John Oliver interviews Edward Snowden in Moscow (video)


The host of Last Week Tonight with John Oliver traveled to Russia to interview the alienated American citizen who leaked information on the NSA.

John Oliver provided further proof that countless Americans have no clue what they are talking about when it comes to technology and national security.

The U.S. Government has the deadline for renewing the PATRIOT Act this upcoming June, and so the host of HBO’s Last Week Tonight traveled to Russia to interview notable American hero/turncoat/mole-marked citizen Edward Snowden about the nature of his leaks and the dark role of the NSA in general.

(Note: The entire video is informative in providing context to both the content of the story and to the political landscape surrounding the story, but if you wanted to skip ahead to the actual interview, it begins at 15:55)

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The point of this interview and this segment is that, with relation to this story, the American population is either filled with misinformation or apathy. Snowden does little to impactfully inform Oliver and therefore his viewers as to the actual content of what the NSA is doing. Oliver does a great job of pointing out that Snowden’s language is bogged down in jargon.

A great deal of that is undoubtedly due to the fact that Snowden appears more comfortable in print than on screen. Snowden appeared on Reddit for a Q&A following the Academy Awards victory for documentary feature CITIZENFOUR, which focused on Snowden’s exile. In the Q&A, Snowden was more eloquent and clear in his points, such as the use of civil disobedience to fight the government overstepping its bounds.

"Well, when we look back on history, the progress of Western civilization and human rights is actually founded on the violation of law. America was of course born out of a violent revolution that was an outrageous treason against the crown and established order of the day. History shows that the righting of historical wrongs is often born from acts of unrepentant criminality. Slavery. The protection of persecuted Jews.Ultimately, if people lose their willingness to recognize that there are times in our history when legality becomes distinct from morality, we aren’t just ceding control of our rights to government, but our agency in determining [our] futures.We can devise means, through the application and sophistication of science, to remind governments that if they will not be responsible stewards of our rights, we the people will implement systems that provide for a means of not just enforcing our rights, but removing from governments the ability to interfere with those rights.In such times, we’d do well to remember that at the end of the day, the law doesn’t defend us; we defend the law. And when it becomes contrary to our morals, we have both the right and the responsibility to re-balance it toward just ends."

However, while the Q&A was massively popular on the site, it didn’t have the far-reaching audience that this interview will have. And even with Snowden’s eloquence on Reddit, he never faced questions of potentially mishandling this vital information, and he kept the actual actions of the NSA either vague or technical.

The only thing that was able to get people to care about the issue was something selfish, like the establishment of a d**k pic sub-agency.

If selfishness is the only solution for keeping people informed, it sure beats keeping them bored.

[H/T: Reddit – Edward Snowden, Laura Poitras and Glenn Greenwald AMA]

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