11:37 GMT +3 hours28 July 2016
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A chair is pictured on stage as former U.S. National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden is awarded the Bjornson prize Molde, Norway, in this September 5, 2015 file photo

Snowden Warns World Against Trusting Privacy to Tech Giants Like Microsoft

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The whistleblower who exposed the totality of the America’s mass domestic surveillance program suggested that users should look to free and open source software to preserve their privacy.

On Saturday, NSA whistleblower spoke to the Free Software Foundation’s LibrePlanet2016 conference regarding free software, cybersecurity, and privacy. He joined the event through video conference from Russia. During the event, Snowden explained that he was able to release the secrets of America’s mass surveillance projects more securely by using free software.

The whistleblower praised Debian, Tails, and Tor observing that what he did in 2013 never could have happened without the help of free software. He also advocates that activists and journalists switch to free and open source software to secure their privacy against the omnipresent US surveillance state.

“I didn’t use Microsoft machines when I was in my operational phase, because I couldn’t trust them,” explained Snowden. He went on to say that he couldn’t be sure that there wasn’t a backdoor coded into the Microsoft products that would enable government surveillance.

In making this dour assessment of Microsoft, he noted that of the current tech giants, the company has been the most cooperative with the US government.

He cited Microsoft founder Bill Gates calling on Apple to install a backdoor into the iPhone at the request of a federal court which opens millions of end users up to the danger of a growing mass surveillance program. 

Snowden praised Apple’s fight with the FBI calling it an example of a corporation standing up for its users. Still, the whistleblower cautioned citizens against relying on multinational companies for transmissions that are intended to be secure. 

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Tags:
privacy, freedom of speech, journalists, hacktivists, hacking, domestic surveillance, mass surveillance, LibrePlanet2016, Apple, Microsoft, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Free Software Foundation, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), National Security Agency (NSA), Michael Hayden, Barack Obama, Edward Snowden, Massachusetts, Moscow, Russia, United States
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  • ptcjm
    Some years ago princesse Ingrid of Norway was seen in a picture with Bill Gates, not quite sure if this was prior to 22/7 2011, but it was enough to frighten one like it was some kind of capture.
  • michael
    Debian has been a company to watch for a while now. Their version of LINUX is generally held to be one of the best out there.
  • Mitach2002
    Not sure about all companies but Facebook and Microsoft have continually picked supporting the government over mankind.
  • Lord Rothschild
    NSAKEY look it up.
  • Is it because I am black?
    His life as a whistleblower is over. What will he do now, software or hacking for the Russians?
  • young.butz
    Wonder why most of the whistle blower does not have any subject or leak from Israel.
  • maxxus
    But, but . . . we need them to spy on us for our own protection against Gladio terrorists! They need to take away all our freedoms to protect our freedoms!
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