Edward Snowden (29) has probably sacrificed his future, his life too perhaps, time will tell, to do what he believed was the right thing. He is no swivel eyed fanatic, no brainwashed Scienceologist evangelising about the divility of technology. Rather he is a level headed, intelligent young man who decided he could keep silent no longer about what he knew was going on.
Edward has given up his high paying job, his home, his girlfriend, his family, and his freedom just to expose to the taxpaying public of the world the massive and all pervasive cyber surveillance system the U.S. government has been secretly building. He says that he does not want to live in a world where there isn’t any privacy, a world where everything that he says and does is recorded.
Thanks to Edward Snowden, we now know that the U.S. government and without doubt other governments of the developed world have, using as justification the pretence of terrorist threats, been spying on their citizens to a degree few people would have believed.
Edward Snowden will live in exile. If the U.S. government gets hold of him, he will be very fortunate if he only has to spend the next several decades rotting in some horrible prison somewhere. The American government calls truth-telling treason because the corrupt, authoritarian figures who make up the shadow government that really runs the country hate truth as much as they hate publicity.
Like many others who had a long career in Information Technology I always knew the Internet’s potential as a tool of fascism and authoritarianism. But knowing what is possible is not the same as knowing what is happening. Edward Snowden worked in the right place to see what was going on and he did not like what he saw. We can’t fault the lad for that.
as John Lennon said: “”Our society is run by insane people for insane objectives. I think we’re being run by maniacs for maniacal ends and I think I’m liable to be put away as insane for expressing that. That’s what’s insane about it”
Those who love the insanity of authoritarianism will say Edward Snowden is insane. Here are 27 quotes from Edward Snowden about U.S. government’s spying on it’s citizens. Read them and decide for yourself who is insane…
BTW, if you decide after all it is Edward, don’t complain to this blog when the men in black come knocking on your door.
Edward Snowden quotes (via Activist Post):
#1 “The majority of people in developed countries spend at least some time interacting with the Internet, and Governments are abusing that necessity in secret to extend their powers beyond what is necessary and appropriate.”
#2 “…I believe that at this point in history, the greatest danger to our freedom and way of life comes from the reasonable fear of omniscient State powers kept in check by nothing more than policy documents.”
#3 “The government has granted itself power it is not entitled to. There is no public oversight. The result is people like myself have the latitude to go further than they are allowed to.”
#4 “…I can’t in good conscience allow the US government to destroy privacy, internet freedom and basic liberties for people around the world with this massive surveillance machine they’re secretly building.”
#5 “The NSA has built an infrastructure that allows it to intercept almost everything.”
#6 “With this capability, the vast majority of human communications are automatically ingested without targeting. If I wanted to see your e-mails or your wife’s phone, all I have to do is use intercepts. I can get your e-mails, passwords, phone records, credit cards.”
#7 “Any analyst at any time can target anyone. Any selector, anywhere… I, sitting at my desk, certainly had the authorities to wiretap anyone, from you or your accountant, to a federal judge, to even the President…”
#8 “To do that, the NSA specifically targets the communications of everyone. It ingests them by default. It collects them in its system and it filters them and it analyzes them and it measures them and it stores them for periods of time simply because that’s the easiest, most efficient and most valuable way to achieve these ends. So while they may be intending to target someone associated with a foreign government, or someone that they suspect of terrorism, they are collecting YOUR communications to do so.”
#9 “I believe that when [senator Ron] Wyden and [senator Mark] Udall asked about the scale of this, they [the NSA] said it did not have the tools to provide an answer. We do have the tools and I have maps showing where people have been scrutinized most. We collect more digital communications from America than we do from the Russians.”
#10 “…they are intent on making every conversation and every form of behavior in the world known to them.”
#11 “Even if you’re not doing anything wrong, you’re being watched and recorded. …it’s getting to the point where you don’t have to have done anything wrong, you simply have to eventually fall under suspicion from somebody, even by a wrong call, and then they can use this system to go back in time and scrutinize every decision you’ve ever made, every friend you’ve ever discussed something with, and attack you on that basis, to sort of derive suspicion from an innocent life.”
#12 “Allowing the U.S. government to intimidate its people with threats of retaliation for revealing wrongdoing is contrary to the public interest.”
#13 “Everyone everywhere now understands how bad things have gotten and theyre talking about it. They have the power to decide for themselves whether they are willing to sacrifice their privacy to the surveillance state.”
#14 “I do not want to live in a world where everything I do and say is recorded. That is not something I am willing to support or live under.”
#15 “I don’t want to live in a world where there’s no privacy, and therefore no room for intellectual exploration and creativity.”
#16 “I have no intention of hiding who I am because I know I have done nothing wrong.”
#17 “I had been looking for leaders, but I realized that leadership is about being the first to act.”
#18 “There are more important things than money. If I were motivated by money, I could have sold these documents to any number of countries and gotten very rich.”
#19 “The great fear that I have regarding the outcome for America of these disclosures is that nothing will change. [People] won’t be willing to take the risks necessary to stand up and fight to change things… And in the months ahead, the years ahead, it’s only going to get worse. [The NSA will] say that… because of the crisis, the dangers that we face in the world, some new and unpredicted threat, we need more authority, we need more power, and there will be nothing the people can do at that point to oppose it. And it will be turnkey tyranny.”
#20 “I will be satisfied if the federation of secret law, unequal pardon and irresistible executive powers that rule the world that I love are revealed even for an instant.”
#21 “You can’t come up against the world’s most powerful intelligence agencies and not accept the risk.”
#22 “I know the media likes to personalize political debates, and I know the government will demonize me.”
#23 “We have got a CIA station just up the road the consulate here in Hong Kong and I am sure they are going to be busy for the next week. And that is a concern I will live with for the rest of my life, however long that happens to be.”
#24 “I understand that I will be made to suffer for my actions, and that the return of this information to the public marks my end.”
#25 “Theres no saving me.”
#26 “The only thing I fear is the harmful effects on my family, who I won’t be able to help any more. That’s what keeps me up at night.”
#27 “I do not expect to see home again.”
Silicon Valley Stalinists
The Importance Of Freedom of Speech And Information
And when they came for the credit card records
You Just Can’t be Too Paranoid
British Press Finds A Backbone