Privacy takes center stage at an event that took place at the university of Arizona, where Chompsky and Greenwald were present with a moderator and Snowden video chatting from a secure location. The discussion begin by considering the notion that people have that internet privacy is an inconsequential notion if you have nothing to hide, then you do not need to be concerned with the probing of potential internet pariah.
Snowden took particular exception to this arguing that Privacy is itself the fountainhead of all rights. Snowden Said in this Friday discussion, A conversation on that “Privacy is the right to a free mind… without Privacy you can’t have anything for yourself. Saying you don’t care about privacy because you have nothing to hide is like saying you don’t care about free speech because you have nothing to say.”
Snowden is a controversial figure but is important in this regard, because when he speaks others, listen and many of the industries elite at that. Snowden’s status is still very tense given that the former NSA subcontractor has not yet stepped foot in America since his release of many sensitive US documents, and has remained in a undisclosed location in Russia since 2013 where they offered him political asylum status. The charges against him are in violation of the espionage act by the U.S department of Justice so he could be in a really bad place if they ever get a chance to try him.
Chompsky’s stance that “the internet was intended by early design to be a free and open means of communication, in the hop that it would widen horizons and contribute to a healthy society.” He goes on to note that Technology is basically neutral. You can use it to oppress or to liberate its up to us.”
Greenwald added that “making things a lot more difficult for those who wield the greatest power.” as we know this is very reminiscent of Edward Snowdens own submission of why he found it so necessary to release the documents that he did, the way that he did. It was an attempt to preserve the very soul of the U.S. Democratic system. This is not the first such occasion for Edward Snowden.
There was some a very real talking point in this regard when they considered Apple and the FBI’s famous current stand off. “the best evidence is the behavior change of the Silicon Valley companies.. What changed is their fear that if they were perceived as collaborators of the NSA they would lose the next generation of consumers. They know their self interest. They’re not suddenly privacy activists.” This is a kind of trade off between a false dichotomy he believes, that is security vs privacy. Snowden thinks that the government goal is to collect everything. it loses the focus required in matters of legitimate national security because they simply have more than they know what to do with. It will be interesting to see where this discussion goes in the coming months and even weeks, but we can rest assured that whatever Snowden says will get some attention.