20 November 2018

Snowden warns Israelis of dangers of state surveillance

KONFRONTASI - US whistle-blower Edward Snowden urged Israelis to be on guard against heavy-handed government and private surveillance in a speech on Tuesday.

Snowden, a former government contractor, blew the lid off the United States' vast surveillance programme in 2013, triggering an international debate on the mass spying by governments.

The US whistleblower highlighted Israel's hi-tech capabilities but warned that accepting too much government surveillance and too easily acceding to the argument that it is needed for security reasons posed serious risks.

"If we can allow ourselves to be terrorised by someone with nothing but a knife, to reorder our societies for the convenience of state power ... we've stopped being citizens and we've started being subjects," said Snowden, who spoke via video link from an undisclosed location in Moscow.

The 35-year-old also spoke of the NSO Group, the Israel-based company known for its Pegasus spyware.

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