WHISTLEBLOWER Edward Snowden has released a statement through the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) telling the US government to quit understating its surveillance activities.
Snowden extracted a vast collection of US National Security Agency (NSA) documents and shared them with US and European journalists before seeking sanctuary in Russia, and he reportedly has been indicted for espionage by the US government .
His revelations have sent shockwaves through the world's governments and the information technology industry, implicating everyone from US President Obama to Google, Facebook, Microsoft and Twitter.
Civil rights groups have condemned the NSA's global surveillance, and this weekend the ACLU, along with Fight for the Future and some 100 other organisations in the Stopwatching.Us coalition will protest against it at Union Station in Washington, DC this Saturday, 26 October, at 12:00pm EDT.
Snowden has come out in support of the protest demonstration, and provided a statement that strikes back at comments by US government agencies and politicians.
"In the last four months, we've learned a lot about our government. We've learned that the US intelligence community secretly built a system of pervasive surveillance. Today, no telephone in America makes a call without leaving a record with the NSA. Today, no internet transaction enters or leaves America without passing through the NSA's hands. Our representatives in Congress tell us this is not surveillance. They're wrong," he said.
"Now it's time for the government to learn from us. On Saturday, the ACLU, EFF, and the rest of the StopWatching.Us coalition are going to DC. Join us in sending the message: Stop Watching Us."
Snowden is unlikely to be able to attend the protest, but attendees will include former senior NSA executive and whistleblower Thomas Drake. A video released to support Stopwatching.US features a host of celebrities. µ