Merry Christmas from the whistle-blower Edward Snowden

December 26, 2013 by History in a Hurry

WATCH: Edward Snowden’s Alternative Christmas Message

by Andrew Kirell | 11:11 am, December 25th, 2013

As we reported on Tuesday, NSA leaker Edward Snowden will deliver Channel 4 UK’s “Alternative Christmas Message,” the network’s annual response to the Queen’s address. They aired on Christmas Day at 4:15 p.m. local time in England.

Snowden’s remarks were filmed by Glenn Greenwald’s film collaborator Laura Poitras, from an undisclosed location in Russia.

Full remarks transcribed below, followed by the video:

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.

Link to summary and video:


Best comment at the bottom of this piece:

Some people here are confusing being loyal to the government as being loyal to the country. Those are two different things. I love my country but I do not trust the government. They have betrayed the American people. They no longer represent us as a true Republic demands, it’s all about special interests and getting re-elected. Both parties have failed us. If the American people should be blamed for anything, it should be naivete. We have allowed ourselves to accept substandard education, apathy and in general bullsh!ttery from our government.

I love my country, we have good people here. The most generous people in the world…I am just NOT loyal to the government, and question their motives. The Constitution allows for that.

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