“In the wake of the revelations of mass surveillance the [US] president [Barack Obama] appointed two independent commissions to review the efficiency of these [surveillance] programs, what they really did and what effect they had in combating terrorism. [The commissions comprised] the highest priests of these programs, they found these programs had never stopped a single terrorist attack and never made a concrete difference in a terrorist investigation,” Snowden told Spanish TV channel Sexta.
The whistleblower went on saying, that “they [the NSA, CIA] violated the constitution and the rights of 330 million Americans for 10 years. We have to ask ourselves: was it ever worth it?”He also stated that despite being justified by preventing terrorist attacks, surveillance programs are more often used for completely different purposes.
“It was diplomatic manipulation, economic spying and social control. It was about power, and there is no doubt that mass surveillance increases the power of the government.”
Snowden stressed that bulk data collection is “more aggressive and invasive today than it was before. Law enforcement and intelligence structures do not any longer bother to pick up a suspect and hack his cell phone, they cut in into all lines and communications […] at the heart of the society.”
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