The whistle-blower, Edward Snowden, has recently appeared on American television to speak more about his motives for exposing the incredibly invasive capabilities of intelligence agencies such as the NSA. Well worth a watch:
((NOTE: This video has been removed from YouTube. You can watch it on the NBC site > www.nbcnews.com/feature/edward-snowden-interview))
“I saw what was going on in the world. I believed the government’s arguments that we were going to do good things in Iraq, that we were going to free the oppressed. And I wanted to do my part to help share the national burden and create not just a better America, but a better world. The problem was, as time went on, […] as I saw more and more classified information at the highest levels, I realised that so many of the things that we’re told by the government simply aren’t true.
Much like the arguments about aluminium tubes and weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, Colin Powell’s speech about the vile of anthrax that Saddam was going to bring against us. The Iraq war that I signed up for was launched on false premises. The American people were mislead. Whether that was due to bad faith or simply mistakes of intelligence, I can’t say for sure. But I can say it shows the problem of putting too much faith in intelligence systems without debating them in public.”
[…] “Are you engaged in any kind of activites that we don’t approve of, even if they aren’t technically illegal. All of these things can raise your level of scrutiny, even if it seems entirely innocent to you, even if you have nothing to hide, even if you’re doing nothing wrong these activities can be misconstrued, misinterpreted and used to harm you as an individual even without the government having any intent to do you wrong. The problem is that the capabilities themselves are unregulated, uncontrolled and dangerous.”
[…] “I don’t think anybody who has been in the intelligence community for almost a decade, as I have been, is really shocked by the specific types of general operations when they’re justified. What’s more shocking for anybody is not the dirtiness of the business, it’s the dirtiness of the targeting. It’s the dirtiness of the way these things are being used. It’s the lack of respect for the public, and the lack of respect for the intrusiveness of surveillance.”
[…] “Senior officials are investing themselves with powers that they’re not entitled to, and they’re doing it without asking the public for any kind of consent.”