Every Christmas the Queen (or King, when there is one) delivers a Christmas Day message to the British people. In recent years Britain’s Channel 4 has broadcast a short, “alternative” message from various celebrities on it’s airwaves. This year they asked NSA leaker Edward Snowden to deliver that message. Here is a transcript of what he had to say:
Hi and Merry Christmas. I’m honored to have a 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 system of 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.
CNN wasn’t buying Mr. Snowden’s altruism.
How about you? Do you agree with Snowden, or is the man a traitor simply trying to play up his story that he did all of this for the rest of us?
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