Edward Snowden: ‘Not all spying is bad’

January 23

(The Guardian)

Everyone spies. That's one argument that defenders of the White House have repeatedly used to defend the NSA's surveillance programs. And on Thursday, former contractor Edward Snowden agreed.

"Not all spying is bad," Snowden acknowledged in a live chat on the Web site freesnowden.is. But the international fugitive pivoted quickly, arguing that surveillance conducted in bulk, without the public's consent, was a "global problem."

"The biggest problem we face right now is the new technique of indiscriminate mass surveillance, where governments are seizing billions and billions and billions of innocents’ communication every single day," Snowden said. "This is done not because it’s necessary ... but because new technologies make it easy and cheap."

What was originally scheduled as a one-hour session is now going into overtime as Snowden continues to answer questions sourced from the hashtag #AskSnowden.

Update, 4:58 p.m. Eastern: Snowden's now wrapped up his livechat.

Brian Fung covers technology for The Washington Post, focusing on telecom, broadband and digital politics. Before joining the Post, he was the technology correspondent for National Journal and an associate editor at the Atlantic.
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Brian Fung · January 23