Snowden warns of ‘no conception of privacy’

Snowden warns of ‘no conception of privacy’
Thu Dec 26, 2013 08:21:02

The United States National Security Agency (NSA) whistleblower Edward Snowden has called for an end to mass spying by governments, stating that a child born today will have "no conception of privacy."

Snowden delivered his ‘Alternative Christmas Message’ via British TV channel 4 on Wednesday, his address comes as an alternative to the Queen’s traditional Christmas speech, which is shown by the country’s other leading broadcasters.

Filmed in Russia, the address is the first TV appearance of the whistleblower since his arrival in the country, where he was granted temporary asylum in August.

The message starts with Snowden appealing to each and every family, warning them that the scope of government surveillance has gone to the extent that “a child born today will grow up with no conception of privacy at all”.

As a former US Central Intelligence Agency employee, US National Security Agency contractor, and the person behind the biggest security leak in US history, Snowden gives his assessment of the classic bogey model of the Orwellian state as “nothing compared” to today's surveillance methods.

“The types of collection in the book – microphones and video cameras, TVs that watch us – are nothing compared to what we have available today. We have sensors in our pockets that track us everywhere we go. Think about what this means for the privacy of the average person,” the former NSA contractor says.

"They'll never know what it means to have a private moment to themselves, an unrecorded, unanalyzed thought.”

“And that's a problem because privacy matters, privacy is what allows us to determine who we are and who we want to be,” Snowden adds.

“The conversation occurring today will determine the amount of trust we can place both in the technology that surrounds us and the government that regulates it. Together we can find a better balance, end mass surveillance and remind the government that if it really wants to know how we feel, asking is always cheaper than spying,” Snowden says.

Snowden’s address to the British audience comes amid an ongoing debate in the country over the tightening mass surveillance at home, as well as at an international level.


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