Neil deGrasse Tyson chats with whistleblower Edward Snowden via robotic telepresence from Moscow. In Part 1, they discuss Isaac Newton, knowledge and learning, the Periodic Table, encryption and privacy, and much more.
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This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
Skip the commercials support star talk on patriarch to listen to every episode, Commercial free, welcome to start on your place in the universe where science and pop culture collide. Dartle begin right now welcome to start talk, radio on your host, Neil digressed, hasten your personal astrophysicist. You can followers on Twitter STAR talk rate or, of course on the web, address dark talk, radioed, dot, net and personally, I also tweet, if you're interested in my own little cosmic, brain droppings, that's at Neil taken this week we're going to break format, and it is not often that we do this,
And when we do it, it's only to accommodate someone or something exceptional, something out of the ordinary. So on this episode of STAR Talk, I'll have they're my comedian co host nor in in studio expert with me as usual, but instead will listen together, one one to my exclusive interview with Edward Snowden, a man of living controversy, he's simultaneously referred to as a whistle blower a fugitive, a traitor, a national hero, an activist it all depends on who you talk to. I think of them is a sort of card carrying member the geek community, as do many geeks, and this is a community with room for all walks of life. This one's international status on the list the FBI. So what you said
Well, he was a CIA agent course Central Intelligence Agency, a CIA agent, turned international fugitive. And he's been a household names since two thousand and thirteen, we need leaked secret documents, from within the National Security Agency or the inner that these documents unveiled the government's Topsecret me as surveillance programmes aimed at collecting here Huge amounts of personal data by phone records from all United States citizens, the created an uproar amongst since we claim that constitutional right to privacy had been violated without their knowledge and, of course, by their own government, This is no small grievance and add tops disclosure was no small act less than a month after the guardian published Snowden claims. The United States charged it with death, the property and espionage, leaving him with no choice.
But to leave his family and friends behind and seek asylum in another country. So, two years later, two years after this dust, oh Snowden is still in isolation, but not without some tricks up asleep He was able to communicate with me inside my office at the Hayden Planetarium in the form of a robot when you're geek fluid you could pull this kind of stuff off, which is exactly what He did and the voice you'll soon be hearing emanates from his virtual face displayed on a beam pro remote present system is essentially an Ipad on wheels that that's, but he controls he controls it directly from where he has been offered asylum and is currently in exile in this We were able to share ideas and go back and forth about our thoughts on
education, the learning process, encryption, human rights, a whole host of topics, and it's really geek too that's the kind of conversation we have or that's how I think of it. I'm not a journalist he's been interviewed before by journalists. But that's not what I am so our conversation is dead from what you might have seen him have with others. So, let's go to my first part of that. Conversely, in which he recalled his love for science and the importance of experimentation outside of the classroom and how landed in really career at the next security agency at the age of sixteen. So how to try to find your twitter and good with which your handle I don't actually have one yet, but I got to say I follow your twitter when I was well. Thank you. Thank you, but still you kind of the gotta meet, need a twitter handle so like,
Snowden, maybe something you might do That sounds good. I think I think we're gonna make it happen. You'll, have it twitter, no nice, nice, It would get the legal to approve you're you're you're every move here, but but if they give you that comes up, we're good forget wheel. Your followers obey. You know the internet me in the interest, the great, so I'm certain you are in the universe right now, a little less certain about whether on earth. But rumor has it yourself, where in Russia is accurate, that's right! Yes, a minimalist goes on Moscow of goods, ok, you'll have to say that, while I think the other say probably or weakened try undulating on your position, so I will come to school background. Did you have I went to high school in quite famously. I actually dropped out and went to community college early on
Yes, we're going to college before you graduate school or famous for dropping out This would drop me. Everybody likes that gives hope to everyone else, and it isn't right, but I actually you can. You can be a fugitive to dropping at risk it can be hunted all over the place. Less and less well known as the fact that I actually was admitted to my masters programme, the UK studying computer security, but I do have to say that I think this rule distinction between Schooling and learning in our your education is full of many different things, and although were guided. Learning in a traditional learning in a classroom by men. Tourist by instructed appears, is important, there's also critical element of experimentation.
The unit in college in Universal sends the orange but replicating labs, but the people who, I think, really understand the concepts and mentally the most are the ones who make experimentation apparently daily lives, continuing outside the classroom and make it a part of sort who they are and how they by the way here at a museum, the American Museum of Natural history in New York, it that's what we're about we're about, not handing you a curriculum, Whereabout and empowering you did explore the world around you and learn on your own? In fact, these settlers are the ones who action. And a change in the world, there is never someone behind. It learned Then you'll be great right at some point. They step away and say I am compelled him, and now I will take myself to wear one and so sound. I guess what you you would you were headed there. Yet this is a fundamental principle. I think when, when you will break out when you look back for history sort of through good through your
I also think what I knew you know the question arises, who teaches something that's never been? how did you know, he was one of my idols: what secret exit, So my files have you read IRA, others that, and you know the whole industry files on everybody addendum two videos where I say and Ryan Times, but the other the items. You are saying about idols. What really it's it's a question of who teaches the on top right? Knowledge has to originate from somewhere. There has to be survey, a fountainhead from which it flows and that can't be a classroom. Because the teachers themselves have to Martin somewhere original research and the scientific method, the pursuit of the unknown and the question of sort of accepted conventional wisdom and probing at that.
The fact that the most interesting thing for someone who is really interested in how knowledge is created are the problems that have been solved is not what do we know it's? What don't you I felt at my whole life affect people. Often ask me what, the biggest question I want solved today and I say I haven't or unorthodox reply its sought. The question that I composed that I want answered this is the question that I don't even know to ask here that I want to and these only arise after you have breached some next frontier and then He placed a stand and then observe some new play. You observe a new trove of questions. Never before jumped out said that that's all You know- and I think that makes no sense, particularly your background Europe Harriet Study when you think about you, cosmology strong things like that.
So much of it whispered people. Looking up I'm going crazy idea. What's going on, I will not soon forget Isaac, Asimov, reflecting on on creativity and scientific discovery, and most people think that scientists they scratched her head all night, Eureka by morning, but no the word that triggers discoveries- always that's funny hear what, I know what that is, that their opens floodgates and that's how most of science has ever come out of the out of the steadily started block its when we realise how little we know and try to correct. Yes, precisely so after you went, want to communicate with them. I actually entered the workforce during
I was switching between contractor contractor India, the private sector in the governments based I signed up, so this would be contractor to the governments of this is privately owned company that is then pay it's for their services by the government. Correct right. People aren't really familiar with this generally, but at least in the intelligence community sort of a secret agency space. The way it works as they all have congressional mandated ass were human resources, caps, maximum amount, people, the iron, but that's not enough for what they want to do their constantly. Try to expend reach budgets and so the way they get around those manpower is. They use private companies to basically rent people too, but are not officially on common rules. They can be added to it. Drastic move other projects as long as they have the money for making people pugnacious
ass has been doing that from the beginning. I mean they their pay, their people representing the major space companies that are working in an among and with NASA employees rights and they work in government spaces at government tasks on government equipment they take. Orders were from government officials under indistinguishable from sore the government employee, except when you look at what their status is on paper. But that's how I got my stuff. And so on, but throughout your schooling, even though you dropped out high school did, did you like math and science? Did you know this was This is a data it was. I was always fascinated by with science, and actually One of the great grievances I have about dropping out of high school early is the fact that I never finished counts his loved chemistry, where most people say they never went to the prom. So if you accept this, this is actually the history of the world. The person drops out of high school regrets not having had chemist
This is the first time that sentence has never been uttered in the history of my college. Rob you haven't noticed I'm a little bit of an ok, see mists and chemistry there right yeah, you know people people who are contemplating dropping our people were. I'm waiting, I sort of leaving college early and things like that, I'm getting a start. They realize, they may be very correcting going. You know, I don't think I can still get through life without it. I can still achieve my goals and I'm already an expert in sort of the areas where my valuable Why I'm bigger I'm not gonna, be it can still alive What could be a physicist not going to be a linguist are so I dont really need those. Really, and those may be right. May ever used algebra again, calculus was like that, but at the same time they may find later in life are working on a project or their own sort of independent research exploration, whether its intellectual, whether its practical.
Where have they learn that there would be some synergy there? They ve got home in support of their body of knowledge that are very difficult when you're not going through sport above a structured lifestyle path, which is what sort of university and public education offers us some. So what you're saying I don't know it's billows not to put words in your mouth, but what you're saying I think is yes, you need the curriculum based learning, because that ensures that you don't have any obvious gaping holes in your proper education, but the rest of the learning really can't happen in a classroom. What's gonna happen in the real world, it's really a preparation structure to continue your own. Now there are always people who can self educate. We can make up for the gaps and things like that
but it's really rare and I don't think we should encourage a matter of course. People simply go out just stop hope for the best hope they can make it, because it's very difficult, particularly when you're young, to foresee the kind of decisions you're gonna make. The kind of hot topic should be interested in twenty years. So did you actually pick up some chemistry since then, I have done some really weird things. I want to read of metallurgy textbook just for fun. I was actually textbook. People may already reading this weekend made their national novel, but the actual love the actual process of learning of understanding for the structure, our world, the wait I'll together. For me, as an engineer, is asked me, I can't get enough at learning something new about whether its base changes, whether its defamation, whether its law- all of these things, these these intricate variables that sort of fit together to give us.
A framework to live it that surrounds us, Livy interact with awe is amazing not just for understanding, but also for power. You have to understand, however, thing fits together where the levers are where we can start to manipulate them, So if you pick a on your on your own, that means I can't drop any chemistry bombs on you. I was gonna to offer you say: Uranus, Neptune and PLUTO in the solar system has three consecutive elements named after them: uranium, neptunium and plutonium. I love you knew that that's so plutonium live is actually named after PLUTO, and now that that has been demoted, PLUTO got an element on false pretexts, the fact that when everyone felt sure it was a planet, so it's interesting when we look back through through the origin of the names of the periodic table, things like that, how many of them are named after their origins or things that inspired the investigation.
Into them, for example, solely you know, when we think of sodium, we sought but soda in sodium that the route from it is actually from planet which the element was originally the right. If I'm recalled correctly, but because it grew in sort of apples, salted, soil, the plant absorbed all the stuff like that and when it was burned down, early sort of more primitive people put aside is realised that its ashes were from all the other actions. And then you know a thousand years later. Hundreds of years later we find out through electrolysis and things like that, it should be reduced and isolate the element.
In the wind and suddenly the element derives its name from the plant in which we first us were realized. If something different he had hoped practicable is up. I relish in it, because its aim is a record of the progress of our civilization from from the beginning right on up through modern time, a favorite one from my field is there's an element that was discovered on the sun before it was discovered on earth and we named it of the sun and that element can't. We notice helium made out the Helios, the Greek Sun God, and so, if it's it's not often when a chemist can, that we discover something not even on earth and later on, signed it on earth, and but he got it. We got the cosmic name attached to it. We got a wrap up this sick. STAR talk, we ve following my exclusive interview with government Whistleblower Edward Snowden, when he spoke with me, Robot control, video screen here,
if, while in asylum from Russia, have guns super for you I'm gonna consider singing all of the ads on this shell there's just one and where to get out of hearing there go to patriarch arms last star, talk and support. Where does at the five dollar level or higher to listen? The star talk ad free, you can download all current episodes into your favorite podcast player and never we're here, another commercial on star talk ever again. You will definitely not have to hear me saying if you support us at Patria, dark coms. Last our talk, radio, I mean I'm just thinking I mean just saying
Welcome back to our great we ve been following with the eight and ten I say agent with Edward Snowden. He first made headlines when he leaked top secret documents to journalist, Glenn Green Walled and Laura Portress, who published an article In the guardian instigating a public awakening to the nature and extent of privacy, rights and laws in the twenty first century so September, eleven, two thousand and one a day. None of us will forget important. I live in New York City in Manhattan and my residence is within four blocks of ground zero. So it's not just a point of history or newspaper headlines. For me, it's a point of life experience to be at home, watching the towers, get attacked and fought, and that of it rocketing. The issue of fourth amendment violations on it.
National level and put right into the limelight and created juxtaposition of national security, an individual case, the traditional rights let's find out Snowden was at the time of that crisis and how it affected him So you some fast math September. Eleventh you two thousand one. You were seventeen eighteen Aubrey yeah. I was seventeen or eighteen years old, I believe, and actually maybe even slightly under that sixteen years of sixteen I was already working or a private company. Edison was on for me- merit the home of the National Security Agency so I was actually driving into the office Pass Vienna say when I was hearing on radio what was happening but did you if you're sixteen? You only just got your driver's license right through so casually. You just saying that so casually drive and work
the USA? What our sixteen I got my driver's license ten minutes before then, what sort of an early start independence so you driving to work at the USA or for the innocent, but of course not in the building. I mean on India on the same onboard, Airbus right and, as I reserve Working day right as I got to the office, there was sore hold all message that I guess we're not everybody did said they were going to walk the base down and everybody should back to its support.
And so, as I was driving out right after I had arrived in, the parking lot was mad house. There were there were Hungary's when it was not common for there to be on these up their checkpoints at this time it was an open bates. Anybody could drive on arrival and no mean looks, and I think that's what really caused the love concerns for people, not just on the public level, but the private level, particularly thing to say
This was simply that idea. They didn't know and that same fear of the unknown. It can cause us to investigate tricks and knowledge to absorb increase at the level of capability of liberty and quality of life, and human society can also you not its unchecked and its given to a power people. Significant privileges, ovaries, cause precisely the opposite, has a chilling. It can cause a narrowing of civil liberties and freedom in a society. Because through good intentions, we can simply too bad now, you're all about good intentions at the time right. You are my talented government agency, your patriotic, so for you to be in the middle of this and be affected by it first hand, incense intelligence Agency, as is the number one. Why did you know about it right? People revenue
I was asking you what was this was there's some face shift in your brain. At that point, regarding wasn't working in the intelligence to be a time of a sort of peripheral to it. But yeah I mean my mindset on September eleven. I come from a battle thing, while the worst with better government, my father worked Bertie Military, my grandfather, retired Admiral military, and then he began working, again for the FBI and at the time this you know on September, eleventh my family's calling each other, because we thought you may have been in the Pentagon on day and if you recall, in cell phone towers, working is now so was very personal and, as things develop does removed from that night Levin moment, the two thousand three rock period. I felt that I had an obligation to do my where society I signed up for the: U S Army, when everybody else was protestors,
because I really believe that the government was telling the truth. You know that this was an effort to try to freely the deliver liberate people living in circumstances, and it took a very long time for me to develop any kind of scepticism or even to sort of Mostar. Bolder extended claims about the intentions, programmes, policy, so sir, but I won't anywheres five years. Two years when you're sixteen so long time means something different when you're. Sixteen than if it that is less a return, when I met you, probably the better for the deck, there's a kind of virtual battle raging at all times between those who seek and those who protect online information, the language, spoken in this battle? Is mathematics particularly encryption. This is the machinery, the engine, the gears
find what is driving this debate and at an I spoke at length about what gene technology. Does the challenges of protecting ones online data, let's check it out The idea of encryption is to impose a given message in such a way that it looks like grandam moments. You can't distinguish the signal its hidden in the communication when we think about the current mutations paradigm, that we use our world. We know from the USA revelations and other things about corporate collection of communications on that,
most of the things that we send every day are electronically naked, and when these communications are observed, they can be intercepted. They can be abuse that can be supported to up purposes that are contrary to the intent of the person who originally set so electronically naked. That's code for money for on encrypted you already naked. If you are unencrypted right have unprotected communications that anybody observe, because when you send a communication across the internet, for example, you don't owe a wire that goes from your house to your friends house that has to go over somebody else's infrastructure, and you don't know what those people are doing. The citizens across their infrastructure and when we do. When we look at it bluntly, that's the problem is the fact whenever we send a communication in our home, we're sunning within the walls of art.
Settings were friend or a loved one or someone else around the world to the walls of there, and these are private spaces. These are private communications. We expect that they remain brought. The problem is due to the practicality of how the engineering of these systems was designed. Sixty seven. These aids we inherited architectures. It did not foresee the problem of electronic interception by both civil and governmental authorities restored by a civil and price, or is the sort of interfere with them and do whatever they want them. So now our expectation of privacy is being used. So this, I think, is a natural trend that all societies will encounter. Innovation, resolved by going communications that are set in transit, because this is where its most cost effective intercept them will need to armoured them to prevent.
Will the armor than with oppression, and we saw this in radio, for example, where the last century. We discovered that radio broadcasts could be picked up by anybody within it, so you can have a private communication that went over here but included including aliens. This is actually, I think, you're. An interesting factor is when you think about the fact that you got communications. Over the air we're under the ground and their unencrypted, she'll society realises how dangerous that is, and then they begin to protect with encryption. When you look at encrypted communications. If they are properly be
There is no real waited hell that they are encrypted. You can distinguish a properly encrypted communication, at least in the theoretical sense, from random words from simple random date also, but I thought those are two separate things you're telling me I perfectly encrypted message: these is actually indistinguishable from the noise, because then you wouldn't even know to intercept it. That's what you're telling me! Instead, for example, there is an old method of encryption call one time pad and the idea here is you create a key or encryption and decryption is the same size as the message that you're going to encrypted and when you over Ladys forget You have a message that, as my name is needed, rest Eisen, an u encrypted with any random key. Ah, those letters will be something completely different, rather than saying my name is new grass Thyssen it'll be a random jumble. At this end,
distinguishable from any other, and even if you have the right, if you sort of stumble across the right, keep my trying every possible for every person, member states? There is no guarantee that my name is kneeled Grass Thyssen is the proper solution to it could just as well be another message: the decryption this one time had a message that has the same number of letters as my name is needed. Regrets ice and happens dispel some. It instead something completely different like meet me for lunch at whatever, This is this is when we think about theoretically perfect encryption. The idea here is, you can't tell that its So, of course I leave it at that. I had to take This conversation up a notch and question how encryption might have
the way we communicated with aliens. Of course, that's my ex thought. I come to this conversation. Not as a journalist but as an astrophysicist? Let's I would add, has to say about encryption, on a universal scale. We have to ask ourselves: how will an alien want to communicate with us? Let's say and let city at the these civilization is intelligent or more intelligent than we are. They would find a pretty efficient way to send a signal to reduce the energy costs for the crabs and making this up, but if not us matched to imagined. By doing so, they would try to find any reducible information in the single they want to send us and represents had in some other kind of way, It is less representative of information. Isn't that correct? Is that what they want to do. Maybe saying that right You know when, when, when you mentioned that it brings up a really interesting idea, which is that lets say
all societies that have open communications, they have communications over there under the ground, eventually discover that they need to improve their communication so if you have an early, civilization. Trying to listen for other civilizations were our civilization. Trying to listen for aliens There's only one small period in the development of their society, with all their communications will be sent via the most primitive most unprotected means. So when we think about everything that were hearing through, I satellites are everything the air urine from our civilization. If there are indeed it out, all of their communications are encrypted by default. So what we are hearing, that's actually an alien television show word. You know a phone
You know a message between their planet in their own gps. Constellation, it happens to be, is indistinguishable to us from cosmic microwave back radiation. So but they wouldn't necessarily to your assuming that have the same security should be happy with that maybe they're nice, but is it isn't the same thing to speak of encryption as it is to speak of compression, because if they maximally comply their signal to me that would be indistinguishable from noise. Isn't that correct? Well, when you think, compression and maximum compression, you think about maximum were version compression. Yet loss was russian. You have to build a go back, so there is always a point when you're compressing information
did you have to stop where you begin losing some of the original data. When you, when you shrink the size, passed a certain point in the way the shrinking occurs is by looking for patents. For example, let's say you ridable and when you try to impress the Ah, you create a system to say rather than reprinting, a very long word like government in your phone russian steam, your replace every instance of the word government with the letter. Cheap and then, when you go to decompress, this you'll simply replaced every instance of the letter g by its view and useful energy. You some were set up
the text, but it will have reverse it, replaced that with government. That's the best idea, Lashless compression loss list approach, but this relies one diction dictionaries, basically of Pat, that are found within a given given communications. What about an example of entropy? Being you know the maximum possible set of states- within the dataset or within the universal or whatever, when you start reducing these and reducing these, introducing these eventually get to the point where you can't go any further without not me encryption is actually different from this, because if you include something It must be reversed if even a single bit changes under a modern encryption, our you can't reverse it back. You ve broken it entirely, because what encryption is
on a fundamental level, is it's a MAC problem? The solution to the math problem, for example, it we're talking about encrypting, you're, smart after you ve solved. It is the picture of you worthy sms messages that encrypted on your phone or or something that but the problem itself, Is a given prime number, combined with a password or some other method, unlocking some other key When you combine those things together, you get to resolve the problems, if you change, one zero within the complexity of additional file has to be able to translate perfectly because it's based on mathematics. That solution no longer works. You put in the answer, but the answer no longer computes to what the result is supposed to be because you're saying one plus two people story.
So the three being the representation of the pictures whenever, but your problem is now two plus two equals three: it doesnt work. You can anymore, we ve got a wrap up the segment of startle women, following my exclusive interview with government whistleblower which Snowden who spoke with me through her robot control, video scream, he manipulated and maneuvered from Russia. Currently seeking asylum. Welcome back to start to operate. This is a special provision of start off. We chose to break from our usual format in favour of a life. One on one time at which no former CIA and an essay officer now, a whistle, international fugitive in exile. We.
Into my office via remote, controlled robot. Through this virtual medium at and I were able to speak at length about his scientific pursuits. The technology of encryption and encoding and why he believes the constitution trumps. All other law, because it possible give him as just somebody who has a clue about due process of law. Matters, the constitution, the bill of rights, and it's easy at first glance, just think of him as just some kind of ignorant renegade. Who has no sensitive your understanding to american laws, but I learned that clearly was not the case in this final segment: we're going to listen to part of my exclusive interview with its known and get his take.
Fourth amendment protection and why he believes, having nothing to hide is never a justification for rights violations. When you're talking about, everybody's private communications, their associations, the network of who they call on the phone you're, getting their political affiliation you're. Getting the people who matter the most based on the frequency of the agents. Are you get indications of their travel? Are you get the books there? Did you get the things that they buy? You get the people that they love and you can't even get indications, not only of who they are today, but who they want to. For example, maybe they're looking at applying to a certain college, a method of study fellowship or there. You know looking to get a job a certain kind of combat. These are all intensely private things that have always traditionally been up to the industry.
To disclose and share with people they trust, but if the government knows all about regardless of whether we ve done anything wrong. It invests them with an extraordinary and unprecedented measure power not only to know a balance but act upon information, and particularly when this something that we'd never trusted government with or and there's no prevailing reason why we should do that. So you you raise a very good point now I'll feel more comfortable about going through airport security, because at the slip of a switch and that something that we'd never trusted government with the poor and there's no prevailing reason. Why we should? Then I that's so. You ve raised a very good point now I'll feel more comfortable about going through airports many because, even though they got my ticket- and they know when I checked in- and they saw my passport everything when you going through the detectors there,
I'm asking you your name, your name isn't attached. With that moment, they just want to see for carrying anything plus, I can choose to drive. I can leave the airport and choose to drive, so that's a different fact: at least travelling domestically right right, that there is a distinction between the voluntary disclosure of information where you have a choice whether to engage in it, not involuntary subversion of your intent, particularly unlike airports, where everybody knows this is, though we can vote or officials would repeal it not and secret programmes where they impose this sort of surveillance on us without our alliance with our tent, without our approval, or even without the approval of many members of Congress. In May. The second circuit court of appeals in New York found that the national security
mass surveillance programmes, one of which I will be a jerk. Twelve. Thirteen was illegal. It had not been authorized by any and for the entire period of its operation. This was not only contrary. Albert was in violation and as a result, this programme needs to be changed WAR ended now this happen without the majority of Congress, knowing that it was a current law. For example, when we talk about the oversight intelligence agencies, such as the National Security Agency, the central intelligence agency, we have five hundred thirty five members of Congress, all of whom I represent a proportional Americans,
we're supposed to represent us the table, but rather than having them all understand and be able to influence the direction of these programmes for what are called covert action programmes. Only eight members of Congress, out of five hundred thirty thought or told the truth of what this is called the gang baked, and I think what the pork held in many was that you cannot, to the judgment of eight individuals, particularly given that these individuals receive more donations from intelligence contract and companies in defence contractors, sort of the military industrial complex the other senators are represented in the Congress for the judgment of the Congress as a whole and the public. Why? So? I suppose this is a very suppose. I suppose the public says I really care about my security and I want the government, despite
everybody so that I can be safe and they and turn that law into something illegal? You have no problem with that because there was, there was disclosure. I presume is incorrect, but in any democracy we would vote passing on the other point of disclosure. I would argue yes, that's much better than we have today, but on the point of rightfulness immortality, I could still context and I think the argument there the, but it works and sort of the civil liberties, space believes and robust rights have lived in the constitution would argue that Congress actually cannot pass
such then allows the monitoring of people that allows were the unreasonable, searching seizure of individuals in advance of any criminal activity, because the constitution forbids it if they want to do that, they would have to amend the constitution, but even if they choose to, there is fundamentally a deeper. I think more here, which is the majority, cannot fund away the rights of the Mai. You cannot simply say well because I feel swam, because I have six out of my temperance will agree with me. I'm going to reduce the circumstances. Everybody else in sport and when we talk about the basis of actual rights, you know you can change. Standards can change regulations, but when we think about fundamental rights and these rights that the? U S, government itself has actively aggressively
ok, that's, for example, the right to privacy, is, is guaranteed not only in the fourth amendment of our constitution, only a socially additional rights of sort of the first, but through the universal Declaration of Human rights to which the United States, in most other countries world have agreed to or the international covenant on civil and political rights which again the? U s itself from so we have The obligations which in the american system are counted, is supreme, labile, similar to the constitution, and then we have mere statutes which were passed by the Congress. Ken statue asked in a time of sort of A political passions, overrule basic fundamental rights, they are guaranteed not only our founding, but in our treaties and obligations that we have set our time
and even if there were, would that be happy. Pittsburgh and sort of a corollary argued that we were here against the state to try to get us to accept invasive surveillance or violations it is it will. If you have nothing to hide, you ve got nothing to fear. What are you worried about? But that argument is promised fundamental misunderstanding rights for one you don't have to justify why you need right? That's not how they work. Any intrusion into your rights have to be justified by the government rather than you. You don't have to take what need this right. They have the same, why it is absolutely vital to society to take that way.
But beyond that, when we think about what people are really saying when they say all, I don't care about that privacy. I've gotten high! Is there some didn't care about their bright, saying that I don't care about the right to privacy, because I've got nothing to hide, is no different than saying I don't care about freedom of speech, because I had nothing to say: you're asking for a less live, more constraining society simply because that right is not valuable tool in that more when you're thinking about today, but rights don't have to be used by you individually to be valuable to society you can't have a free press without free speech and you can have a free society without the right products can be people have about whistleblowers such as Ed, Snowden and, of course, Daniel Ellsberg. Back in the Sixtys and Seventys when the Pentagon papers were released. Is that their under oath by the government to protect its secrets and that they do
Reckless violated this understanding or trust. I raised this point. What he said took me to a new place. Because pardon me saying: look you're you're making America a less safe place. These are see which, of course, we're gonna have secreting. You can have all secrets that everybody knows because then you cannot conduct operations that would be in the interests of protecting Americans lies. This was a clear point. Me and presumably others, but why did he not Was there some other thought process going on in his head? There I had yet to glean were perhaps others had yet to see Let's check it out, Whizzer Allegiance, what? What to the USA didn't you swear allegiance to two to be secret agent man I mean That's that's a really good question, because that's actually fairly common criticism was some say. You know I broke it all, but they actually are familiar with them,
it took the oath and the non disclosure bream. It's on the secrecy, various work of music. I didn't swear an oath to secrecy, there's no such thing when you do the CIA or the USA doesn't exist. There is in government called S F through to a standard form of Europe, your product languages, that's a civil non disclosure. So. You should not disclose secret or fast, information whenever there would be possibly some criminal penalties and on its curs, but then at the very first day. You walk into serves as a governance or staff officer. Central intelligence agency you take was called the oath of serpents, which is not to secrecy, which does not protect classified information is to defend the constitution of the United States against all enemies for most. So when the question is,
what do you do when you're obligations cometh conflict, when you have a standard of form on one hand, the civil rights amongst spoke ass, if one thirteen whatever If it were three twelve, ok, and then you ve got the constitution on the other, and it also matters what is the significance of these breaches? there is. There is a question here of. Is this something? That's some sort of minor one off departure from regulations, or is this a fundamental continued and massive violation of the constitution. When you have the National Security Agency, for example, as the course that operate
side of the law. In fact, in violation of it, I am violating the fourth men rights of three hundred and thirty million every second of every day that I think for most people would change their calculus is. Is this brand Franklin's famous quoth, your favorite motto? Outskirts should have to like write it down here those who surrender freedom for security will not have, nor do they deserve either. It's it's a really how many lessons we can drop from history or people who lived so far before us without the benefit of our knowledge without the benefit of our technology. And yet they real is that there are certain fundamental principles: certain fundamental values that are not dependent on time or place their valuable ever everywhere, but the funny thing about rights is, they should never be restricted overtime.
Never become more rare overtime; rather they should expand. We should all members of any liberal society or even authoritarian society should be tremendously concern when they see governments beginning to redefine and narrow, to limit the boundaries of the Boers rights, because when we think about the progress of our quality of life, of the quality of our governments, of the human condition, its very much premised not what we believe in, but what we stand for, what we want. We promote what we challenge. What we bring out from the dark and present to the world and when we have a few political voices in assigning argue that, rather than be brave, to move forward to confront new risks with courage and Prince
and instead say we should be careful. We should be afraid we should retreat with her arms. We should retreat with ourselves and distance ourselves, not just from our adversaries, but our agencies from the world around us. I think that the fundamental illiberal direction that offering people should resist. You ve been listening to start talk, radio, and this has been my exclusive one on one interview with Edward Snowden call them what you want, but I call on the geek. As always I feel the rest hasten before astrophysical willing to keep looking up wish should listen to start talking free joint start talking Patria for as little as five dollars per month and the ads will disappear. Learn more at patriarch dot com slap star, talk, radio,
Transcript generated on 2020-01-25.