Yesterday, with much of the world rendered especially docile by large quantities of food, presents, and big-budget movies, Edward Snowden delivered an “alternative Christmas message” on the U.K.’s Channel 4. (The annual spot is intended to be a response to the queen’s more conventional holiday greeting.) In the short, unfestive video, Snowden again reminds the public of the NSA and British GCHQ’s efforts to spy on pretty much everybody. “Recently we learned that our governments, working in concert, have created a worldwide system of mass surveillance watching everything we do. Great Britain’s George Orwell warned us of the danger of this kind of information,” he begins.
“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 … A child born today will grow up with no conception of privacy at all. They’ll never know what it means to have a private moment to themselves an unrecorded, unanalyzed thought.” A powerful statement for everyone — particularly those who spent Christmas at home with their extended family.