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.

About Thom Prentice

"Thom Prentice? Well, he planted a lot of trees." We are a part OF Nature — not apart FROM Nature. Lennonist. Poet and Naturalist. Living life of the mind. Journo. thom prentice [at] (g) male dot com *****Someone just "followed" me on twitter, a "corporate trainer". How can a corporation be trained? Is a corporation a person? A person that can be trained? I am a teacher, I have never "trained" anyone nor would I even think of it let alone think of assembling those words. I taught people, not subjects. Most doctors treat diseases, not people. The subject areas in which I facilitated learning for people were journalism, English, Limited Proficient English, history, government, and a variety of Teacher Education and Learning Theory and Practice (praxis) courses where there were people -- human beings -- Homo sapiens sapiens -- seeking to learn.***** Noam Chomsky. Poet. Naturalist. Philosophe. Albert Schweitzer. Seeker. Prizes wisdom and truth. Likes to drive with the windows down and sunroof open/No A/C. Diogenes looking for an honest person. Deborah Tannen. Knowledge pusher. Mindfulness. Urban Hermit. Eschews language which obscures the humanity of human beings, causality, and the sentience of all beings: "staffing," "collateral damage," "decedent," "the poor," "targeting," "'pure'/'impure'," "customer care center," "casualties," "working class", "audience", "original sin". Diogenes looking for an open-minded person. Derrick Jensen. Longtime Global Warming Alarmist. Declasse Intellectual. Avec sans culottes. Urban Anchorite. Wakefulness. Longtime Global Capitalism-Ain'tWorking alarmist. Naomi Klein. Longtime pro-Democracy, pro-civil rights and pro- human rights activist/Alarmist. ***** Did the revolutionary Mae West rattle the Puritan fascist American teacups or what? ***** IS IT NOT TIME TO GET OUT OF THE RESTLESS AMNESIA OF THE NEWS CYCLE WHICH DISTRACTS FROM ONGOING, SYSTEMIC, STRUCTURAL DEFECTS OF KAPITALISM/QAPITALISM, MILITARISM, FASCISM, EMPIRE AND INDUSTRIAL HIGH TECH SURVEILLANCE/POLICE STATE CIVILIZATION***** The role of public intellectuals is to question accepted dogmas, conceive of new methods of analysis, and expand the terms of public debate. (The New Yorker) Like Thomas Piketty, when I start reading and thinking, collecting data and making observations, I have no idea where it will go. Historical Conceptualist, Not Minute Detailist (Francois Furet) A Texas Public Intellectual: Public Intellecty'all ***** Journalist/former teacher/prof. Trying to live counterculturally, limiting travel, living with less stuff, using less electricity and natural gas, Turned the TV Off in 2011... Anti-Fascist. Jeffrey St. Clair. Egalitarian. Robert Frost. Humanist. Naturalist. Earthist. Absolutely Pro-Democracy/Democracies. Afflicting the comfortable and comforting the afflicted in a civilization which comforts the comfortable and afflicts the afflicted.***** Undermining assumptions. Poet. Essayist. Photographer. Writer. George Lakoff. 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. John Michael Greer. Capitalism is in catastrophic failure as we speak. Chris Hedges. It is time to talk about ***** a Socialista alternative? a Mixed Economy alternative? *****. Gorbachev of the Soviet Union: glasnost, perestroika, democratizya and the Evil US Empire could use a big dose of all three. Richard D. Wolff. POLITICAL democracy is USELESS without ECONOMIC democracy. ***** I carry a cosmic perspective with me per Neil deGrasse Tyson. Public Intellecty'all. Ally Fogg. Authentic Journalist. Pro-Democracy Advocate. Anti-Stalinist/Fascist. bell hooks. Ralph Ellison. Human Rights Activist. GWM. Contrarian. Howard Zinn. ***** 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"Liere Keith.***** 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. People First. Democracy First. 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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. Elizabeth Kolbert. "Dr. Democracy", Return to 'The Customer Is Always Right' Capitalism Advocate. Shameless flirt. "The Ruin".*****24601***** “The sleep of reason breeds monsters.” - Francisco Goya***** The more we learn about animals, the more we learned about ourselves.***** Curtis White. 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. Henry Giroux. ***** 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 and even deranged.***** Barrington Moore. 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. Douglass Kellner. 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. ***** Chris Hedges, Rimbaud, Thomas Piketty, Rumi, Glenn Greenwald. Lewis Mumford, Richard Hofstadter, Derrick Jensen, Chris Hedges, Jesus/Yehsua and Buddha, Paul Krugman, David Foster Wallace, Henry A. Giroux, Christopher Lasch, Horkheimer and Adorno, Chris Hedges, Douglass Kellner, Max Weber, Jurgen Habermas, Jeffrey St. Clair, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, JFK, Normon Solomon, Richard Wolff, Jacques Derrida, Michel Foucault, Albert Camus, Federico Garcia Lorca, John Lennon, Bruce Springsteen, Willie Nelson, Voltaire, 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 NEWS! INDEED TURN OFF THE TV! It is the very MEDIUM of television that is so toxic, hypnotizing, and mind-numbing. Canadian theorist Marshall McLuhan, ins a time of black and white TV and only three channels said that "the medium is the message". In other words, it doesn't matter WHAT programming you watch on TV, the very MEDIUM is the REAL MESSAGE. The MEDIUM of TV is a MASS DRUG used by the capitalist and state power to turn people numb and dumb. TV is a mind transducer, keeping watchers from even thinking let alone engaging in reflection and achieving self-awareness as engaging in human interactions. What matters is if the TV is ON or if it is OFF. TURN OFF THE TV!

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