Here's What The Richest Man In The World Thinks About Snowden And NSA Surveillance

Tyler Durden's picture

Submitted by Mike Krieger of Liberty Blitzkrieg blog,

So Bill Gates recently gave an interview to Rolling Stone magazine. The vast majority of the interview focused on his philanthropic efforts, with a particular focus on poverty and climate change. However, several questions were brought up on illegal NSA surveillance in general, and Edward Snowden in particular.

His answers reveal one of the biggest problems facing America today, which is the fact that the billionaire class as a whole does not question or rock the boat whatsoever. They criticize only when it is convenient or easy to do so, never putting themselves at risk for the sake of civil liberties and the Constitution.

In mosts cases, this is due to the fact that they themselves are the characters pulling the strings of the political class in Washington D.C. So when it comes down to it, their policies ultimately become our policies.

It is also important to note that Microsoft was a particularly eager participant in NSA spying from the very beginning. For example, according to the following PRISM slide provided by Edward Snowden, we see that Gates’ company was the first to become involved. In fact, they were participating a full six months before Yahoo!, while Apple didn’t join until a year after Steve Jobs died.


What a tangled web we have weaved. Now from Rolling Stone:

Question: When people think about the cloud, it’s not only the accessibility of information and their documents that comes to mind, but also their privacy – or lack of it.


Gates: Should there be cameras everywhere in outdoor streets? My personal view is having cameras in inner cities is a very good thing. In the case of London, petty crime has gone down. They catch terrorists because of it. And if something really bad happens, most of the time you can figure out who did it. There’s a general view there that it’s not used to invade privacy in some way. Yet in an American city, in order to take advantage of that in the same way, you have to trust what this information is going to be used for.

Do they really catch terrorists because of it in London? Because in the U.S., the NSA chief already admitted that the entire spy program has stopped essentially zero terrorist attacks. It certainly didn’t stop the Boston bombings. So what are we giving up our privacy for exactly?

Question: Thanks to Edward Snowden, who has leaked tens of thousands of NSA documents, we are. Do you consider him a hero or a traitor?


Gates: I think he broke the law, so I certainly wouldn’t characterize him as a hero. If he wanted to raise the issues and stay in the country and engage in civil disobedience or something of that kind, or if he had been careful in terms of what he had released, then it would fit more of the model of “OK, I’m really trying to improve things.” You won’t find much admiration from me.

Sorry Billy boy, but we have had many whistleblowers in the past who went through the system and they ended up in jail or their lives were ruined. For example, the only person imprisoned for torture in the USA is the guy who exposed the torture program, John Kiriakou.

Question: Even so, do you think it’s better now that we know what we know about government surveillance?


Gates: The government has such ability to do these things. There has to be a debate. But the specific techniques they use become unavailable if they’re discussed in detail. So the debate needs to be about the general notion of under what circumstances should they be allowed to do things.

First of all, without the Snowden revelations, there would be no “debate.” As it stands, the intelligence complex and Obama don’t seem to have much interest in changing a single thing anyway.

Before Snowden proved us right, those who accurately claimed the NSA was doing all of these things were labeled paranoid conspiracy theorists. Moreover, how can anyone seriously defend these “techniques” in light of the recent revelations that show activities so egregious that security experts think they threaten the infrastructure of the entire internet?

Gates goes on to ponder…

Should surveillance be usable for petty crimes like jaywalking or minor drug possession? Or is there a higher threshold for certain information?Those aren’t easy questions.

How are those not easy questions? They are exceedingly easy questions for a civilized society. The answer is no. Unless you want to toss even more citizens in jail for non-violent offenses, because having 25% of the world’s prison population and only 5% of its population is not inhumane enough.

More from Gates…

The U.S. government in general is one of the better governments in the world. It’s the best in many, many respects. Lack of corruption, for instance, and a reasonable justice system.

Seriously, what country is Gates living in? I suppose when you are the richest man in the world it’s pretty easy to live in a bubble. He is so obsessed with the problems of the outside world and the fact that they are more corrupt than we are, that he is completely blind to the very dangerous trends happening in America.

What a joke.

The entire interview can be read here.

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One And Only's picture

You know why the tech companies don't give two shits? They pay next to nothing in taxes and the government doesn't go after them. Why do you think the government doesn't go after them or raise their taxes?

takeaction's picture

They ARE the Government....they allow the NSA inside...back door deals...etc.  

One And Only's picture

Why does Buffet support Obama publicly so much?

Buffet has a huge financial interest in rail freight - rail freight that in large part ships oil. What has Obama stonewalled time and time again? The Keystone Pipeline - a major competitor to Buffet's rail interest.

People start seeing how this works?

DoChenRollingBearing's picture

It is very hard to get away from .gov corruption.  EVERY country that I have spent real time in (say six countries) has a roughly equal amount of total corruption.  So, yeah, Canada, Peru, Italy and the USA are all roughly similar in scale (though somewhat different in nature) IMO.

That is a subjective judgement based solely on my observations and conversations with informed (?) locals).


What to do (assuming you can do something, many of us can!)

- Having assets hidden away is one thing that will help.

- Another is getting physically, mentally and especially spiritually fit

One And Only's picture

You're right - corruption is nothing new nor exclusive to any country. However we had a constitution that did severely limit it, but unfortunately we don't operate under it's purview any longer.

And your solution is correct. Collect assets that are difficult to confiscate and prepare in the other ways you mentioned.

At this point there is literally nothing that can be done beside an armed take over of the government - which by the way wouldn't guarantee we end up with something better than before. The American Revolution was very unique in many regards and would be very difficult to replicate the outcome.

CH1's picture

Fucking Statist coward.

One And Only's picture


I must have missed the coverage of you charging the White House.

Indian_Goldsmith's picture

Why bill? Why?I didn't expect this from you. I always thought you were the good guy who helps poor African kids eat free medicines.... 

jaap's picture

because they are part of the system, especially Bill (planned parenthood) Gates.

The Alarmist's picture

You think Vlad is the only one who keeps his oligarchs in line? LOTF, RIP.

jbvtme's picture

if i was the richest man on earth and i was surveying my domain from the highest mountain top i'd be pretty embarrassed by what i saw...the stupidity, poverty, polution, greed, evil. with all his money he has done zero to make it a better place.  fuck him

mvsjcl's picture

Richest man in the world? He's a pauper compared to the money masters.

James_Cole's picture

Bill Gates seems sincere, he's just well propagandized. Most Americans (including the majority of zh'ers) still cling to many of the myths about America. 

Being on the outside it's easier to see the propaganda at work, he's simply reflecting the corporate / American view of the world. 

Harbanger's picture

Bill like many rich fuckers won't fight the system for fear they may be targeted by the Statists.  You may still cling to the myth of a benevolent Gov. or the myth of inherent goodness in human nature.  I believe in the true nature of man and the need for order.

James_Cole's picture

You may still cling to the myth of a benevolent Gov. or the myth of inherent goodness in human nature. 

I don't, Gates simply restated opinions I hear from lots of Americans.

Reminded me when during the lead up to the Iraq war American liberal friends would tell me how critical it was to immediately invade, whereas no one I knew elsewhere in the world supported the idea at all. One of the first instances I realized how effective/ ubiquitous American propaganda is within the US. 

J S Bach's picture

Evelyn de Rothschild and his satanic clan are by far the richest bipeds in the world.  (I won't call them "men".)

Harbanger's picture

Satanic my ass.  Send them all to hell where they belong.  You won't call them men, instead you'll call them Sir.  If you had any balls and organization you'd spit in their face before you.....

chumbawamba's picture

Bill Gates after his first bukkake scene:

Bill Gates Bukkaked

I am Chumbawamba.

Ignatius's picture

Bukkake is not really my cup of tea, but I must admit this fantasy image makes me just a little excited.

old naughty's picture

Com'on, leave him alone...He's just another teleprompter.  ;-p

Element's picture

This is precisely how far you can trust the "all-round-good-guy" US govt, with anything.


USSA nAtIonaL aNtHem


Lost Word's picture

Why is there no story at ZH about the hijacked Malaysian Boeing 777 being under surveillance?

There are elsewhere internet stories about hijacked passenger cell phones being called by relatives,

with phones ringing, and even some 19 phones picked up and answered and immediately hung up.


Which, if true, implies the 777 was still flying or safely landed somewhere,

and someone confiscated all the cell phones from the passengers.

Furthermore, the active cell phones should be broadcasting the location,

either the GPS location, or at least the nearest cell phone tower location,

and should be known to the telecom company and Government,

therefore the Government and the news media are lying when they say the location is unknown.


MeelionDollerBogus's picture

Wasn't this over the ocean?

Cell phones don't normally work from planes because they can't connect to towers at the right speed, and if over an ocean, there are no towers. A plane aiming at a satellite would be massively near impossible given the small aiming differences that would completely misaim the signal.

Just like with the 9/11 cell phone stories over Pennsylvania I know this nonsense doesn't work.

While working at T-Mobile I dared anyone to figure out how to get those phones to work from cell phones without the airfone antenna on a plane and cell towers on the ground aimed specifically up for airplanes. They are directional phased-array antennae now.

It didn't happen.

RaceToTheBottom's picture

Name one Techie that has carried the flag of freedom after making it?


Jobs?... at least he didn't sign up

Ellison? HA

Zuckerman? NO

Ebays founder is supporting US involvement in Ukraine!!!

The layers beneath those guys maybe but the top got there by playing ball.

The only real guys at the top are the ones who started the internet and have become involved with computer freedoms.


chumbawamba's picture

William H. Gates the Third is a Feckless Piece of Shit.  He has always been a shitty programmer and every work product of his shitty company's was only successful because he paid a bunch of assholes to go around telling everyone how awesome it is.  He's the greatest buillshit artist in the world, convincing people to use substandard garbage and overpay for it.  He sold his soul to the Devil, who directed him to do the bidding of his other minions so that it would be more efficient to enslave the human race.

I will strangle you the next time I get within 10 feet of you, Bill.  I will do it.  You got lucky last time, you fucking piece of shit.

I am Chumbawamba.

DoChenRollingBearing's picture

I would have used different wording, but I cannot argue your characterization of Gates.

Chumbawamba, you would make the world news should you actually jump the guy and strangle him with your bare hands.

Or you could just allow things to take their course via our Creator.  He will know what to do.

chumbawamba's picture

Perhaps our Creator put me here to destroy one of his errant creations?

I am the Lord's smiting hand.

I am Chumbawamba.

CognacAndMencken's picture



Bark. Bark. Bark. Bark. Bark. Bark. Bark.  

No one within ten feet of Bill Gates has a 450 credit score.  Ever.  

chumbawamba's picture

What are you, his personal sycophant?  Go suck Melinda's cock you queer.

I am Chumbawamba.

CognacAndMencken's picture



Don't you have some bills to pay?  Last I heard from you, you were struggling to pay your debts and blaming the whole world for it.  Animosity toward the rich and successful is not uncommon for deadbeats who have fallen on their face.  You're just another armchair pseudo-revolutionary libertarian barking behind a mountain of late payments.    

Pay your debts, Chumbawamba.... you're part of the problem in this country.... no one wants to take personal responsibility for the decisions they make. The National Foundation for Credit Counseling is a good place to start: 800-388-2227

It won't help with your constant racism, bigotry and penchant for threatening others, but it might help get your debts under control.


chumbawamba's picture

Only fags care about their credit score.  I mean, what the fuck, how sad can you be?

Listen, dude, max out your credit cards and default on them.  Then enjoy the freedom from having to work as a government/bankster shill to pay them off.

Once you do you may start enjoying pussy again rather than the big dicks you've been sucking.

You're welcome.

I am Chumbawamba.

MeelionDollerBogus's picture


I don't even know what a 450 credit score means.

I've never looked at one before and wouldn't care.

Miffed Microbiologist's picture

It just one of those stupid numbers that banks love to rank their victims. If you have a number over 800 you have the joy being hounded relentlessly to take out loans. Unfortunately,we had to use our HELOC recently for an unforeseen expense that will be paid off next month. This kind of action gets them quickly hot and wet. They are emailing and calling again. Those damn Succubi want to hook you in and spread their toxic STDs. They are so pathetically transparent.


CognacAndMencken's picture



So let me get this straight... you recently needed the credit system to bail you out of a financial problem, so YOU went to the bank and asked for their services.  You accepted their services because otherwise this random financial "emergency" would have been a huge problem for you.  And now, because the bank provided you with this service, you don't have this financial problem anymore.  Your problem was solved in mere days.  

And you think they're demons?  I don't get it - they just helped you.  

This is the problem with most libertarians I meet: they hate everyone and everything, no matter what.    

MeelionDollerBogus's picture


I guess they've been watching my trading enough to figure out I have enough flow to make a good mark. Fine print in their mortgage offer is that they can rescind the good rate any time without warning.

What they don't get is that I'm 100% against renting to forever-rent and pretend it's ownership and I have turned down all debt period for a very long time. Cash, gold, silver, water, food, weapons, pills, skills & bug-out bags for me. Don't need a Visa card, mortgage or other bankster nonsense.

Terminus C's picture

Perhaps our creator put Bill here to make us his slave...

Why do we presume they are not actually doing "God's" work?

Indian_Goldsmith's picture



you jealous chumbawamba? 

pFXTim's picture

likely not jealousy...likely more what I'd say was anger...anger that gates was one of those who deemed it honorable to sell out his country -- a country from which he benefitted immensely, mind you, a country from which a great portion of the technology he built his empire on sprang -- handing over significant pieces of what was prior a great nation to a bunch of thirdworld shitehole dwellers who possess no real culture/advances of their own, and have next to nothing to offer back to the world (unless of course you consider dirt-cheap, largely uneducated labor and a bursting-at-the-seams population as beneficial), instead being only the proud possessors of a seemingly ridiculously ancient, superstition-laden "culture" (if you want to call it that) and set of beliefs...beliefs, mind you, which at no turn propelled said shite-hole dwellers into the modern was likely not jealousy that prompted Chumbawamba's post...but then of course...I'm just guessing.

silverserfer's picture

like a software nerd is going to stand up to murderous govt suits. They all go along with their "special business partner"

sell out sure, no other way. Install the backdoors or be taken out the back door. 


Irene's picture

Shitty products, yeah.  Anybody else remember how back in the day Bill Gates outright refused to give to charity? 

Something about he was way too busy making money....

chumbawamba's picture

Rumor has it he held up a line of people in a Seattle 7-Eleven back in the day as he dug through his wallet trying to find his Slurpee coupon.

I am Chumbawamba.

Ms No's picture

Lots of stories like that in Seattle, Paul Allen treats the city like he owns it... and he almost does. 

chumbawamba's picture

Yeah.  Well, one bullet could own him.

I am Chumbawamba.

RaceToTheBottom's picture

He saved a lot of money by never washing his clothes.  Made being around him pretty bad but now he has people.....

DaveyJones's picture

in my old days at the prosecutors office in Seattle, Bill used to get quite a few speeding tickets in his jaguar. He would send in the most suits I ever saw ... for an infraction. One night, the entire prosecutor's file disappeared. We never did find it. A paralegal who worked for me had a roommate who dated him. Said he was a weird asshole.

Who siad a twenty three year old girl doesn't understand the world  

Froman's picture

Any person that has "Harvard" on their resume or "Cambrige, MA" is a complete fuktard...seriously, thing about all the people that have and are screwing this country up and they all have one thing in common; they spent time at Haarvard or an Ivy.  We need to burn the shit to the ground with the denizens in it!  After that is finished we move on to the rest of the Ivy League asshole incubators and burn those fuktards too.

sangell's picture

Got to agree with you about the Ivy League being a worse problem in the US than Oxbridge in so called class ridden Britain. The US has been under the rule of Harvard or Yale since 1988. From 1944 until 1988 the only Kennedy was a Ivy Leaguer. Which era was better for the average American? That said, Gates and his ilk mewling about global warming and poverty disgust me. 19th century plutocrats did more to end poverty than the Gates foundation ever will precisely because the 19th and early 20th century robber barons believed in conspicous consumption and showing off. Building those Newport mansions created jobs and Stanford and Vanderbilt did more to raise American living standards by endowing the universities that bear their names than Gates pouring money into our failed public school system ever will.

August's picture

Fuck Harvard!  Fuck Yale!

Get the Panthers out of jail!!

(sorry, just one of those brief 1970 flashbacks)

I agree that the net benefit of the Ivies to human life in North America is highly questionable, at best.

I say we nuke all the sites from orbit....