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Snowden decries constant surveillance of entire populations, in new video on

Edward Snowden speaks via video to the Munk Debates in Toronto on Friday, May 2, 2014

Courtesy: Munk Debate on State Surveillance

Entire populations, rather than just individuals, now live under constant surveillance, Edward Snowden, the former U.S. intelligence contractor who has been leaking surveillance secrets for the past year, says in a new video available exclusively on

The video was made available by organizers of the Munk Debates, who aired it Friday evening in Toronto. This year's debate features former U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) director General Michael Hayden, and Glenn Greenwald, the journalist whose work based on the Snowden leaks won a Pulitzer Prize last month.

Mr. Snowden said bulk collection of data by the NSA "shows people in charge of the surveillance state who you love and where these people live."

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He asked a rhetorical question.

"Can policies that change with every new president, every new Congress, every new director of the NSA, really address the threat of building within our country this kind  of architecture of oppression? "

He added: "State surveillance today is a euphemism for mass surveillance … it's no longer based on the traditional practise of targeted taps based on some individual suspicion of wrongdoing," Mr. Snowden says in the new video.

He alleged that "entire populations, rather than individuals, now live under constant surveillance."

Mr. Snowden says that when he worked at the NSA, he had the technical ability to spy on every American including the President, so long as there was a private e-mail address to connect with them.


"Be it resolved state surveillance is a legitimate defence of our freedoms."

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In favour: Michael Hayden's partner in the debate is Alan Dershowitz, a Harvard law professor and civil liberties lawyer.

Opposed: Glenn Greenwald will be debating with Alexis Ohanian, the co-founder of reddit.

Read Mr. Dershowitz's and Mr. Ohanian's opposing arguments here.

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About the Author
National security reporter

Focusing on Canadian matters during the past decade, Colin Freeze has reported extensively on the interplay between government, police, spy services, and the judiciary. Colin has twice been to Afghanistan to be embedded with the Canadian military. More


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