Fugitive National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden has given a shocking "alternative" Christmas Day message
in which he demanded an end to "mass surveillance" of Americans.
On a video released to Britain's Channel 4, Politico reported that Snowden said Americans had recently learned that the government has "created a system of world-wide mass surveillance, watching everything we do."
He went on, “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.”
Wearing a black jacket and pink button-down shirt, the self-proclaimed whistleblower said that George Orwell's classic book "1984" warned of the type of surveillance carried out by NSA, which has spied on millions of Americans by collecting mass phone data.
"Great Britain's George Orwell warned us of the danger of this kind of information," he said. "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."
Snowden made his controversial comments on Channel 4's "Alternative Christmas Message" program, which is the station's alternative to Queen Elizabeth II's Christmas Day message to Britain. He follows in the footsteps of such luminaries as Ali G and Sharon Osbourne, who have also given the Christmas Day messages on Channel 4, according to the Daily Mail.
The former NSA contractor also warned on his video, "A child born today 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."
Snowden, who has leaked tens of thousands of pages of secret NSA documents, is currently in Russia, where he's been given temporary asylum after fleeing the United States.
Earlier this month he gave a 14-hour interview to the Washington Post in which he claimed that his "mission's already accomplished"
because his mass leaking of classified material has caused a reassessment of U.S. surveillance policies.
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