NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden speaks to VICE co-founder Shane Smith about the long-term consequences of the emergency powers being given to governments in response to the coronavirus pandemic.
Snowden is the first guest in the new documentary series about the coronavirus outbreak “Shelter in Place” series, debuting on VICE TV on Thursday at 10 p.m. EST.
EDWARD SNOWDEN: As authoritarianism spreads, as emergency laws proliferate, as we sacrifice our rights, we also sacrifice our capability to arrest the slide into a less liberal and less free world.
Do you truly believe that when the first wave, this second wave, the 16th wave of the coronavirus is a long-forgotten memory, that these capabilities will not be kept? That these datasets will not be kept?
Will those capabilities begin to be applied to small-time criminality, for political analysis, for doing things like performing a census, political polling.
No matter how it is being used, what is being built is the architecture of oppression. And you might trust who is dealing with it today. You might trust who runs it. You don't care about Mark Zuckerberg.
But someone else will have this data eventually, some other country. In your country, a different president will have this data eventually. And someone will abuse it.