“I felt about Edward Snowden the way I felt about Daniel Ellsberg”

The Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak has backed NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden and admitted he feels “a little bit guilty” that new technologies had introduced new ways for governments to monitor people.

“I felt about Edward Snowden the same way I felt about Daniel Ellsberg, who changed my life, who taught me a lot,” he said.

Speaking to Piers Morgan on CNN he said…”Read the facts: it’s government of, by and for the people. We own the government; we are the ones who pay for it and then we discover something that our money is being used for – that just can’t be, that level of crime.”

When Morgan suggested the government would not be able to keep such a close eye on citizens without the work of innovators like him, Wozniak acknowledged: “I actually feel a little guilty about that – but not totally. We created the computers to free the people up, give them instant communication anywhere in the world; any thought you had, you could share freely. That it was going to overcome a lot of the government restrictions.

“We didn’t realise that in the digital world there were a lot of ways to use the digital technology to control us, to snoop on us, to make things possible that weren’t. In the old days of mailing letters, you licked it, and when you got an envelope that was still sealed, nobody had seen it; you had private communication. Now they say, because it’s email, it cannot be private; anyone can listen.”

Asked about US surveillance programmes in an earlier interview with a Spanish technology news site, FayerWayer, Wozniak said: “All these things about the constitution, that made us so good as people – they are kind of nothing.

They are all dissolved with the Patriot Act. There are all these laws that just say ‘we can secretly call anything terrorism and do anything we want, without the rights of courts to get in and say you are doing wrong things’. There’s not even a free open court any more. Read the constitution. I don’t know how this stuff happened. It’s so clear what the constitution says.”

Good for you, Woz. It’s worth remembering the politics of the 60′s and 70′s compared to today – is like comparing the music of both periods. Fighting for freedom, resisting war, leads to a lot of talent in every field.

What is persistent is the people who stand in the way of fighting back. Sophistry is the same in 2013 as it was in 1963. The cowards who pray the middle ground is the safe way to take back constitutional rights. I have news for you. No one ever won anything by trying to hide in the middle of the pack.

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