In the UK the Queen appears every year on BBC television on Christmas Day to deliver a ‘Christmas message’. Rival free-to-air TV station Channel 4 has over the last few years screened an ‘Alternative Christmas message, which this year was delivered by our favorite NSA whistle-blowing hero, Mr Edward Snowden.
There are reports of videos of the message disappearing from YouTube and elsewhere, so here is the full text as delivered by Mr Snowden.
“Hi. And Merry Christmas. I am honored to have a chance to speak with you and your family this year.
Recently, we learned that our governments, working in concert, have created a system of worldwide mass surveillance, watching everything we do.
Great Britain’s George Orwell warned us of the danger of this kind of information. The types of collection in the book – microphones and video cameras, TV’s that watch us – are nothing compared to what we have available today. We have sensors in our pockets that track us everywhere we go.
Think about what this means for the privacy of the average person. A child born today will grow up with no conception of privacy at all. They’ll never know what it means to have a private moment to themselves – an unrecorded, unanalyzed thought. And that’s a problem, because privacy matters.
Privacy is what allows us to determine who we are and who we want to be.
The conversation occurring today will determine the amount of trust we can place both in the technology that surrounds us and the government that regulates it.
Together, we can find a better balance. End mass surveillance. And remind the government that if it really wants to know how we feel, asking is always cheaper than spying.
For everyone out there listening, thank you, and Merry Christmas.”
And thank you Mr Snowden for your bravery and the service you have done mankind! We at BestVPN wish you a very happy New Year, and hope very much that 2014 works out for you, despite all your troubles.