Whistleblower Edward Snowden warns of surveillance technology advances

Edward Snowden first made his revelations 10 years ago

Whistleblower Edward Snowden warns of surveillance technology advances Credit: https://www.youtube.com/user/TheWikiLeaksChannel Creative Commons Attribution 3.0

Snowden, who is now exiled in Russia due to revelations he made 10 years ago about US and British government surveillance, says the technology is even more capable and intrusive now. 

When Edward Snowden revealed the level of surveillance of private individuals that the US government and its agencies were engaging in 10 years ago, he believed he was doing a public service. As a computer intelligence consultant, he became disillusioned with programs he was involved in, originally complaining through internal channels.

His complaints were ignored, but when he started leaking his concerns to journalists he was charged by the US government with crimes against the 1917 Espionage Act and fled to Russia, where he was eventually granted citizenship having had his US passport revoked.

He has now warned though that governments are delving further into people’s privacy, describing the technology of 2013, when he famously leaked what he knew about US government programs, as ‘child’s play’ compared with current capabilities.

Major technology companies to are getting in on the act with technologies including security cameras, facial recognition, artificial intelligence and spyware posing a big threat to individual liberties.

Snowden recently reacted on Twitter to new proposed EU regulation saying: “It feels like in just ten years, EU bodies have transformed from “our best hope for a sincere guarantor of global human rights” into “authoritarian cabal strenuously advocating for the planetary, machine-enforced restriction of basic human liberty.” EU friends: What happened?”

Edward Snowden says he has no regrets over what he did 10 years ago and takes some comfort that his revelations have had at least some positive effect, with end-to-end encryption technology protecting users’ privacy in apps like WhatsApp.

The US and UK governments, while admitting there is room for debate on the privacy issues that Snowden brought to light a decade ago, still believe that more damage was done than problems solved by his revelations.

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Written by

David Laycock

Dave Laycock has always written. Poems, songs, essays, academic papers as well as newspaper articles; the written word has always held a great fascination for him and he is never happier than when being creative. From a musical background, Dave has travelled the world performing and also examining for a British music exam board. He also writes, produces and performs and records music. All this aside, he is currently fully focussed on his journalism and can’t wait to share more stories from around the world and beyond.