Snowden warns of loss of privacy in video
By Costas Pitas, Reuters
December 27, 2013, 12:09 am TWN
LONDON--Former U.S. National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden, who revealed details of electronic surveillance by American and British spy services, warned of the dangers posed by a loss of privacy in a message broadcast to Britain on Christmas Day.
In a two-minute video recorded in Moscow, where Snowden has been granted temporary asylum, he spoke of concerns over surveillance and appeared to draw comparison with the dystopian tale “1984,” which described a fictional state which operates widespread surveillance of its citizens.
“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,” he said.
“A child born today will grow up with no conception of privacy at all,” said Snowden. “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 “Alternative Christmas Message,” broadcast annually on Britain's Channel 4 television since 1993, mimics the format of the yearly address to the nation by Queen Elizabeth.
Previous participants have included then-President of Iran Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in 2008 and popular cartoon characters Marge and Lisa Simpson in 2004.