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Institutional Corruption and the NSA: Lawrence Lessig Interviews Edward Snowden at Harvard Law

In Archive, Encryption, FBI, NSA, Snowden, Surveillance on October 20, 2014 at 4:54 PM


Professor Lawrence Lessig, Director of Harvard’s Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics, interviews NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden about institutional corruption and the National Security Agency.

Some Snowden quote highlights (h/t @couragesnowden):

“We have agencies working on their own institutional momentum, changing the boundaries of our rights.”

“UN Special Rapporteur Emmerson has found that mass surveillance violates states’ international obligations.”

“I was witness to mass violations of the Constitution, that…were happening in secret and…happening as the result of a broad breakdown throughout the branches of government.”

“The ultimate mark of a whistleblower is stepping up in order to allow the public to decide.”

“The public has lost its seat at the table…government legitimacy stems from the consent of the people.”

“New York Times was not involved because they’d had a history of sitting on warrantless wiretapping story.”

“By giving multiple news organizations access to material, you allow bargaining about what can be published.”

“The public recognizes that adversarial investigation is important to the quality of our society.”

On encryption: “When institutions fail, natural laws persist.”

“When you collect everything on everyone, the temptation to abuse that information and use it new ways, in secret, is too great.”

“I don’t need to say why I need privacy. It’s incumbent on the government to say why they want to infringe on my data.”

Mass surveillance “has never been shown to have value.”

“Once you backdoor something, you can’t control who walks through it.”

“I came to the conclusion that there was no way that the system could self-correct.”

Supreme Court decision in Amnesty v Clapper, DNI James Clapper lying under oath to Congress, and President Obama’s failure to reign in surveillance abuses, “contributed to my decision to speak out.”

“If it wasn’t going to be me, it was going to be someone else.”

“There is no due process available for whistleblowers in the intelligence community today.”

Hoodies or Suits? “Hoodies all the way. I hope in the next generation we don’t even have suits anymore, they’re just gone forever.”

Related Link: Snowden, Institutional Corruption & the “Vilified Whistleblower”Dana Gold

  1. […] Institutional Corruption and the NSA: Lawrence Lessig Interviews Edward Snowden at Harvard Law #WakeUp […]


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