National Security Agency (NSA) whistleblower, Edward Snowden, discussed the collection of citizens data by government and what he describes as the “compromised” legal institutions behind it during an appearance via video link at the Web Summit technology conference in Lisbon on Monday.
While addressing the crowd, Snowden highlighted that the law, courts and people’s rights didn’t matter, because the new surveillance mechanisms had redefined and compromised some and what they meant and that nobody in a position of power tried to stop them. “The most powerful institutions in society have become the least accountable to society”, he said.
“People are frequently mad at the right people for the wrong reasons as they see this increase in predation on all of us publicly through these systems, whether we are talking governmental or corporate.”
He added, “Whether we are talking about Facebook or the NSA, that is the problem, that is the real problem. We have legalised the abuse of the person through the personal.”
Snowden has been living in self-imposed exile in Russia since 2013 following his revelations that the NSA was using various programmes to monitor the digital correspondence of hundreds of millions of internet users world-wide. In absentia, he has been charged with espionage by the US government, and faces arrest if he were to return home.
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