For the first time in months, the National Security Agency whistleblower Edward Snowden has appeared on video speaking in Moscow. He warned about “dragnet mass surveillance that puts entire populations under sort of an eye that sees everything even when it’s not needed.” Snowden’s remarks were made after four American whistleblowers traveled to Russia to give him the Integrity Award from the Sam Adams Associates for Integrity in Intelligence.
AMY GOODMAN: Today, in a Democracy Now! special, we spend the hour with four former U.S. intelligence officials—all whistleblowers themselves—who have just returned from visiting National Security Agency whistleblower Edward Snowden in Russia. They are former CIA analyst Ray McGovern, former FBI agent Coleen Rowley, former National Security Agency senior executive Thomas Drake and his lawyer, former U.S. Justice Department ethics adviser Jesselyn Radack.
EDWARD SNOWDEN: These programs don’t make us more safe. They hurt our economy. They hurt our country. They limit our ability to speak and think and to live and be creative, to have relationships, to associate freely. And they’re going—this doesn’t make us more safe; it makes us less safe, puts us at risk of coming into conflict with our own government. And there’s a far cry between legal programs, legitimate spying, legitimate law enforcement, where it’s targeted, it’s based on reasonable suspicion and individualized suspicion and warranted action, and sort of dragnet mass surveillance that puts entire populations under sort of an eye that sees everything, even when it’s not needed.