Carter says he hand-writes letters to avoid US surveillance

Former US President Jimmy Carter appeared in Panama City, Florida, on 14 March 2014 Jimmy Carter served as president of the United States from 1977 to 1981

Related Stories

Former US President Jimmy Carter has said he hand-writes letters to foreign and US leaders in an effort to evade what he described as pervasive US electronic surveillance.

Mr Carter, 89, told the Associated Press he had "no doubt" the US monitored and recorded "almost every telephone call" and email.

His humanitarian efforts bring him in contact with a range of foreign and US political leaders.

He left the White House in 1981.


"I don't think there's any doubt now that the NSA or other agencies monitor or record almost every telephone call made in the United States, including cell phones, and I presume email as well," Mr Carter told the Associated Press news agency in an interview.

"I feel that my telephone calls and my email are being monitored, and there are some things I just don't want anybody to know," he added, describing modern surveillance as a violation of Americans' basic civil rights.

Mr Carter said he began writing letters in long hand two to three years ago, before former ex-National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden leaked a cache of documents disclosing the agency's extensive electronic surveillance practices.

The former US leader, a Democrat from Georgia, now runs the Carter Center, focused on human rights efforts and political mediation.

He was responsible for negotiating a 1994 nuclear disarmament pact with North Korea and has visited Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in recent years.

More on This Story

Related Stories

More US & Canada stories


Features & Analysis

Elsewhere on the BBC

  • TravelAround the world

    BBC Travel takes a look at the most striking images from the past seven days


  • A bicycle with a Copenhagen WheelClick Watch

    The wheel giving push bikes an extra boost by turning them into smart electric hybrids

Try our new site and tell us what you think. Learn more
Take me there

Copyright © 2015 BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.