A new video montage of recent interviews with former NSA contractor and whistleblower Edward Snowden exposes how the global COVID-19 pandemic lockdowns - which have been particularly severe and far-reaching in Western countries like the UK, Canada, and in a number of major US cities - coupled with the already immense power of Silicon Valley and its allies in the national security state, has served to keep individuals and entire populations 'gated off' from one another. "This is just the beginning," Snowden warns of these unprecedented times. "All of these things today have consequences which we are not informed about."
"I would say this is sort of unusual... we're all spread all over the world in different rooms, everybody's locked up... but for me this is how I've always lived." He narrates that so much of our life is "intermediated by the screens." Increasingly our lives are "intermediated by these screens. We spend less time outside and more and more time staring into glass or through glass to connect with that larger world - something beyond ourselves."
Ultimately he poses the following questions as a warning in the video entitled, "Edward Snowden 2021: The Most VICIOUS HONEST 10 Minutes of your LIFE!"... "Increasingly it feels something distinct from us, something apart from us - something that we are witnessing rather than participating in. Ask yourself: Is this your will? Is this what you want? Did you agree to this? Is this consistent with the vision of the future you want to see?
Snowden continues, "The institutional powers of our day... which have assumed for themselves some mandate - whether to conduct business, whether its to govern the lives of others, whether it's to make war, .. these institutional powers don't seem to particularly care about your answer to that question: is this what you wanted? Is this OK? Did you agree to it?"
The answer is frequently "you don't have a choice" as to whether you agree or not... "because they have the gun, they have the baton. And Facebook would say 'Click OK to continue' - and if you don't you can't do anything..."
"Because they [Facebook and big tech] control the policy and through the policy they control the platform, and through the platform they control the public... they exercise some great level of influence over it by gating us off, separating us from the things that we need to do to connect and engage in just what is considered today a 'normal life'.
"Is time that we recognize these are forced choices," he urges while warning it threatens to become a permanent state of things if the public doesn't become aware and act.
"Edward Snowden says COVID-19 could give governments invasive new data-collection powers that could last long after the pandemic."— Paul Huang (@PaulHuangReport) April 9, 2020
"Could"? More like for certain. https://t.co/lFa6RPGzTx
These are themes and 'warnings' Snowden began to get vocal about from the moment the pandemic hit the West and North America last March, which in many places resulted in the imposition of emergency 'stay at home orders' from state and local governments:
"Five years later the coronavirus is gone, this data's still available to them — they start looking for new things," Snowden said. "They already know what you're looking at on the internet, they already know where your phone is moving, now they know what your heart rate is. What happens when they start to intermix these and apply artificial intelligence to them?" he said last Spring.
Underscoring in these latest statements that this is a key source for the "growing tide of anger" we're now witnessing globally, Snowden continues: "People recognize that it is not consent, not in an way that really matters... People don't feel a sense of agency... and they don't agree with it."
"What we're seeing is a divorce between the individual and the institutional in terms of power and accountability."
Speaking of world leaders and global ruling elites, he urges awareness of the immensely alarming reality we've blindly crept into as a society: "We need to recognize that there seems to be nothing they can do that results in them facing a serious consequence, whereas the smallest infractions of our lives that can even be civil rather than criminal are instantly crystalized and memorialized at the moment of mistake, and captured into a permanent record that's held and controlled by these groups... whether they are commercial or governmental."