27 Edward Snowden Quotes About U.S. Government Spying That Should Send A Chill Up Your Spine

Tyler Durden's picture

Submitted by Michael Snyder via The Economic Collapse blog,

Would you be willing to give up what Edward Snowden has given up?  He has given up his high paying job, his home, his girlfriend, his family, his future and his freedom just to expose the monolithic spy machinery that the U.S. government has been secretly building to the world.  He says that he does not want to live in a world where there isn't any privacy.  He says that he does not want to live in a world where everything that he says and does is recorded.  Thanks to Snowden, we now know that the U.S. government has been spying on us to a degree that most people would have never even dared to imagine.

Up until now, the general public has known very little about the U.S. government spy grid that knows almost everything about us.  But making this information public is going to cost Edward Snowden everything.  Essentially, his previous life is now totally over.  And if the U.S. government gets their hands on him, he will be very fortunate if he only has to spend the next several decades rotting in some horrible prison somewhere.

There is a reason why government whistleblowers are so rare.  And most Americans are so apathetic that they wouldn't even give up watching their favorite television show for a single evening to do something good for society.  Most Americans never even try to make a difference because they do not believe that it will benefit them personally.  Meanwhile, our society continues to fall apart all around us.  Hopefully the great sacrifice that Edward Snowden has made will not be in vain.  Hopefully people will carefully consider what he has tried to share with the world.

The following are 27 quotes from Edward Snowden about U.S. government spying that should send a chill up your spine...

#1 "The majority of people in developed countries spend at least some time interacting with the Internet, and Governments are abusing that necessity in secret to extend their powers beyond what is necessary and appropriate."

#2 "...I believe that at this point in history, the greatest danger to our freedom and way of life comes from the reasonable fear of omniscient State powers kept in check by nothing more than policy documents."

#3 "The government has granted itself power it is not entitled to. There is no public oversight. The result is people like myself have the latitude to go further than they are allowed to."

#4 "...I can't in good conscience allow the US government to destroy privacy, internet freedom and basic liberties for people around the world with this massive surveillance machine they're secretly building."

#5 "The NSA has built an infrastructure that allows it to intercept almost everything."

#6 "With this capability, the vast majority of human communications are automatically ingested without targeting. If I wanted to see your e-mails or your wife's phone, all I have to do is use intercepts. I can get your e-mails, passwords, phone records, credit cards."

#7 "Any analyst at any time can target anyone. Any selector, anywhere... I, sitting at my desk, certainly had the authorities to wiretap anyone, from you or your accountant, to a federal judge, to even the President..."

#8 "To do that, the NSA specifically targets the communications of everyone. It ingests them by default. It collects them in its system and it filters them and it analyzes them and it measures them and it stores them for periods of time simply because that's the easiest, most efficient and most valuable way to achieve these ends. So while they may be intending to target someone associated with a foreign government, or someone that they suspect of terrorism, they are collecting YOUR communications to do so."

#9 "I believe that when [senator Ron] Wyden and [senator Mark] Udall asked about the scale of this, they [the NSA] said it did not have the tools to provide an answer. We do have the tools and I have maps showing where people have been scrutinized most. We collect more digital communications from America than we do from the Russians."

#10 "...they are intent on making every conversation and every form of behavior in the world known to them."

#11 "Even if you're not doing anything wrong, you're being watched and recorded. ...it's getting to the point where you don't have to have done anything wrong, you simply have to eventually fall under suspicion from somebody, even by a wrong call, and then they can use this system to go back in time and scrutinize every decision you've ever made, every friend you've ever discussed something with, and attack you on that basis, to sort of derive suspicion from an innocent life."

#12 "Allowing the U.S. government to intimidate its people with threats of retaliation for revealing wrongdoing is contrary to the public interest."

#13 "Everyone everywhere now understands how bad things have gotten — and they’re talking about it. They have the power to decide for themselves whether they are willing to sacrifice their privacy to the surveillance state."

#14 "I do not want to live in a world where everything I do and say is recorded. That is not something I am willing to support or live under."

#15 "I don't want to live in a world where there's no privacy, and therefore no room for intellectual exploration and creativity."

#16 "I have no intention of hiding who I am because I know I have done nothing wrong."

#17 "I had been looking for leaders, but I realized that leadership is about being the first to act."

#18 "There are more important things than money. If I were motivated by money, I could have sold these documents to any number of countries and gotten very rich."

#19 "The great fear that I have regarding the outcome for America of these disclosures is that nothing will change. [People] won't be willing to take the risks necessary to stand up and fight to change things... And in the months ahead, the years ahead, it's only going to get worse. [The NSA will] say that... because of the crisis, the dangers that we face in the world, some new and unpredicted threat, we need more authority, we need more power, and there will be nothing the people can do at that point to oppose it. And it will be turnkey tyranny."

#20 "I will be satisfied if the federation of secret law, unequal pardon and irresistible executive powers that rule the world that I love are revealed even for an instant."

#21 "You can't come up against the world's most powerful intelligence agencies and not accept the risk."

#22 "I know the media likes to personalize political debates, and I know the government will demonize me."

#23 "We have got a CIA station just up the road – the consulate here in Hong Kong – and I am sure they are going to be busy for the next week. And that is a concern I will live with for the rest of my life, however long that happens to be."

#24 "I understand that I will be made to suffer for my actions, and that the return of this information to the public marks my end."

#25 "There’s no saving me."

#26 "The only thing I fear is the harmful effects on my family, who I won't be able to help any more. That's what keeps me up at night."

#27 "I do not expect to see home again."

Would you make the same choice that Edward Snowden made?  Most Americans would not.  One CNN reporter says that he really admires Snowden because he has tried to get insiders to come forward with details about government spying for years, but none of them were ever willing to...

As a digital technology writer, I have had more than one former student and colleague tell me about digital switchers they have serviced through which calls and data are diverted to government servers or the big data algorithms they've written to be used on our e-mails by intelligence agencies. I always begged them to write about it or to let me do so while protecting their identities. They refused to come forward and believed my efforts to shield them would be futile. "I don't want to lose my security clearance. Or my freedom," one told me.

And if the U.S. government has anything to say about it, Snowden is most definitely going to pay for what he has done.  In fact, according to the Daily Beast, a directorate known as "the Q Group" is already hunting Snowden down...

The people who began chasing Snowden work for the Associate Directorate for Security and Counterintelligence, according to former U.S. intelligence officers who spoke on condition of anonymity. The directorate, sometimes known as “the Q Group,” is continuing to track Snowden now that he’s outed himself as The Guardian’s source, according to the intelligence officers.

If Snowden is not already under the protection of some foreign government (such as China), it will just be a matter of time before U.S. government agents get him.

And how will they treat him once they find him?  Well, one reporter overheard a group of U.S. intelligence officials talking about how Edward Snowden should be "disappeared".  The following is from a Daily Mail article that was posted on Monday...

A group of intelligence officials were overheard yesterday discussing how the National Security Agency worker who leaked sensitive documents to a reporter last week should be 'disappeared.'

Foreign policy analyst and editor at large of The Atlantic, Steve Clemons, tweeted about the 'disturbing' conversation after listening in to four men who were sitting near him as he waited for a flight at Washington's Dulles airport.


'In Dulles UAL lounge listening to 4 US intel officials saying loudly leaker & reporter on #NSA stuff should be disappeared recorded a bit,' he tweeted at 8:42 a.m. on Saturday.

According to Clemons, the men had been attending an event hosted by the Intelligence and National Security Alliance.

As an American, I am deeply disturbed that the U.S. government is embarrassing itself in front of the rest of the world like this.

The fact that we are collecting trillions of pieces of information on people all over the planet is a massive embarrassment and the fact that our politicians are defending this practice now that it has been exposed is a massive embarrassment.

If the U.S. government continues to act like a Big Brother police state, then the rest of the world will eventually conclude that is exactly what we are.  At that point we become the "bad guy" and we lose all credibility with the rest of the planet.

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Greyhat's picture

What if Snowden just does what he is payed for? ;)

Freedom In Your Lifetime's picture

What if the piece of shit statists stopped trying to control everything?

1C3-N1N3's picture

Just want you to know that I saw the post and actually did it. Queued up Rick Astley on the speakers, mic enabled, and pulsated appropriately. I hope this becomes a thing.

I am also 100% sober right now.

fonzannoon's picture


Everyone at the SEC is now applying for a job at the NSA

1C3-N1N3's picture

Coming to a LiveJasmin feed near you. (Why not?)

Fonz, you've opened up a whole new world of opportunity for me.

Thank you.

ratso's picture

Snowden is just plain naive. He has many more opinions than informed understandinsg.

1C3-N1N3's picture

I'm the naive one here. I just simultaneously chicken-hearted and rickrolled the NSA with little information at my disposal.

Snowden, on the other hand, had plenty of information and did something much more meaningful than I did.

tarsubil's picture

Scenario: You're suspicious your spouse is spying on everything you do. One day a private detective comes to you telling you that he was hired to be part of the extensive surveillance network your spouse constructed to watch everything you do. He says he's left the country as your spouse has been known to fly off the handle and murder people but that is the risk he is willing to take for a clear conscious. Your spouse when confronted with the information flies into a rage and is almost 99% sure that the private detective has betrayed you and needs to be murdered. This after your spouse's long history of being vocally supportive of both sides of every argument. The 1% of doubt is mostly concerned with the possibility of spying on you all the time being a violation of their oath that they would never spy on you. Your friend who tells you all about the happenings in the world every night bemoans the fact your spouse didn't hire a police officer as they would have never spilled the beans and you wouldn't have to know you are being abused. Your spouse wants to debate if spying on you all the time is worth the added security you get. However, you realize that your spouse watched while a thug punched in your front two teeth in 2001 and even had past ties to the thug in fights with other people. And just recently your spouse was watching as two nimrods kneecapped you at a 5K. Your spouse gives examples of how he caught people that were going to attack you but upon closer scrutiny you realize that your spouse hired and fomented those people's plans to attack you.
Questions: Do you trust your spouse? Does the fact that your spouse has a history of watching you get terrorized make you doubt that the surveillance is for your safety? Why do you think your spouse is spying you? Does your spouse really care about you or your safety? Do you think you need a divorce?

DeadFred's picture

Don't forget that your spouse has purple lips and comes from Kenya

TwoShortPlanks's picture

A National Socialist Amerika wouldn't be THAT bad...Country & Western singers might flourish like, like a little flower.

See: http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=uJuacmbtzls
(Yes I know she's from Oz)

Joe Davola's picture

Of course very early on in the story on MSN they get in there the (alleged) fact that the White House fence jumper is registered Republican and voted last fall.  Dumb fuckers in the media still don't get it.

espirit's picture


Petraeus comes to mind.

TruthInSunshine's picture

There should already have been a 9 million person (constituting less than 3% of the U.S. population) march on Washington D.C. (targeting the White House, Capitol Building & Supreme Court) in response to Prismgate.

This march should be of the type that unambiguously signals that the American People are now proclaiming "Enough!" to the complete disregard of their RIGHTS by agents of all branches of government THAT WORK FOR THEM, and charged with the quite fundamental task of ensuring strict compliance with constitutional governance (rather than blatant disregard of same).

This march should be peaceful in its form, but in no way passive or anything other than VERY aggressive in its message to BigGov.org (and especially the deeply captured and corrupted CONgress and Puppet in the White House.

Whoever has a twitter account, get the ball started.

#9 Million Citizen March

TruthInSunshine's picture

A march of every age, political affiliation (or independence, as it may be), income bracket, etc. background, focused on and united in their belief, as a singular point of petition of redress, that they will no longer tolerate government entities as they are now comprised nor the activities that these entities perpertuate or delegate to other governmental agencies or quasi-governmental agencies to perpetuate (abdicating their most sacrosanct and fundamental duties).

A 9 Million Citizen March on D.C. would shut the place down (that's ALWAYS a good thing) and be a good starting point in letting the cesspool of rot that is out deeply captured and corrupted branches of government know that a breaking point is no longer a mere hypothetical.

#9 Million Citizens Declaring "Enough!"

sitenine's picture

What would marching accomplish? As apposed to, say, 9 million Americans not paying their 2013 taxes? Hey, just askin'.

Spastica Rex's picture

I'm revolting.

That's what my wife says.

LetThemEatRand's picture

The middle class is revolting.   That's what Ben says every day of his miserable life, and until it has the other meaning it has no meaning.

Manthong's picture

Some youngsters wrote something about mutually pledging “ our Lives, our Fortunes and our Sacred Honor”

They were younger and way smarter than the old farts that controlled things and they were courageous.

We should beseech the Higher Power that we may be blessed with such youthful and invigorant wisdom and courage again.

Bob Dobbs's picture

Very narrow thread!  Nice avatar.

Skateboarder's picture

I don't know about accomplish, but it might invite 100 million hollow points.

onthesquare's picture

"Enough" will not be enough.  Who will make sure the machine is turned off completely and for good?  Snowden will be the William Wallace of the 21st century.


WhackoWarner's picture

I recall a time decades ago when segments of the population openly left their TV sets and demonstrated non-stop against policy. This was the 60's.  Openly hit the streets world-wide. 

Who has that moral compass now?  Snowden it would seem.


Bloggers and Zero Hedge wannabes   ZIP action.  All talk and back to the TV set or back to the stock charts or back to " Not me".

I look at my neighbourhood.  Nobody stands up for anything inconvenient to their personal comfort.


Voluntary Exchange's picture



"THAT WORK FOR THEM" --  No you can only say that when the service arrangement is based on voluntary exchange. Under voluntary exchange "we" directly would retain the obvious remedy of refusing to buy their services anymore. Instead, they actually get their pay from a criminal syndicate.  They don't work for "us" then they work for those who continue to extort and steal taxes at the point of a gun from "us" (the victims).  Thus they are part of a criminal syndicate. You see the "boss" is the one with the power to BUY their "work" and that ain't us!!  Article 1, sec 8, clause 1, US Constitution: The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes .......  


That is the foundation of the problem. Plant an evil seed and you get evil fruit. All governments on this earth are similarly based on this criminal force.  To get a new world without this form of organized crime that commits most of the mass murder, theft, and fraud on this planet, we must stop planting the seed (no more "taxation").  

Good article:



For those of you who still think it is useful to beg a criminal not to behave like a criminal you could try the White House petition to pardon Snowden:


Last count, signatures up to 60,329.




overmedicatedundersexed's picture

truth in sunshine, a march on DC, well I was at the big tea party march on DC, we flooded the area next to the mall we flooded the side streets - families old young all races, only to have the MSM report we were not there in any large number..all of MSM down played the size of our march ...now the tea party is cast as tin foil hat nuts, to the delight of those on the left or co opted by Repubs. One of the points we all stood for was smaller .gov every single one of us- that is why we are the enemy of those even here on ZH for central large government you know leftist progressives and sadly many big wig elite GOP goons.

overmedicatedundersexed's picture

nobody in their right mind wants a shooting war with .gov, having been in a civil war in a SE Asia country, most of the population wanted to be left alone they want a normal life, not to be in the fight. but they at times had to choose by those on each side, they died for being in the wrong place at the wrong time. I left that war while still in country, for I saw the misery the senseless deaths and pain. for LBJ to enrich the elite- like today's police actions - I still know young men who justed returned from Afgan,they  said to me it is hopeless we have won nothing there, even the most dense who go there know, it's like my war , a place for elite to make money on blood and pain. there are ways to fight .gov, but using a gun is the most stupid. let us hope enough of us find tools that hurt them without killing our families and friends..there is hope, we are common people, we all see it..there is hope.

SAT 800's picture

I beg your pardon; they certainly do get it. this "information" is approved by a professional motivational psychologist and the owners of the MSM; it will significantly help you to form the "correct opinion".

Race Car Driver's picture

Why? He's 'worried', like everyone else. He thinks it's 'a shame' that truth-tellers get into 'trouble'.



He was a Congressman for over 30 years. He has connections. He could stand up straight and call all this bullshit what it is. He could use more strenuous, honest language. He could be a real fuckin' hero and start shouting about who the real treasonous traitors are - but no. No. No, Ron Paul isn't gonna start telling any real truths anytime soon. He's gonna use some nice soft words to explain his concerns and not suggest one thing that ought be done about it and to whom.

Ron - like Snowjob - has a role. He plays it well. He uses mommy language to eplain to us kids why the mean old world is what it is and, well, it's just best to wring our collective hands and grin and bear it. BE assured, tho, he is worried.


johngaltfla's picture

LOL, everyone thinks this is about "us" but it is about POWER....The entire program is part of a system designed to steal, rob, and assault the sheeple who think we are still a "free Republic" when in fact we are 90% on the way to East Germany with just one more wall left to construct; the outright seizure of private property for the public good, which is already happening in some communities.


Why the NSA nonsense? Not for terrorism, but for this:


The NSA Scandal Explains how Mitt Romney Lost the Election

Oh regional Indian's picture

Well said RCD, RP is a religion, not  A Pol.

explains why even intelligent folk cannot see behind the curtain in his case.

 as for this increasingly shifty looking snowden story..... seems more and more of a construct every day.

Even his thoughts, read like a script.


A leaky wiki comes to mind...



fonzannoon's picture

You sound kind of scripted right now.....

Oh regional Indian's picture

Hmmmm.... putting aside RiP for the moment, a pole dancing girlfriend?


Back to RiP, let's just call him Sir Saidalot DidNuthin, shall we?

Oh, wait, he raised awareness. 30 years of awareness raising and look where you are.


Oh regional Indian's picture

I'm saying all he was, was a lightening rod for the well-meaning, intelligent and somewhat contrarian "voter".

Nothing more. Not a thing more.

And now his dynasty is secure, with a son who speaks out of both sides of his mouth.


fonzannoon's picture

i hear you. it seems like he did his job. That's all I'm saying.

merizobeach's picture

You're actually trying to criticize Ron Paul?  What the fuck have you ever contributed to humanity?

Race Car Driver's picture

Why, look at you sportin' a snappy little Anarchist avatar with Ron Paul's dick in your mouth.


merizobeach's picture

And look at you, the statist born-eunuch.  What's the matter--are you bitter for being born brainless and spineless--as well without balls--to sibling parents?  Sucks to be your dumb ass, not that you'd be smart enough to know.  Let's pose the original question to your useless self, too--what the fuck have you ever contributed to humanity?  So you know, being a mindless waste of air and food, as you are, counts against your net value to humanity.

SAT 800's picture

Go cook some cockroaches over a cow dung fire and stop bothering people who live in the real world.

Herd Redirection Committee's picture

Just like Colbert and Jon Stewart, they will make jokes, but they won't ever actually tell you its criminal, and gone too far, and time to put a stop to the surreal nightmare.

Voluntary Exchange's picture

Softer language is more appropriate for certain groups of people who must be carefully weaned away from their simpler misconceptions.   This world is in very serious trouble caused by very serious misconceptions that are threatening to crash civilization as we know it. Two big ones being nuclear power and fossil  fuels as implemented by limited liability entities (otherwise known as "take the money and run") corporations.  And a third very great misconception:  that great enabler, governments,  based on force instead of individual self-government based on cooperation. The present governments by force are the enablers of "limited liability" corporate scams.

The serious truths that must be understood and implemented can be several rungs of the ladder higher than most people are able to even comprehend or reach at this moment.  If they can grasp some of the easier lower rungs of truths first then they might be able to grasp and reach for the more important ones later. You can't strike at the root of a problem until you first recognize the problem, then you must learn how the root came to be and how it survives and grows. 

merizobeach's picture

Yeah, I'd cheer if Ron Paul started calling for exposure of the harder truths of government corruption and cover-ups.  I suspect that during his career, he may've been made to sign non-disclosure agreements, as many law-makers apparently also are--as a recent example, see ZH's coverage of Prism and the statements of lawmakers sworn to secrecy.  Perhaps Dr. Paul believes he might lose his own freedom for discussing aspects of history.

Regardless of what Ron Paul has not exposed, and why he hasn't done it, in his life, he has contributed more to humanity than I suspect you could, Race Car Driver, in a thousand lifetimes.  So let's keep things in perspective, while you S--your stupid ass--TFU.

RafterManFMJ's picture

Thank you for the eye-beating, impenetrable wall of text.

RockyRacoon's picture

Dude!  TinyURL   ... please.