Updated 8:44 AM EDT, Wed, Aug 18, 2021

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Snowden Says U.K. Mass Surveillance even worse than U.S.


Graffiti artist Banksy photo of surveillance by U.K. government.

Edward Snowden has been making the rounds on video conferences this past week following the release of CitizenFour, a documentary showing Snowden between the first meeting with Glenn Greenwald and living in Moscow.

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Today, Snowden was present in a video call for Observer of Ideas in front of an audience in London. This is the first time Snowden has talked about the U.K. surveillance in depth, claiming mass surveillance is more of an issue in the U.K. than it is in the U.S.

The U.K.'s intelligence and security agency, the GCHQ, has less constitutional protections to work through, compared to the NSA in the U.S. According to Snowden, this allows the intelligence agency to collect even more information on the public.

"GCHQ and other British spy agencies can do anything they want," he said. "There are really no limits on their capabilities. What they do is they collect everything that might be interesting to them, which includes basically a five year backlog of all the activities of citizens in the U.K."

This can include everything and anything. The ISP and cellular networks in the U.K. are apparently in sync with the situation, following the GCHQ requests for information, without revealing any of this to the public.

The U.K. government continues to use the anti-terrorist policy in order to gain all of this information. This has been helped along with the rather apathetic U.K. public, who do not seem to care as much about privacy, security or snooping, as those in other European countries and the U.S.

Glenn Greenwald, editor of The Intercept, continues to push out Snowden's leaks. Even though most of the meaty stuff is out of the way, a new piece of information can be expected to be released every few weeks. Privacy continues to be a hot subject in the U.S., but even when the leaks were reported in the U.K. back in 2013, the U.K. public didn't seem interested.

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