It’s a short and to-the-point Xmas message from Edward Snowden, the NSA whistleblower who is now living temporarily in Russia. It originally aired on BBC’s Channel 4.

It won’t bore you. It will, hopefully, make you think a little harder about privacy. Enjoy!

Ok, since the video is no longer available, here’s a transcript:

Edward Snowden: Hi, and Merry Christmas. I’m 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 world wide mass surveillance, watching everything we do.

… George Orwell warned us of the danger of this kind of information. The types of collection in the book – microphones and video cameras, TVs 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 will 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 surround 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.

Edward Snowden Tor

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