“I took an oath to support and defend the constitution and I saw the constitution was violated on a massive scale.”
Global mass surveillance conducted by the US and other governments is “setting fire to the future of the internet”, Edward Snowden told an audience of technology innovators via video link on Monday
“You guys are all the firefighters, and we need you to help us fix this.” It was one of Snowden’s first live appearances since he arrived in Russia seeking political asylum. The Google video connection he spoke through was running through multiple proxy servers to conceal his location.
Snowden criticised the post 9/11 policy of the US which focused on breaking communication security rather than protecting information. He also criticised the NSA’S mass data collection as being ineffective and a waste of resources. The agency should instead be focusing on the type of people who present a threat. He used the example of the Boston Bomber saying the security services would be much more likely to catch people like him if they focused their efforts In the right areas rather than indiscriminately hacking Google and Facebook.
Snowden ended his statement by saying “Regardless of what happens to me, this is something we had a right to know. I took an oath to support and defend the constitution and I saw the constitution was violated on a massive scale.”
Happy 25th Birthday: World Wide Web
At the same time, Sir Tim Berners-Lee, the inventor of the world wide web was celebrating the 25th anniversary of the birth of the internet by encouraging the public to take action and protest against government surveillance on the web.
“The people of the world have to be constantly aware, constantly looking out for it – constantly making sure through action, protest, that it doesn’t happen.” he said.
Berners-Lee is promoting “The Web We Want” campaign which is calling people around the world to stand up for their rights for a free, open and truly global internet – with the drafting of a Magna Carta or Bill of Rights for the internet
In an interview with the BBC he said:
“It’s time for us to make a big communal decision,” Berners-Lee said. “In front of us are two roads – which way are we going to go?
“Are we going to continue on the road and just allow the governments to do more and more and more control – more and more surveillance?
“Or are we going to set up a bunch of values? Are we going to set up something like a Magna Carta for the world wide web and say, actually, now it’s so important, so much part of our lives, that it becomes on a level with human rights?”
He said the internet should be a “neutral” medium that can be used without feeling “somebody’s looking over our shoulder”.
“Freedom of speech and belief and freedom from want and fear”
Sixty-five years ago, this vision was laid out in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Today, we can’t achieve it without an open, universal Web. The Web enables everyone on the planet to participate in a free flow of knowledge, ideas, collaboration and creativity. And it must be nurtured and protected.
But now the actions of some companies and some governments threaten our fundamental freedoms on the Web.
In the last few years, citizens around the world — from Finland to Brazil, from Mexico to the USA, from the Philippines to Russia — have rallied to stop bad laws and build a positive agenda for a Web that empowers all of us. With your help, we can help these movements grow and win victories in every country.
That’s why the Web We Want campaign is calling on people around the world to stand up for their right to a free, open and truly global Internet. The first step: Drafting an Internet Users Bill of Rights for every country, proposing it to governments and kickstarting the change we need.
The United Nations is requesting an investigation into online surveillance.
Be part of the movement that helps keep the internet a tool for the development of human rights, rather than a the tool of fascist government. – Sign up to