Fresh off his so-called ‘Mission Accomplished’ PR stunt, National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden is taking on the role of a provocateur by delivering a ‘Christmas Day Message’ on Britian’s Channel 4. Yeah, that’s the same channel that aired a speech for Iran’s Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Snowden claims we have sensors in our pockets. Yeah, it’s called a cell phone and thanks to each carrier, they track our every move. That’s not the government’s fault, is it?
Edward Snowden, the whistleblower who prompted a worldwide debate when he leaked a cache of top secret documents about US and UK spying, has recorded a Christmas Day television message in which he calls for an end to the mass surveillance revealed by his disclosures.
The short film was recorded for Channel 4, which has 20-year history of providing unusual but relevant figures as an alternative to the Queen’s Christmas message shown by other UK broadcasters. It will be Snowden’s first television appearance since arriving in Moscow.
In excerpts from the address released by Channel 4, Snowden says George Orwell “warned us of the danger of this kind of information” in his dystopian novel, 1984.
Snowden says: “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.
“A child born today will grow up with no conception of privacy at all. They’ll never know what it means to have a private moment to themselves an unrecorded, unanalysed 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 says: “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.”
It’s not true to say our kids no longer have any privacy. I will continue to maintain that I agree that the government is too intrusive, but the way Edward Snowden went about leaking the information and then running to two Communist countries, both with horrible human rights and privacy records, makes him less of a hero in my opinion. Had he been a “Deep Throat” kind of guy or even like Daniel Ellsberg, I would back his cause 100 percent.
There is no reason Edward Snowden could not have gone to the House Intelligence Committee to tell them about what he discovered. If they didn’t or wouldn’t listen, then he should have gone public. Not run to Glenn Greenwald and the Guardian. He had no good reason to use illegality as a recourse rather than going step by step in getting the information he discovered out to the public.