Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Edward Snowden's Open Letter to Brazil

Sorry CNN, he never offer to spy on the US for Brazil.
Sorry CNN, he never offer to spy on the US for Brazil.

Six months ago, emerged from the shadows of the National Security Agency (NSA) in the U.S. to position myself in front of the camera of a journalist. Shared with the world evidence that some governments are assembling a global surveillance system to track secretly we live, we talked and what we say.

I went on that camera with your eyes open, with the awareness that the decision would cost my family and my home and put my life at risk. What motivated me was the idea that the world's citizens deserve to understand the system within which they live.

My biggest fear was that no one heeded my warning. Never before was so happy to have been so wrong. The reaction in certain countries has been especially inspiring to me, and Brazil is one of them, no doubt.

In NSA, witnessed with growing concern the monitoring of entire populations without any suspicion of criminal act, and that threat surveillance become the biggest challenge to the human rights of our times.

The NSA and other intelligence agencies tell us that, for the sake of our own "safety" - in the name of "security" Dilma, in the name of "security" Petrobras - revoked our right to privacy and invaded our lives . They did so without asking permission of the population of any country, not even the one.

Today, if you carry a cell phone in Sao Paulo, the NSA can track where you are, and it does: it makes it 5 billion times a day with people worldwide.

When a person in Florianopolis visit a website, NSA keeps track of when it happened and what you did on that site. If a mother in Porto Alegre calls his son to wish him luck on the exam, the NSA can save the register link for five years or longer.

The agency gets to keep records of who has an affair or visit porn sites, in case you need to smudge the reputations of its targets.

U.S. senators tell us that Brazil should not worry because it's not "surveillance" is "data collection". They say that this is done to keep people safe. They are wrong.

There is a huge difference between legal programs, espionage legitimate, legitimate police action - in which individuals are guarded based on reasonable suspicion, individualized - and these surveillance programs in mass to form an information network that put entire populations under ubiquitous surveillance and save copies of everything forever.

These programs were never motivated by the fight against terrorism: are motivated by economic espionage, social control and diplomatic handling. The pursuit of power.

Many Brazilian senators agree and asked me to help with their investigations into suspected crimes against Brazilian citizens.

I expressed my willingness to assist where it is appropriate and legal, but unfortunately, the U.S. government has been working hard to limit my ability to do so, to the point of forcing the presidential plane to land Evo Morales to prevent me from travel Latin America!

Until a country grants permanent political asylum, the U.S. government will continue to interfere with my ability to speak.

Six months ago, revealed that the NSA wanted to hear the whole world. Now the whole world is listening and also talking back. And the NSA did not like what you're hearing.

The culture of indiscriminate global surveillance, which was exposed to public debate and real investigations on all continents, is collapsing.

Just three weeks ago, Brazil led the Human Rights Committee of the United Nations to recognize, for the first time in history that privacy not where the digital network and begins mass surveillance of innocent people is a violation of human rights.

The tide turned, and we can finally envision a future where we can enjoy security without sacrificing our privacy.

Our rights can not be limited by a secret organization, and American officials should never decide on the freedoms of Brazilian citizens.

Even the advocates of mass surveillance, those who may not be convinced that surveillance technologies dangerously exceeded democratic controls today agree that, in democracies, the surveillance of the public must be debated by the public.

My act of consciousness began with a declaration: "I do not want to live in a world where everything we say, everything we do, everyone I talk to, every expression of creativity, of love or friendship is registered is not something that I am. willing to support, not something I'm willing to build and is not something in which I am willing to live. "

Days later, I was informed that my government had turned me stateless and wanted to imprison me. The price of my speech was my passport, but I'd pay it again: I will not be to ignore the crime in the name of political comfort. Prefer stateless turn to lose my voice.

If Brazil only hear one thing from me, that is the following: when we all unite against injustice and in defense of privacy and basic human rights, we defend even the most powerful systems.

Letter originally appeared in the the Brazil Newspaper Folhapress.


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