ban Ki-moon has said.
Speaking to a gathering of the foreign affairs committee of the Icelandic parliament in Reykjavik on Tuesday, Ban said that in his personal opinion "the Snowden case is something I consider to be misuse." The UN chief added that the opening up of digital communications should not be "misused in such a way as Snowden did".
Ban's remarks, recorded in notes taken by two people present at the meeting and confirmed by a third, provoked expressions of surprise from committee members. His depiction of Snowden as someone who had misused access to information came just hours after the NSA whistleblower made a formal request for asylum to the Icelandic government.
In interviews with the Guardian, Snowden identified Iceland as one of his top choices as a possible safe haven.
Birgitta Jónsdóttir, a member of the committee who was present at the meeting, asked Ban to clarify his comments on whistleblowers. He replied: "Access can be for the greater good, but sometimes it creates bigger problems through misuse by individuals."
Jónsdóttir, who participated with WikiLeaks in 2010 at the time it published US state secrets leaked by the intelligence analyst Bradley Manning, said she was alarmed by Ban's intervention in the Snowden controversy. "I see it as wrong for the secretary general of the United Nations to condemn Snowden personally in front of our foreign affairs committee. He seemed entirely unconcerned about the invasion of privacy by governments around the world, and only concerned about how whistleblowers are misusing the system."
In his remarks to the Icelandic foreign affairs committee, Ban said that privacy was a fundamental principle and he also emphasised the importance of freedom of speech and information. But he went on to say that "as we spend greater time and put more information into all different types of communications, like for example social media, individuals have to show more responsibility. The rights gained by this new right of access should not be misused, it should be used responsibly."
The spokesman's office of the UN secretary general in New York declined to confirm or deny Ban's comments to the Icelandic committee on grounds that it had been a private meeting.
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