Whistleblower Edward Snowden warned a group of European reporters Wednesday that in the era of mass surveillance, journalists are increasingly a threatened class.
“You must fight this on the front pages and you must win, if you want to be able to report in the same way that you’ve been able to do in the previous centuries.”
—Edward SnowdenIn a live-streamed discussion on investigative journalism hosted by Germany’s Süddeutsche Zeitung, Snowden explored the threats to journalists posed by hostile governmental forces and a vast global surveillance network.
“Journalists are increasingly a threatened class when we think about the right to privacy,” Snowden said. “Yes, I can give you tips on how to protect your communications, but you are going to be engaging in an arms race that you simply cannot win. You must fight this on the front pages and you must win, if you want to be able to report in the same way that you’ve been able to do in the previous centuries.”
Snowden went on to highlight the critical role journalists play in provoking crucial public debate about government policy, such as the United States’ spying activities:
“And policy is only short-sighted here because it is not being publicly debated,” Snowden added. “It is not being openly scrutinized outside of this audience of a few special interests.”
Watch the whole hour-long talk here: