Edward Snowden (who has an interview in The Washington Post that uses the alarming words "Mission Accomplished") should be a shoe in for "Man of the Year" for 2013 (however TIME magazine, now an anachronism, doesn't seem to agree, relegating him to runner up).
The UK's Channel 4 let him deliver their Christmas message - Edward Snowden's Christmas Message.
Whistleblower Edward Snowden, who revealed the mass surveillance programmes organised by the US and other governments, will give this year’s The Alternative Christmas Message on Channel 4.
Six months ago, Snowden, a computer analyst turned whistleblower, brought to global attention top-secret National Security Agency (NSA) documents leading to revelations about widespread United States surveillance on phone and internet communications.
In his first recorded TV video since arriving in Moscow, Snowden lays out his vision for why privacy matters and why he believes mass indiscriminate surveillance by governments of their people is wrong.
He says: “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.
“A child born today will grow up with no conception of privacy at all. They’ll never know what it means to have a private moment to themselves an unrecorded, unanalysed 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.”
He acknowledges the growing pressure facing the White House over its bulk collection programmes from world leaders, the US courts and even its own advisors and ends his message on an optimistic note: “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. 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.”
Snowden revelations continue to trickle out - some of the latest stories talk about tracking people's phone locations, putting backdoors into RSA security products (the sort of behaviour that will kill US tech firms eventually, prompting them to complain to the White House) along with some judicial to-ing and fro-ing about the legality of the NSA's surveillance programs.