On Monday, Wired Magazine published transcripts of emails Edward Snowden sent to Laura Poitras in the days leading up to the release of documents chronicling the extent of NSA spying.
The emails serve as narrative to a documentary film Poitras produced detailing her meetings with Snowden and Glenn Greenwald.
At the time, Poitras only knew Snowden as Citizenfour. The emails’ cloak-and-dagger nature makes for a perfect spy-thriller movie script. But they also contain some details on NSA spying that should send chills up and down the spine of anybody concerned with privacy and civil liberties.
We are building the greatest weapon for oppression in the history of man, yet its directors exempt themselves from accountability. NSA director Keith Alexander lied to congress, which I can prove.
Billions of US communications are being intercepted. To gather evidence of wrongdoing, I focused on the wronging of the American people. But believe me when I say that the surveillance we live under is the highest privilege compared to how we treat the rest of the world.
Even with all of the revelations over the past year, it seems like most American view the NSA and the U.S. surveillance-state as basically legitimate and necessary, perhaps with a few problems, but nothing a few congressional reforms can’t fix.
Clearly, we live within a much different reality.
The NSA makes up one part of a vast surveillance-apparatus that operates with little or no oversight and spies on virtually everybody in the world. Nearly 40 years ago, Sen. Frank Church warned that the surveillance-state could lead to total tyranny. Almost four decades later, nothing has changed. In fact, things have grown much worse with the advance of technology.
Think about it – “the greatest weapon for oppression in the history of man.”
And yet some people think trying to turn off the water at an NSA facility goes too far.