Everyone is under surveillance now, says whistleblower Edward Snowden
The US intelligence whistleblower Edward Snowden has warned that entire populations, rather than just individuals, now live under constant surveillance.
“It’s no longer based on the traditional practice of targeted taps based on some individual suspicion of wrongdoing,” he said. “It covers phone calls, emails, texts, search history, what you buy, who your friends are, where you go, who you love.”
Snowden made his comments in a short video that was played before a debate on the proposition that surveillance today is a euphemism for mass surveillance, in Toronto, Canada. The former US National Security Agency contractor is living in Russia, having been granted temporary asylum there in June 2013.
Greenwald opened the debate by condemning the NSA’s own slogan, which he said appears repeatedly throughout its own documents: “Collect it all.”
“What is state surveillance?” Greenwald asked. “If it were about targeting in a discriminate way against those causing harm, there would be no debate.
“The actual system of state surveillance has almost nothing to do with that. What state surveillance actually is, is defended by the NSA’s actual words, that phrase they use over and over again: ‘Collect it all.’ ”