Snowden: ‘Economies are built on creativity, curiosity- and privacy’

snowden

Unsurprisingly, Edward Snowden chose to submit a statement on paper, rather than appear by weblink at yesterday’s hearing of the European Parliament Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs. But appear he did – an exile has apparently not compromise his decision to blow the whistle.

In a three-minute reading, Jesselyn Radack, National Security & Human Rights Director of the Government Accountability Project read the statement in full, and Snowden kicked off by calling the mass surveillance of whole populations “the greatest human rights challenge of our time”.

We’ve transcribed Snowden’s speech in full:

I thank the European parliament and the LIBE committee for taking up the challenge of mass surveillance. The surveillance of whole populations rather than individuals threatens to be the greatest human rights challenge of our time.

The success of economies in developed nations relies increasingly on their creative output, and if that success is to continue we must remember that creativity is the product of curiosity, which in turn is the product of privacy.

A culture of secrecy has denied our societies the opportunity to determine the appropriate balance between the human right of privacy and the governmental interest in investigation. These are not decisions that should be made for a people but only by the peopler after full, informed and fearless debate.

Yet public debate is not possible without public knowledge – and in my country the cost of one in my position of returning public knowledge to public hands has been persecution and exile. If we are to enjoy such debates in the future we cannot rely upon individual sacrifice. We must create better channels for people of conscience to inform not only trusted agents of government but independent representatives of the public outside government.

When I began my work it was with the sole intention of making possible the debate we see occurring here in this body and in many other bodies around the world.

Today we see legislative bodies forming new committees calling for investigations and proposing new solutions for modern problems. We see emboldened courts that are no longer afraid to consider critical questions of national security. We see brave executives remembering that if a public is prevented from knowing how they are being governed the necessary result is that they are no longer self governing. And we see the public reclaiming an equal seat at the table of government.

The work of a generation is beginning here with your hearing, and you have the full measure of my gratitude and support.

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About Thom Prentice

Global Warming Alarmist. "They are trying to DROWN democracy like they would DROWN a BABY in bath water!" Alarmist. Journalist/Teacher/Professor. Urban Hermit: Trying to live counterculturally, limiting travel, living with less stuff, using less electricity and natural gas, Turned the TV Off in 2011... Anti-Fascist. Egalitarian. Humanist. Naturalist. Earthist. Absolutely Pro-Democracy/Democracies. Undermining assumptions. Poet. Essayist. Photographer. Writer. Authentic Journalist. FreeThinker. CriticalThinker. Controversialist.*****Either capitalism carries fascism in its DNA or fascism carries capitalism in ITS DNA. It is clear that capitalism and democracy cannot co-exist. Democracy should rule capitalism but capitalism should Not rule democracy. Capitalism is in catastrophic failure as we speak. It is time to talk about ***** a Socialista alternative*****. Gorbachev of the Soviet Union: glasnost, perestroika, democratizya and the Evil US Empire could use a big dose of all three. POLITICAL democracy is USELESS without ECONOMIC democracy. ***** I carry a cosmic perspective with me per Neil deGrasse Tyson. Public Intellecty'all. Authentic Journalist. Pro-Democracy Advocate. Anti-Stalinist/Fascist. Global Warming Activist. Human Rights Activist. GWM. Contrarian. ***** CounterNarratives and CounterForces (checks and balances against societal power structures) are required for a society to be free and democratic. ***** Atomist. Epicurean. Lucretius: “De Rerum Natura” or "On The Nature of Things"***** I do not trust a single institution in this society from the ground up. Asker of awkward and inconvenient questions. Turn off the TV. I like Bonobos (the animals, NOT the pants), dogs and elephants. Failed parallel parking. Post-partisan and post-ideological. Used to dance with his shirt off. *****If more people would have more sex more often -- even if self-inflicted -- the world would be a much happier place***** WhistleBlower from the ground up. Speaking Truth to Power. "I think it is primarily getting TRUTH into discussion" -- stolen from my friend Chuck. ***** Gay White Male, educated, comfortably middle class [but now poor], and born in the United States—in short, “a privileged citizen of a predatory imperial nation-state within a pathological capitalist economic system.” (Direct steal from Dr. Robert Jensen, UT-Austin)***** WhiteGuy, Intellecty'all, Symbologist [for those who like Dan Brown and The DaVinci Code], Deconstructioneer, Scribbler, Scrivener, Authentic Journalist, Reader, Thinker, Lifelong Learner, 14 year cancer fighter/survivor (it keeps coming back) just finishing yet another year of chemo, former high school teacher, editor, and college prof, Ph.D. - UT-Austin - 1995. "Dr. Democracy", Return to 'The Customer Is Always Right' Capitalism Advocate. Shameless flirt*****24601***** “The sleep of reason breeds monsters.” - Francisco Goya***** The more we learn about animals, the more we learned about ourselves.***** It is time for Direct Non-Violent Resistance, Rebellion, Revolt against the entire system, except that I find it credible that the entire system is collapsing on itself and we might not have to do anything except think about how we want our society organized after the collapse.***** Facebook Page: Thomas Prentice***** There is no conscience in Capitalism. Democracy should rule Capitalism but Capitalism should NEVER rule Democracy. Without Economic Democracy, political democracy is useless and worthless.***** Our economic and social arrangements need to be changed but not just from one bad, rigid, closed, arbitrary, bureaucratic, Stalinist/Fascist or State Capitalist ideology to another. Let’s talk about and create new social arrangements, new democracies. Les Miserables.***** Karl Marx was accurate and correct about how Industrial Capitalism causes people to become alienated from each other. He was also accurate and correct about his 'labor theory of value' which shows why/how Capitalist thieves steal the value of a person's labor. A person works so many hours or days for s/himself and the rest of the labor is "free" and therefore that “free labor value” goes to the Capitalist One Per Centers as profit. And Marx was also accurate and correct in a whole lot of other things, principally his critique of capitalism and his analysis of society. We don't know anything about Marx -- who was a sociologist and not an economist btw -- and neither do we know anything about Adam Smith and capitalism -- except to bow down and worship the "wisdom of the (monopoly controlled) market". That is because neither capitalism nor socialism nor plain basic economics is a graduation requirement for any high school or university in the US Empire. White Rock lake park in Dallas. Lake Travis. Lady Bird Lake in Austin. The San Marcos River. Yosemite. Yellowstone. *****Mars Attacks.***** The United States was founded on the pillars of genocide; slavery; racism; white supremacy; male supremacy; christian supremacy; compulsory heterosexuality; abuse of humans and nature; exploitation of humans and nature; and especially full-blown hypocrisy. And Jesus did not like hypocrisy or hypocrites.*****Glenn Greenwald. Lewis Mumford, Richard Hofstadter, Derrick Jensen, Chris Hedges, David Foster Wallace, Henry A. Giroux, Christopher Lasch, Horkheimer and Adorno, Douglass Kellner, Max Weber, Jurgen Habermas, Jeffrey St. Clair, Normon Solomon, Richard Wolff, Jacques Derrida, Michel Foucault, John Lennon, Bruce Springsteen... Evidence is everywhere indicating the looming apocalypse.***** People tell me that I "pull no punches": and I agree. But as I try to avoid racist and misogynist words and phrases and thinking, I also try to avoid masculinist terms and thinking, especially terms of violence and sports terms, military terms. In high school my newspaper column was called "Like it Is" and I prefer to think of myself in those terms -- telling it "Like It Is".*****TURN OFF THE TV!

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