I'm gad he got out when he did because I can only imagine he would have a complete meltdown if he found out the UK have just passed the Investigatory Powers Bill which gives the government unrestricted authority to monitor its citizens.
Edward Snowden has somewhat become the Messiah for people like BadgerMan and anyone who fears this level of surveillance is undemocratic and too powerful to leave in the hands of mortal men and power corrupt governments.
Snowden once warned how dangerous this level of data surveillance is, with the emphasis being on how an innocent individual can be manipulated in the future, or how a prosecuting government can use such large levels of data to paint whatever kind of picture they need to convict a potential radical who challenges government authority:
“Even if you’re not doing anything wrong, you’re being watched and recorded. And the storage capability of these systems increases every year consistently, by orders of magnitude, to where it’s getting to the point you don’t have to have done anything wrong. You simply have to eventually fall under suspicion from somebody, even by a wrong call, and then they can use the system to go back in time and scrutinize every decision you’ve ever made, every friend you’ve ever discussed something with, and attack you on that basis, to sort of derive suspicion from an innocent life and paint anyone in the context of a wrongdoer.”
Reaction to the UK’s IP Bill has been quiet in mainstream media and with companies like Google and Facebook looking to crack down on ‘Fake News’ websites it’s not guaranteed you’ll find counter information freely available on the internet for anyone speaking out about government surveillance in the future.
But for now here’s some of the internet's finest backlash to the bill:
"Under the guise of counter-terrorism, the state has achieved totalitarian-style surveillance powers –- the most intrusive system of any democracy in human history.” Bella Sankey policy director of Liberty
“There seems to be mass acceptance both in the UK and around the world that continuous bulk surveillance is simply becoming a fact of life. It needn’t. And with a creeping move towards authoritarianism around the world, fighting back is more imperative than ever. Once granted, sweeping powers such as this are rarely rescinded. And whether or not you like your present leaders, the fact is that you could, actually, have a lot worse – and maybe one day will.” @EmmaWoollacott
“Some still try to claim mass surveillance is about counter-terrorism. But if you look at the targets, you'll find the truth is darker” @Snowden Edward Snowden
“Once the databases holding ICRs are created, it is only a matter of time before some of them fall victim to one of the many threats that will see intimate details of people's online lives exposed to the world, with possibly serious consequences for the individuals concerned.” @glynmoody Glyn Moody, Contributing Policy Editor at Ars Technica. He has been writing about the Internet and digital rights for over 20 years.
“The UK has just legalized the most extreme surveillance in the history of western democracy. It goes farther than many autocracies”. @Snowden
"It can be necessary and proportionate to have targeted surveillance and what I am saying is that there's not yet any evidence which convinces me that it is necessary and proportionate to have mass surveillance” Joseph Cannataci, the UN's special rapporteur on privacy.
“The Party seeks power entirely for its own sake. We are not interested in the good of others; we are interested solely in power, pure power.” 1984 – George Orwell
“Our rights matter because you never know when you’ll need them. In democratic societies around the world, people should be able to pick up the phone, call family, send text messages to loved one, travel by train, buy an airline ticket — without wondering how those events will look to an agent of government, possibly not even your government but one years in the future. How might this be misinterpreted? We have a right to privacy. We require warrants to be based on probable causes. Trusting any government authority with the entirety of human communications without any oversight is too great a temptation to be ignored.” Edward Snowden
“If living unfreely but comfortably is something you’re willing to accept, and I think many of us are, it’s the human nature, you can get up every day, you can go to work, you can collect your large paycheck for relatively little work against the public interest, and go to sleep at night after watching your shows. But if you realize that’s the world that you helped create, and it’s going to get worse with the next generation, and the next generation, who extend the capabilities of this sort of architecture of oppression, you realize that you might be willing to accept any risk, and it doesn’t matter what the outcome is, so long as the public gets to make their own decisions about how that’s applied.” Edward Snowden
Picture by Banksy