The infamous former NSA contractor Edward Snowden is speaking out again, now claiming that the United States is carrying out mass surveillance and data storage operations in Japan.
The claims came this weekend during a video conference in Tokyo, where Snowden spoke to a collected group of journalists and lawyers from his home in Moscow, Russia. Snowden was granted temporary asylum in Russia in 2013 after his whistleblowing efforts on American data collection programs yielding an international controversy.
Snowden, who lived in Japan for several years while working for Dell Inc., worked on a surveillance program on the US-operated Yokota airbase in Tokyo. He detailed levels of the ongoing surveillance effort during the conference on Saturday, telling his eager crowd, “They know your… religious faith. They know whom you love. They know whom you care about… This was our job to establish the pattern of life of any individuals.”
— Bill Perrin (@BillPerrin) June 6, 2016
The hero/traitor/whistleblower (depending on your view, of course) continued by highlighting the controversial 2013 Japanese law that gives government agencies the ability to classify seemingly random information, “…as state secrets.” According to the Japan Times, the law — the Act on the Protection of Specially Designated Secrets — was pushed through vigorously by Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and noted, “Leakers, including civil servants, could face up to 10 years in prison and those who instigate such leaks, including journalists, could be subjected to five-year prison terms.”
Snowden claims that the law was actually designated by the United States to aid in its espionage efforts.
Speaking to his own situation, Snowden continued, “I don’t want to live in the world where everything… is tracked and monitored.” State-wide, Snowden is wanted by the United States on charges of theft of government property and and espionage.
[image via Twitter]
[h/t The Japan Times]
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