Edward Snowden’s Alternative Christmas Message for 2013
Edward Snowden may be hiding out in a temporary asylum in Russia after leaking thousands of classified U.S. government spying documents, but he still has an important message this Christmas for the people and nations from all the world to hear. The former NSA contractor has broadcasted a short yet powerful Christmas address on the UK’s Channel 4 news station about mass government surveillance and privacy issues. His message echoes sentiments of George Orwell, who warned us of the dangers introduced through these invasions of privacy and how destructive it can be to a free and open thinking society.
Just imagine this as Snowden put it: “A child born today will … never know what it means to have a private moment to themselves.”
Here’s the full transcript for you:
Hi, and Merry Christmas. I’m honored to have the chance to speak with you and your family this year.
Recently, we learned that our governments, working in concert, have created a system of worldwide mass surveillance, watching everything we do.
Great Britain’s George Orwell warned us of the danger of this kind of information. 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, 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.
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.
For everyone out there listening, thank you, and Merry Christmas
Oh the weather outside is frightful
But the fire is so delightful
And since we’ve no place to go
Let it Snowden… let it Snowden.. let is Snowden.
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