Edward Snowden's Christmas broadcast

Available now from ‘select’ sources, UK terrestrial tv at 4:15pm, or on the 4OD player shortly after. Also, here are a couple of links which may or may not be region-locked :


The background to this is that each Christmas Day the Queen broadcasts a message, and Channel Four broadcast an alternative message - this year it’s Snowden from Moscow in a short piece lasting under two minutes. The basic text:

Having seen it … it’s just a piece to camera with rather poor sound quality, but at least he’s getting a chance to speak… you may or may not be interested. As he says ‘Merry Christmas’ :slight_smile:

Apparently suggestions he will appear on the next season of Dancing With The Stars have been greatly exaggerated … the only item currently on his scedule is Jeopardy!

/boom boom

Because if there’s anything Snowden hasn’t done yet, it’s speak, right?

Snowden’s fifteen minutes of fame are up. He’ll fade away into obscurity until about 30 years from now, when he’ll resurface begging forgiveness and requesting that he be allowed to return to the USA.

c’mon, the people of the US are in a worse position than East Germans were under the STASI- and you want to diss the guy that eventually made you aware of that …

How many of your relatives have been arrested for making anti-Obama statements over Thanksgiving dinner? When was the last time you caught the police drilling a hole in your bedroom wall so they could insert a tiny camera? Which of your coworkers is the watchdog whose job it is to inform on anyone engaged in unacceptable speech? How many publishers has the government shut down lately for writing about homosexuality or describing Americans as uncivilized? When was the last time the cops broke into your house and rooted through your drawers when you were at work, slashed your tires, or mailed dirty pictures of you to your friends? Do you know of anyone who’s been thrown in a work camp for planning a vacation abroad? Have any of your neighbors been disappeared for watching foreign TV programs?

I thought as much.

Only someone who’d never lived in a totalitarian state could say something so jaw-dropingly stupid and insulting.

You’re really okay with what the NSA is doing Smapti? You are way more trusting than I am. No one government agency should have this much power especially without strict oversight, which there doesn’t appear to be much of. Secret courts with no advocate for the people to contest any rubber stamp ruling, that’s one of the reasons the founding fathers left England in the first place to get away from that crap. Your cell phone, hell even your car if it’s a newer model updating your location every minute and transmitting that data to anyone who might be interested or possibly being sold to the highest bidder because some guy at the NSA has rung up a 200,000 gambling debt at Harrah’s and desperately needs the money or maybe he has a cheating wife and would love to get some pay back on her and her lover and maybe anyone who vaguely looks like her or him.

If you happen to have an older model car and no cell phone, no problem! License plate readers which are getting more prevalent by the day at intersections will take care of that. Maybe flagging message boards like this one would seem like a swell idea because people who might have really strong opinions about the president and government in general could be a potential TERRORISTS tm All of the sudden the IRS is making your life a living hell. Or you come home one day and notice that some things aren’t quite where you left them.

You happen to like midget porn on the internet, why is that any God damn business of anyone in government?

I am also eagerly awaiting the upcoming invasion of the drones. It won’t just be the larger government agencies or police departments monitoring rush hour traffic or chasing down a getaway car after a robbery that will have them.You see, when Billy Bob of the local podunk police department learns that Slim over in Hooterville has himself a drone, well he’s gotta have one too.
To all of the people who say things such as ‘I don’t have anything to hide so I don’t care’. That’s not the point!
This is just off the top of my head, there is plenty more but I feel my blood pressure rising. Paranoia? I don’t think so.

Oops! I just noticed that this in Cafe Society. Please feel free to move it elsewhere more appropriate or delete it moderators. I’m sure there might be a thread about this in the Pit where it could fit in better.
Sorry I get worked up over this.

I don’t believe I’ve ever said I was “OK” with it. I said your comparison to East Germany was woefully inaccurate. To the extent that I have an opinion of the NSA’s programs, it’s this; they were constructed in accordance with the law as it existed at the time, the government has the legal authority to keep things such as these classified, and Snowden is a criminal and a traitor for deciding on his own that some things which are classified oughtn’t be. That’s not necessarily an endorsement of the program itself.

This is a paranoid fantasy with no basis in anything that Snowden has actually revealed.

Cite for this happening to anyone in this country at any time in recent history?

I fail to see why anyone in government would care about the porn I watch unless I was engaged in kiddy porn.

If “Slim over in Hooterville” was able to get a permit from the FAA, then more power to him, or are you suddenly opposed to people having the right to do what they want without government intrusion?

You want to argue that the US is some kind of oppressive police state? Spend a few years living in North Korea, or Saudi Arabia, or Russia (like your hero and champion of freedom from government oppression), or even Israel, and then try to say that the NSA’s sigint program is in any way comparable.

I think Snowden is ultimately doing the right thing, and I think the US has gone overboard on spying, and I think comparisons to East Germany are not the stupidest comparisons in the history of stupid comparisons, but it’s that last belief that I’m least sure of.

You can’t be that out of touch and “jaw-dropingly stupid” not to know it’s not my comparison but Angela Merkel’s. And also that she grew up in East Germany:

Ah. She said, “This [your spying program] is like the Stasi.” IOW, your massive program to spy on your own people is like East Germany’s massive program to spy on its own people.

You said, “the people of the US are in a worse position than East Germans were under the STASI.” IOW, the results of being under the NSA’s spying are worse than the results of being under the STASI’s spying.

Perhaps, if you breathe deep and set your ego aside, you’ll see the GIANT FRICKIN DIFFERENCE.

Right: “You’re spying is like the STASI”.

…which still isn’t accurate. Per the Wiki article, 1 in every 40 East Germans was a Stasi informant, and their program included planting watchdogs in factories to listen for politically incorrect talk in the breakroom, putting spies in apartment buildings to monitor who visited what apartments, interning tens of thousands in work camps for having contact with foreigners, and breaking into people’s houses and screwing around with the décor in an attempt to drive them insane.

Collecting phone and email metadata doesn’t even come close to the level of monitoring that the Stasi was engaged in.

You really seem to have no idea of the level of intrusion into your life the Gov has. I mean this quite seriously, not to score a point on a message board - in terms of what it monitors, collects and knows about you, the NSA makes the STASI look like schoolboy amatuers.

First of all, I didn’t insult you so I’m not sure why you’re insulting me.

Calling someone’s argument stupid is hardly the same thing.

Secondly, that’s not what Merkel actually said.

What you said was as foolish as comparing Allan Bakke to Rosa Parks.

Repeating an ill informed opinion doesn’t make it fact.

Reasonable people can criticize the activities of the NSA without drawing absurd comparisons.

What you’re doing is like comparing Allan Bakke to James Meredith.

That’s what we’re objecting to.

I’d recommend just admitting you made a horrible comparison and start over.

The NSA doesn’t know what I talked about over Christmas dinner with my mother and sister and her family today.

The Stasi would.


Israel doesn’t mess with its citizens’ lives at a fraction of the level that the American government does. In fact, the prevailing opinion here is that you guys are utterly insane.

It does help when you have the liberty of deciding that several million natives/permanent residents of your territory don’t actually count as citizens.