Snowden’s ‘Alternative’ Christmas Message: ‘Together We Can End Mass Surveillance’

Edward Snowden delivering an “Alternative Christmas Message” on Channel 4. (Screenshot)NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden has delivered an “alternative Christmas message” on the UK’s Channel 4 in which he says that “a child born today will grow up with no conception of privacy at all,” and that the surveillance outlined in Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four “are nothing compared to what we have available today.”

Channel 4 has broadcast an annual alternative to the Queen’s Christmas Day address to the UK since 1993.

Snowden gives this year’s address in a video made for Channel 4 by filmmaker and journalist Laura Poitras’s Praxis Films.

A transcript of his address follows:

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, 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.

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Source: Common Dreams