Snowden To Call For End To Surveillance In U.K. Christmas Address

AP

Although he’s already declared “mission accomplished,” Edward Snowden recorded an address calling for an end to mass government surveillance that is set to air Christmas day in the United Kingdom.

According to the Guardian, the former National Security Agency contractor cited George Orwell’s novel “1984”  in the address as a warning of “the danger of this kind of information.”

He also used the address to highlight the political consequences of his disclosure of top-secret NSA documents, including a federal judge’s ruling that the agency’s phone records collection program likely violates the U.S. Constitution.

“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,” Snowden said, as quoted by the Guardian. “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.”

The address is scheduled to be broadcast on UK’s Channel 4, which has a tradition of airing an alternative response to the Queen’s Christmas day address, and was filmed in Moscow by Laura Poitras, the filmmaker who previously collaborated with Snowden.

Snowden’s disclosures have also been problematic for the British journalists who worked with his material. Earlier this month, British police said they were investigating whether journalists at the Guardian committed terrorism offenses by publishing the leaked documents, which security officials said contained information about British spies.

This post has been updated.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Catherine Thompson is a senior editor for Talking Points Memo in New York City. She came to the site in 2013 and reported on national affairs. Previously, she worked as a research assistant to investigative reporter Wayne Barrett. She can be reached at catherine@talkingpointsmemo.com.
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