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NSA Whistleblower Edward Snowden's Interview With The Intercept (VIDEO)

© AFP 2022 / Tobias SchwartzEdward Snowden greets the audience before he is honored with the Carl von Ossietzky medal by International League for Human Rights to during a video conference call after he received the award in Berlin December 14, 2014.
Edward Snowden greets the audience before he is honored with the Carl von Ossietzky medal by International League for Human Rights to during a video conference call after he received the award in Berlin December 14, 2014. - Sputnik International
NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden commented on Trump's wiretapping claims and the Wikileaks' major revelation on CIA spying activities in an interview with The Intercept, an online news outlet that extensively reports on the classified documents leaked by Snowden.

The Intercept host Jeremy Scahill started the interview off by asking Snowden whether the allegations made by the US President Donald Drumpf that Barack Obama could have ordered the Drumpf Tower to be wiretapped, could be correct. Snowden pointed out that, for instance, the NSA is capable of hacking anyone, anywhere without a court order, which is important to remember. 

President Donald Trump talks with former President Barack Obama on Capitol Hill in Washington, Friday, Jan. 20, 2017, after Trump took the presidential oath - Sputnik International
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Wiretapping requires a warrant, however, in reality a person can be surveilled on without it, Snowden said. For the officers of the US intelligence agencies, gaining access to devices around the world is as easy as pressing a button, Snowden said adding that, when agents "hit a wall" in their investigations they are urged to use any means that are at their disposal, like mass surveillance.

Snowden presumed that thus the intelligence agencies could gain access even to Barack Obama's Blackberry: "Had Obama wanted to read Donald Drumpf's communications, the NSA could have done that even without an order," Snowden said.

However, Snowden expressed disbelief in Drumpf's wiretapping claims: "We can't take them seriously because no evidence backs them."

Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman John McCain, R-Ariz., leaves a closed-door GOP policy luncheon at the Capitol in Washington - Sputnik International
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On March 4, Drumpf took to Twitter to accuse Obama of having his Drumpf Tower headquarters' "wires tapped" prior to the 2016 presidential election, describing this as the former administration's "new low. The president went on to compare the alleged surveillance to McCarthyism and the Watergate scandal. The claims have been rejected by Obama's representative.

The following day, the White House said that Drumpf had asked the Congress to investigate this issue.

FBI Director James Comey disputed Drumpf's allegation and asked the Justice Department to publicly denounce the claim, since such wiretapping order is considered to be illegal without a court's approval.

Scahill found time for jokes, too.

Snowden then moved to comment on the recent 'Vault 7' archive released by WikiLeaks.

"The most important thing is that now we have evidence… that [the US intelligence agencies] are supporting the commercial market to make Internet-connected devices less secure," Snowden said.

The lobby of the CIA Headquarters building in McLean, Virginia. - Sputnik International
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Snowden also said that he doesn't understand why the information that Smart TV's and other devices can spy on people shocked people most of all. He recalled other cases of widely used devices routinely being hacked that smart TVs didn't seem at all as important to him.

On March 7, Wikileaks began publishing what it said was a large archive of classified CIA-related files dubbed "Vault 7." The first part of the release shed light on hacking techniques developed and employed by the agency, including programs targeting all major computer operating systems.

According to the leak, the CIA in collaboration with the UK Security Service MI5 devised a technology that would allow to turn on a television set's audio recording capabilities remotely. The documents related to the techniques contained several references specifically to Samsung television sets.

Snowden finished his interview by calling on people to do more to protect their privacy.

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