John Oliver: Government Surveillance & Snowden Interview

There are very few government checks on what America’s sweeping surveillance programs are capable of doing. John Oliver sits down with Edward Snowden to discuss the NSA, the balance between privacy and security, and dick-pics.

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  1. Jojo commented on Apr 7

    Usually, I only hear about dick pics on Comedy Central’s @Midnight show. So when I heard that term brought up by Oliver on his TV show, I went slacked-jawed (as I think Snowden also was at first). Say what, John? But JO’s approach ultimately made sense as it provided a hook to help the simple minded relate to the what the NSA does..

    Kudos’s to HBO for giving Oliver so much free reign!

  2. Herman Frank commented on Apr 7

    It remains to be seen whether Congress will even bother to open its mouth, let alone let its brain work, to have a discussion about the Patriot Act and its various programs of surveillance. Members of the public who express their desire to have some privacy are one group, Congress in its Ivory Tower is another – and they hold the strings.

    Kicking the can down the road with another automatic extension continues the present possibilities of abuse without recourse or chance of going back to “a system of checks and balances”. God help us when someone testifies “we don’t know what to do without it”. WHEN ACTUALLY IT NEVER DID ANY GOOD, EXCEPT INFRINGE ON PEOPLE’S PRIVACY! (Oh! And made a whole lot of contractors earn very good money!)

    • NoKidding commented on Apr 8

      It was in nobody’s short term best interest to confront steroids in baseball.

      “Everyone” was doing it, join or lose.
      The biggest-named players were on them, the highest-paid players were on them.
      The league was in a golden era of television eyeballs for hard throwers and hard hitters.
      (Pepole think MacGuire and his HRs but forget Clemens and his Ks)
      The individual teams were filling stadia.
      The fans were having a great time.
      The losers had no voice:
      – “Clean” minor leaguers.
      – Kids and their unwise dads trying to stay in the game.
      – Yesteryear stars whose best accomplishments were made to look puny.

      I look at modern intelligence services a little the same.
      “Everyone” is doing it, join or lose. (Nations, and competing orgs within nations)
      The biggest countries do it, the most respected countries do it.
      (Pepole think USA, but discount UK and Germany)
      The individual organizations have flush budgets.
      The citizens feel safer from enemies.
      The losers had no voice:
      – “Private” countries.
      – Little countries trying to protect sovereignty.and stability.
      – US citizens concerned with violated rights and unpunished crimes.

      At risk of a conspiracy theorist label, but believing only a fool would not see it:
      Who has more power, an unaccountable, unfirable 30-year federal intelligence director or a US senator? I believe both have to lie, cheat and steal at some point in life to reach these positions of power (Right, left, Christy, Kennedy, Bush, Clinton, all of them). Who has a name to protect from the public, and faces elections? Who has complete anonymity? Who has the goods? Who’s going to know who, when, where and how? You can’t tell me the CIA director hasn’t walked into a politicians office and said “I own you”.

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