On the off chance that the NSA was taking an eggnog break from listening to you rip open your Christmas gifts, Edward Snowden has a new Christmas message out. And it's not exactly chock full of rainbows and unicorns, notes Politico. Speaking in a YouTube video with British Channel 4, which has a somewhat vaunted history of broadcasting similar "alternate" Christmas messages, Snowden laments the current "system of world-wide mass surveillance." A couple of highlights:
- On kids today: "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."
- On George Orwell's '1984:' "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."
- On what's next: "Together we can find a better balance. End mass surveillance. Remind the government that if it really wants to know how we feel asking is always cheaper than spying."
Click for more on Snowden's "mission accomplished" interview