Quotes by: Edward Snowden
||Edward Joseph Snowden
June 21, 1983
Elizabeth City, North Carolina, U.S.
||Russia (temporary asylum)
||Booz Allen Hamilton
Kunia Camp, Hawaii, U.S.
(until June 10, 2013)
||Revealing details of classified United States government surveillance programs
||Sam Adams Award (2013)
Right Livelihood Award (2014)
Stuttgart Peace Prize (2014)
When people say, 'Why don't you face the music?' I say, 'You have to understand the music is not an open court and a fair trial.'
Suspicionless surveillance does not become okay simply because it's only victimizing 95% of the world instead of 100%.
I wanted to fight in the Iraq war because I felt like I had an obligation as a human being to help free people from oppression.
Perhaps I am naive, but I believe that at this point in history, the greatest danger to our freedom and way of life comes from the reasonable fear of omniscient State powers kept in check by nothing more than policy documents.
If an NSA, FBI, CIA, DIA, etc analyst has access to query raw SIGINT databases, they can enter and get results for anything they want. Phone number, email, user id, cell phone handset id (IMEI), and so on - it's all the same.
America is a fundamentally good country. We have good people with good values who want to do the right thing. But the structures of power that exist are working to their own ends to extend their capability at the expense of the freedom of all publics.
I care more about the country than what happens to me. But we can't allow the law to become a political weapon or agree to scare people away from standing up for their rights, no matter how good the deal. I'm not going to be part of that.
If they had taught a class on how to be the kind of citizen Dick Cheney worries about, I would have finished high school.
What does that mean for a society, for a democracy, when the people that you elect on the basis of promises can basically suborn the will of the electorate?
What the government wants is something they never had before. They want total awareness. The question is, is that something we should be allowing?
I have no intention of hiding who I am because I know I have done nothing wrong.
It's been vindicating to see the reaction from lawmakers, judges, public bodies around the world, civil liberties activists who have said it's true that we have a right to at least know the broad outlines of what our government's doing in our name and what it's doing against us.
I will be satisfied if the federation of secret law, unequal pardon and irresistible executive powers that rule the world that I love are revealed even for an instant.
We're losing our way as a society. If we don't stand up, if we don't say what we think those rights should be, and if we don't protect them, we will very soon find out that we do not have them.
No one would argue that it's in the United States' interest to have independent knowledge of the plans and intentions of foreign countries. But we need to think about where to draw the line on these kind of operations so we're not always attacking our allies, the people we trust, the people we need to rely on, and to have them in turn rely on us.
For me, in terms of personal satisfaction, the mission's already accomplished. I already won. As soon as the journalists were able to work, everything that I had been trying to do was validated. Because, remember, I didn't want to change society. I wanted to give society a chance to determine if it should change itself.
After 9/11, many of the most important news outlets in America abdicated their role as a check to power - the journalistic responsibility to challenge the excesses of government - for fear of being seen as unpatriotic and punished in the market during a period of heightened nationalism.
A lot of people in 2008 voted for Obama. I did not vote for him. I voted for a third party. But I believed in Obama's promises.
I do not want to live in a world where everything I do and say is recorded. That is not something I am willing to support or live under.
The public interest is not always the same as the national interest. Going to war with people who are not our enemy in places that are not a threat doesn't make us safe, and that applies whether it's in Iraq or on the Internet. The Internet is not the enemy. Our economy is not the enemy.
It may be that by watching everywhere we go, by watching everything we do, by analyzing every word we say, by waiting and passing judgment over every association we make and every person we love, that we could uncover a terrorist plot, or we could discover more criminals. But is that the kind of society we want to live in?