Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Edward Snowden & John Oliver Talk Surveillance & Communication




"I guess I never thought about
putting it in the context of your junk."

Edward Snowden


A bit slow on the uptake. But, on 5 April 2015, Last Week Tonight With John Oliver was devoted to the issue of government surveillance. The episode includes Mr Oliver's interview with Edward Snowden, the former NSA contractor Edward Snowden whose leaked a huge trove of government documents to journalists Barton Gellman, Glenn Greenwald and Laura Poitras.

The interview starts at approximately 13:40.

The interview is worth watching for two reasons:

First, Mr Oliver is a fine interviewer who challenges Mr Snowden on, among other things, handing over data to persons (reporters) whose technical capacity does not match Mr Snowden's.

Second, Mr Oliver not only demonstrates that Americans have a...let's call it limited understanding of who Mr Snowden is and what he did. Mr Oliver suggests a useful way one might have thought to communicate the data to Americans to increase understanding and concern.