Belfast Telegraph

UK Website Of The Year

Edward Snowden: NSA still collecting everybody's information including your d**k pics

BY JENN SELBY

Edward Snowden is famed for leaking classified documents while he worked as an NSA contractor in 2013.

The files he exposed revealed mass US government surveillance programs, and meant he had to flee the country to seek refuge in Russia to avoid being prosecuted.

Yet many of the US public don’t understand what ‘bulk government surveillance’ actually means – or how it could affect them in their daily lives.

So Last Week Tonight host John Oliver asked his special guest, Snowden, to explain it to them using a metaphor they’d all understand – the concept that intelligence officers could be intercepting private naked images taken on their phones. Or “d**k pics”, as they're more widely known.

“The good news is that there's no program named the 'd**k pic' program. The bad news... they are still collecting everybody's information, including your d**k pics,” Snowden said.

“If you have your email somewhere like Gmail hosted on a server overseas or transferred overseas or anytime it crosses outside the borders of the United States, your junk ends up in the database.”

He went on to discuss the PRISM program, which is how the government “pull your junk out of Google, with Google's involvement”. It also collects data from Facebook, Apple and other big companies.

However, Snowden was adamant that Americans shouldn’t stop sharing private information “because of a government agency somewhere that’s doing the wrong thing”.

“If you sacrifice your values because you're afraid, you don't care about those values very much.”

Further reading

'Prosecute spies who abuse powers'

GCHQ mass internet surveillance was unlawful, secret court rules

GCHQ given access to US 'Dishfire' system that reads hundreds of millions of text messages from around the world, according to NSA documents leaked by Edward Snowden

Wikipedia's Jimmy Wales: Edward Snowden is a hero

NSA spied on pornography use and ‘online promiscuity’ as part of plan to discredit those with radical views, according to leaked documents

Spy culture 'out of control' - peer

GCHQ ran hotel surveillance ring to spy on diplomats and delegations

NSA can spy on computers not connected to internet using radio waves 

GCHQ set up fake LinkedIn pages to spy on mobile phone giants using using 'Quantum Insert' technique

Google engineers on NSA and GCHQ surveillance: "F*** these guys"

Britain’s GCHQ has ‘secret listening post in the heart of Berlin to eavesdrop on the seat of German power'

Civil liberties groups claim British spy agency GCHQ broke European laws by hacking millions of citizens’ internet data

UK has secret Middle-East web surveillance base collecting emails, phone calls and web traffic

It’s a disgrace that police detained David Miranda

US National Security Agency 'broke privacy rules thousands of times each year'

Intelligence agencies 'ban use of Lenovo computers' over spying fears

Verax: Amateur film-makers make first Edward Snowden movie

MIT Media Lab's 'Immersion' project reveals the power of metadata: uses individuals' Google Gmail metadata to create accurate maps of personal relationships

Jacob Applebaum: To protect and infect

Online Editors