Snowden says govt surveillance will make social media users vulnerable

In a message to US President-elect Donald Trump, the National Security Agency (NSA) whistleblower said recording the activities of someone creates vulnerabilities for them.
Edward Snowden speaks at a conference at University of Buenos Aires Law School in Argentina in November.(Reuters file photo for representation)
Edward Snowden speaks at a conference at University of Buenos Aires Law School in Argentina in November.(Reuters file photo for representation)
Updated on Dec 14, 2016 11:27 AM IST
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IANS, San Francisco | By

In a message to US President-elect Donald Trump, the National Security Agency (NSA) whistleblower Edward Snowden said government surveillance programmes will create “vulnerabilities” for social media users.

“The same technologies that are being used to connect us, to tie us together, to let you listen to this right now, are also being used to make records about your activity. Recording the activities of someone creates vulnerabilities for them,” Snowden said during a question-and-answer session with Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey CEO on the live video app Periscope owned by the micro-blogging site.

According to Re/Code, Trump had called for enhanced digital surveillance as well as a federal registry of Muslim-Americans.

“While other major tech companies have refused to comment about whether they plan to participate if asked to hand over data to build a database specifically profiling Muslim-Americans, Twitter said it definitely would not,” the report said.

“Pardon Snowden”, a campaign launched in September by major civil rights groups working to win official forgiveness for the whistleblower who is currently in exile in Russia, had announced the Periscope session watched by over 150,000 people.

Read: Twitter CEO to interview Edward Snowden, users can submit questions

Snowden also spoke about the prevalence of fake news on social media platforms.

“The answer to bad speech is not censorship. The answer to bad speech is more speech. We have to exercise and spread the idea that critical thinking matters now more than ever given the fact that lies seem to be getting very popular,” Snowden said.

On Wednesday, several top-notch tech executives are set to meet Trump at Trump Tower in New York City.

Among them are Indian-born Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, Apple CEO Tim Cook, Alphabet CEO Larry Page, Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg, Cisco CEO Chuck Robbins, IBM CEO Ginni Rometty, Intel CEO Brian Krzanich and Oracle CEO Safra Catz. However, Twitter CEO Dorsey was reportedly not invited for the tech summit.

The tech giants may discuss issues ranging from immigration reform, encryption and social concerns.

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