Censorship: Snowden and Greenwald on the Matter

grarpamp grarpamp at gmail.com
Thu Nov 26 01:34:53 PST 2020

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5qEuKCS-czU Censorship: Snowden and Greenwald

VIDEO: Interview with Edward Snowden on Silicon Valley Censorship,
Biden, and Lurking Press Freedom Dangers
How did we travel so far from the original vision of the internet as
the one place humans could communicate and organize free of state and
corporate control?
Glenn Greenwald
18 hr ago	132	90	

The NSA reporting of 2013, enabled by the heroic whistleblowing of
Edward Snowden, was widely perceived at the time time to be about
violations of the right to privacy. It was, of course, about that, but
the revelations implicated numerous other vital liberties, including
free speech, a free press, the need for transparency over state actors
and especially the always-lurking security state, and the dangers of
allowing governments to make the most consequential decisions in the
dark, with no democratic consent or accountability.

But the overarching cause uniting all of those specific concerns was a
belief in and defense of internet freedom. In one of the earliest
interviews we conducted with Snowden in Hong Kong, he explained that
he was driven in large part by the central, vital role which the early
version of the internet played in his life: one that was free of
corporate and state control, that permitted anonymity and exploration
free of monitoring, and, most of all, fostered unrestrained
communication and dissemination of information by and among citizens
of the world without corporate and state overlords regulating and
controlling what they were saying.

It was that Wild West vision of the internet that led so many to
herald it at its inception as one of the greatest and most potent
innovations in modern history for fostering individual freedom, human
liberation, empowerment of ordinary citizens, and the ability of
people to organize and communicate without having to depend on
corporate giants and the governments they fund and control. In many
ways, that vision is a faint memory — submersed in the mass
surveillance Snowden exposed but which still persists, the
corporatization of the most influential online venues and,
increasingly, the control over the flow of speech and information by
unseen oligarchical overlords whose decrees require no identifiable
rationale and afford no appeal. The power of these unseen
discourse-regulators is final, arbitrary and absolute.

It does not have to be this way. A free internet is still worth
fighting for and is still salvageable. But it faces growing threats:
from corporate media outlets eager to suffocate anything that
threatens their discourse-monopoly by ginning up pressure on Silicon
Valley to censor various dissidents and independent voices even more
so than they are now; from political parties and politicians who wield
great influence with tech giants and know they can exploit that
influence to silence their critics and adversaries; and the increasing
concentration of power over the internet in the hand of a few
monopolies whose power and wealth makes it irresistible for power
centers to try to harness to suffocate dissent.

On Monday I spoke with Snowden for a special episode of SYSTEM UPDATE,
for roughly 40 minutes about the growing dangers of Silicon Valley
censorship, why a tech industry that never wanted the power or
responsibility to regulate discourse has had that obligation foisted
upon them by politicians and journalists, the lurking dangers to press
freedoms, and how a Biden/Harris administration may make all of this

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