Here are some random key quotes from Snowden’s new book that are of particular interest.
On metadata : metadata is data about data …..
…communication(s) is rarely as revealing as its other elements—the unwritten, unspoken information that can expose the broader context and patterns of behaviour.
He means to say the real evil of the surveillance system is the inference they can make.
On NSA Precautions:
In Geneva, we’d had to haul the hard drives out of the computer every night and lock them up in a safe—and what’s more, those drives were encrypted.
Whats really going on:
To read the technical details of China’s surveillance of private communications—to read a complete and accurate accounting of the mechanisms and machinery required for the constant collection, storage, and analysis of the billions of daily telephone and Internet communications of over a billion people—was utterly mind-boggling. At first I was so impressed by the system’s sheer achievement and audacity that I almost forgot to be appalled by its totalitarian controls.
I was reminded of what is perhaps the fundamental rule of technological progress: if something can be done, it probably will be done, and possibly already has been. There was simply no way for America to have so much information about what the Chinese were doing without having done some of the very same things itself.
And perhaps his most important quote for me personally as a response to why this subject is important!
If you think privacy is unimportant for you because you have nothing to hide, you might as well say free speech is unimportant for you because you have nothing useful to say.