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

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We should really be paying much more attention to Edward Snowden, about how our networked world actually works and the direction in which it is taking each one of us who has the know-how to turn on a computer or swipe a smartphone

We should really be paying much more attention to Edward Snowden, about how our networked world actually works and the direction in which it is taking each one of us who has the know-how to turn on a computer or swipe a smartphone

AP

US whistleblower Edward Snowden exposed details of major data-harvesting operations by government listening post GCHQ

US whistleblower Edward Snowden exposed details of major data-harvesting operations by government listening post GCHQ

Prism allowed the US government to seize actual conversations in emails, video chats, instant messages and more

Prism allowed the US government to seize actual conversations in emails, video chats, instant messages and more

PA Archive/Press Association Images

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We should really be paying much more attention to Edward Snowden, about how our networked world actually works and the direction in which it is taking each one of us who has the know-how to turn on a computer or swipe a smartphone

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.

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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

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Jacob Applebaum: To protect and infect


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