Edward Snowden Hints At NSA?s Ability To ?Mind-Hack?

A recent tweet from Snowden suggested that the NSA knows your ?secret thoughts and feelings?.

Edward Snowden recently replied to a tweet from New York Times Minus Context, implying that certain government agencies have the ability to browse through your private thoughts. The original tweet, from NYT Minus Context, reads ?Remember that people don?t have access to your secret thoughts and feelings?. Snowden retweeted, with the response ?Well, most people?. As in, most people don?t have access to your thoughts, but some do? The tweets prompted wide speculation and many interpreted them as a reference to the National Security Agency (NSA).

NYT Minus Context is a Twitter account (unaffiliated with the New York Times) that tweets lines verbatim from NYT articles. They provide ?context? on their related account @NYTPlusContext, which refers the dubious quote to an article entirely unrelated to government security. It may be that Snowden was simply replying to another popular account with something cryptic in order to push an agenda or to potentially solicit a response on twitter, where his own account boasts nearly 3 million followers. Snowden?s Twitter bio reads ?I used to work for the government. Now I work for the public?.

A controversial character of the modern technological age, Snowden is a computer programmer formerly employed by the CIA. He became internationally known in June 2013 when he leaked classified internal memos belonging to the NSA. The leaks revealed global surveillance programs and black budget operations of the NSA and the Five Eyes Intelligence Alliance. This brought issues of mass surveillance into the spotlight and emphasized the contemporary difficulties inherent in protecting one?s personal information in an increasingly digital world. As articulated by the New York Times in a reflective article about the Snowden revelations, ?What has changed is that since the staggering extent of government surveillance became known, the public has sought greater privacy, and corporations have begun to provide it on widely used platforms?.

In many ways, Snowden has re-defined the concept of whistleblowing. Whether traitor or patriot, today, Snowden is head of a human rights group, Freedom of the Press Foundation, which works to ?protect and defend adversarial journalism in the 21st century. We use crowdfunding, digital security, and internet advocacy to support journalists and whistleblowers worldwide?. Canadian Journalists for Free Expression has compiled The Snowden Archive in order to facilitate worldwide access to hundreds of the leaked documents.

It is certainly uncomfortable to imagine that secret government agencies are able to regularly monitor all our activities. It has been suggested that NSA hackers can see you through the web camera on your computer, listen to telephone calls and engineer subliminal messages through music and television. Additionally, is perfectly possible that there are agents who access all our information and obsessively violate our constitutional right to privacy. Under the Fourth Amendment: “[t]he right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated?. It is important to know our rights and realize the incredible implications of grand scale privacy invasion. Mounting evidence begs the question: can ?privacy? even exist in today?s world?

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