World famous whistleblower Edward Snowden says American society gradually changed the temper justice with mercy after he revealed top-secret documents about global surveillance of spy agencies in the USA and the UK.
In an exclusive two-hour interview, timed to the release of his book of memoirs, “to Keep forever” (Permanent Record), Snowden noted that the dire predictions that his revelations would harm the world, not only not true, but even former foes admitted that the world through him became a “better and freer”.
To book Snowden for the first time spoke in detail about his past, confessing that pushed him into the path of a whistleblower and reveal a secret program the national security Agency U.S. (NSA) and British GCHQ.
Those 18 years that have passed after the September 11 attacks, he called “a chronicle of the collapse of the US with their self-destructive and rampant secret police, secret laws, courts, and invisible invisible wars”.
In addition, Snowden said: “the greatest danger is still ahead, because the possibility of artificial intelligence for facial recognition and imagery is constantly improving.”
“The surveillance camera is equipped with AI, will cease to be a recording device, and will become something like COP’s-gun”.
He’s worried that the US and other governments are trying to help major Internet companies to keep a constant surveillance of the inhabitants of the Earth, documenting their daily life in detail.
Snowden, six years ago, he did the right thing. He said he accepted that the coming years he will spend in Russia — and plans to move on.
Two years ago, they with his girlfriend Lindsay mills (Lindsay Millс) secretly married in the Russian registry office.
Although he would he chose to settle in the United States or perhaps in Germany, but in Russia it is quiet, here he even lived more or less normal life. It is not as bad as in 2013, when he was here for the first time. He was lonely and tormented by isolation and paranoia that his trail are American agents.
“To be honest, I was the same person that wanted the most powerful government in the world. They didn’t care about to prison I’ll go or just bury in the ground — if only I disappeared,” says Snowden.
He stopped wearing for camouflage scarves, hats and coats and is now freely walking the streets, riding the subway, going to exhibitions and the ballet, and even sitting with friends in cafes and restaurants.
The book “Keep forever” comes out Wednesday in more than 20 countries. In it, Snowden talks about the events that made him, operatives of the NSA and the CIA, to go to Hong Kong and transfer to the journalists of “the guardian” a packet of secret documents.
Documents shed light on the extent of mass surveillance in the United States, Britain and their allied countries. He is on the list of most wanted criminals USA. If he’s detained, he faces several decades in prison.
The us government threatened to seize the royalties from the book, however impressive the money on account of Snowden.
Usually Snowden to discuss personal life is not inclined, but in interviews and in his memoirs he first lifted the veil of secrecy from his own life in Moscow and even called mills “the love of my life.”
The polls conducted in the USA in 2013, showed that the society is split about half: some consider him a traitor, others a hero.
“Curious: it’s been six years and the controversy around my person began to gradually subside,” says Snowden.
Even those who personally can’t stand, is now ready to admit that thanks to the revelations of mass surveillance the world has become “better, freer and safer,” he says.
One presidential candidate from the Democrats, Bernie Sanders (Bernie Sanders), said that seeking a resolution that will put an end to the eternal exile of Snowden. The other, Ms. Gabbard, Tulsi (Tulsi Gabbard), and all promised to pardon him.
Fears that President Vladimir Putin is giving Snowden a gift to Donald Trump, vanished with the deterioration of Russian-American relations.
Snowden says he is, that for Russia it is a useful gimmick.
“A country whose political passions are legendary, and whose problems with human rights we hear every day, somehow got on his reputation as a bright spot. Why they voluntarily abandon it?”
He was going to call the memoir a “New eternity” or “Welcome to eternity”, but chose to “Keep forever”. The name reflects its concerns about the habits of public and private companies store personal data.
“We live in a society where each of us absolutely goal before the authorities.”
To stop it, he needs to change the law and make wider use of end-to-end encryption to protect e-mails and other communications. But one that increasingly rapid technological progress and increasingly serious invasion of privacy will not stop, he said, calling for international protests — like those that are now turned against the climate change.
“If you want change, be prepared to fight for them, he says. — I hope my book will help people to decide and make the right conclusions.”
36-year-old Snowden is living in a one bedroom apartment on the outskirts of Moscow. Earns a living lecturing to students and human rights activists and videoconferecing.
Immediately upon arrival, he was granted temporary asylum. Now he already has a residence permit, is something like the American “green card”. Every three years it is necessary to extend, but he says it’s a formality.
He flew from Hong Kong with transfers in Moscow and Cuba, hoping to obtain asylum in Ecuador, but the United States revoked his passport and he was stuck in Russia.
He loves to travel. Even in the current situation he has already visited different cities from St. Petersburg to the black sea resort of Sochi.
“For all the political problems of the Russian government, many people forget that this is one of the most beautiful countries in the world. There are very friendly people, heartily welcomed, he says. — When I first got here, I knew nothing. I was scared, I landed in the citadel of the enemy, and any agent of the CIA in Russia only looks like that.”
Previously, he would not speak about Russia so openly — for fear of how it looks at home in the United States.
We met in the apartment (not his) on Tsvetnoy Boulevard is in the city centre. A minute’s walk from the nearest Starbucks, next to “Krispy Kreme”. Snowden is a fan of fast food. Americans, he says, did not understand that in Russia there are all the same as in America. Except that Taco bell (a chain of fast food restaurants with Tex-Mex kitchen — approx. edition of the new York times), with sadness in his voice he adds.
Throughout history, banishment meant isolation from society, “a fate worse than death”. Now everything has changed, he says. He can communicate with students from new York on the Internet, and after a couple of hours to arrange the same conference with Germany.
He calls himself “an indoor cat”, adding that it is a conscious choice. He likes to sit at the computer until late at night, talking to activists and supporters. The reason for that time difference. For example, last night he fell asleep at six in the morning. With the current routine he is accustomed to sleep late.
In the book “Keep forever” he remembers how they met with mills on Dating site “and not very nice”. He was 22. There all posted their photo and put each other’s papers. He gave her ten out of ten. She told him eight.
When he was seven years later going to fly to Hong Kong, he decided to dedicate it to his plans to become a whistleblower in order not to make her partner. He is ashamed that he made her worry.
One of the surprises that he gave in his memoirs, is clippings of her diaries, as is, without editorial changes. She, not choosing expressions, angry, where it zapropastilsya, and even trying, so if he had made any a mistress.
When his search left the police with the FBI, an inspector suspected her. “He stared at me as if I killed ed. The whole house was ransacked in search of a corpse”.
So when she rang the doorbell of an apartment in Moscow Snowden, he had already prepared myself that he’ll hit. But she said she loves him, and that he did the right thing.
In the book, Snowden recalls his childhood, how he got interested in computers and went crazy for toys like “Legend of Zelda” (the Legend of Zelda) and “Super Mario Brothers” (Super Mario Brothers). As a teenager he broke into nuclear facility and reported on its vulnerability to the authorities. An official from the nuclear lab at Los Alamos, where did the first atomic bomb, even called his mother with thanks.
“Keep forever” is one of the most detailed stories of what it’s like to serve in the intelligence of the XXI century. “The James Bonds here and does not smell.” Snowden says that the NSA are reluctant to take people to the state, preferring employees on the contract. He worked for many years with brestanica.
In spy school teachers gave him the nickname Count. Nothing exotic, hastily explains he is after a character in “sesame Street” — all decided he like him with his quirks.
He was there a moment when he picked up and decided all to become a whistleblower. Once he attended a conference on the extent of Chinese spying on its own citizens. After that, his stomach sucked in: if China does so, what prevents US? He searched until he found the proof.
In the Oliver stone movie 2016 “Snowden” shows how he steals documents from the NSA, hiding a flash drive the size of a small stamp on the Rubik’s cube. Snowden did not confirm nor deny, knowing that he is still a trial. “Rubik’s cube is a very useful thing. It is convenient to divert attention, and a stash of good”.
He remembered how his plans almost went out the window. He kept the papers on the decommissioned computer and carried him down the corridor. “I stopped with the computer in hand, and the chief asks: “what are You doing?”. I look him in the eye and say: “Oh, stealing state secrets””. I laughed. But actually he did not lie.
Edward Snowden — chronicle of events
June 21, 1983. Edward Joseph Snowden was born in Elizabeth city, North Carolina
2006-2013. Works in the CIA, then freelancer “Dell” (Dell) and “Booz Allen Hamilton” (Booz Allen Hamilton). Snowden worked for several years on projects of the national security Agency of the United States in the field of cybersecurity.
May 20, 2013. Snowden arrives in Hong Kong, where in a few days, met with reporters of the guardian and reveals secret documents, which were collected several years.
5 Jun 2013. The guardian reports on the “Snowden leaks”, noting that the NSA stores data on phone calls of millions of Americans, the Agency’s program “prism” (Prism) had access to the data stored at Google, Facebook, Apple and other companies.
June 7, 2013. President Barack Obama defends the programmes, stressing that everything is under control of the courts and Congress.
9 Jun 2013. Snowden was the first time in public as the source of the leaks.
Jun 16, 2013. Appear revelatory data for the UK. It is reported that the GCHQ has intercepted communications of foreign politicians during the summit of “Big twenty” in London in 2009. In addition, the British spy Agency was tracking the data coming via fiber-optic cables.
Jun 21, 2013. The USA claims Snowden charged with espionage and demand that Hong Kong have detained him and sent home.
Jun 23, 2013. Snowden flies from Hong Kong to Moscow. The Hong Kong authorities referred to the fact that the United States incorrectly stated in the arrest warrant for Snowden’s middle name, which to prevent the departure, they could not.
July 1, 2013. Russia reports that Snowden has applied for asylum. Snowden States that seeking asylum in several South American countries. In the end his request responds Ecuador, Nicaragua, Bolivia and Venezuela.
July 3, 2013. Bolivian President Evo Morales forced to land in Vienna on the way from Moscow. European countries would not let him in their airspace, suspecting Snowden on Board. The plane searched for 12 hours.
August 1, 2013. Having lived a whole month at the airport, Snowden gets asylum in Russia.
Aug 21, 2013. “The guardian” reports that the order came from the government to destroy computers with documents Snowden.
December 2013. Snowden took the second place in the competition for the title of “Man of the year”, losing to Pope Francis, and performed at the channel 4 “alternative Christmas message”.
May 2015. NSA stops collecting bulk data on phone calls in the US, which Snowden exposed.
December 2016. Oliver stone (Oliver Stone) produces a film “Snowden” with the participation of Joseph Gordon-Levitt (Joseph Gordon-Levitt), Melissa Leo (Melissa Leo), Tom Wilkinson (Tom Wilkinson), Zachary Quinto (Zachary Quinto). In a cameo as himself removed the former editor of the guardian Alan Rusbridger (Alan Rusbridger).
January 2017. The residence permit for Snowden in Russia extended for another three years.
June 2018. Snowden says he has no regrets: “the Government and the corporate sector are cashing in on our ignorance. But now we know. People know. To stop this we are still powerless, but at least we’re trying”.
March 2019. Rodel Vanessa (Vanessa Rodel), which sheltered Snowden in Hong Kong, was granted asylum in Canada.
The September 2019. Snowden is living at an unknown address in Moscow, preparing to publish his memoirs.
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