23 October 2019 22:35
Through the looking glass: Curiously enough, Snowden doesn't discredit the possibility that aliens exist or that the government has information on them. He just states that he wasn't able to find anything on the topic on the networks he had access to. And really, one wouldn't expect to find information on this topic within the NSA or the CIA. Government whistleblower Edward Snowden appeared on an episode of the Joe Rogan Experience podcast on Wednesday. As part of the nearly three hour interview which was conducted via video stream due to Snowden's inability to travel, the whistleblower touched on the topic of alien life.
At around the 30:55 mark of the interview, Snowden said he went looking for evidence of "aliens and chemtrails" on the network but came up empty-handed. "I know you want there to be aliens. I know Neil deGrasse Tyson badly wants there to be aliens and there probably are. But the idea that we're hiding them… if we are hiding them… I had ridiculous access to the networks at the NSA, the CIA, the military, all these groups, I couldn't find anything. If it's hidden, and it could be hidden, it's hidden really damn well, especially for people on the inside." I've only had the opportunity to listen to the first half hour or so of the interview thus far but if you've followed Snowden's story or are at all interested in the topics of technology or government surveillance, it'll likely be a worthwhile investment of your time.
In September, Snowden released his memoir called "Permanent Record." On the book's release, the Department of Justice filed a lawsuit against him and his publisher for not submitting the book to government agencies for pre-publication review. Edward Snowden's first book, Permanent Record, which tracks the evolution of technology and government in the post-9/11 era, was released last month—and was immediately hit with a lawsuit. Fearing publicity suppression, Snowden's publisher advised he start making media rounds. But Snowden, preferring to talk for three hours rather than three minutes on a morning show, reached out instead to the the man who was covering Bigfoot on SyFy the same year he was stealing state secrets from the NSA. And that's how the most famous whistleblower in American history, Edward Snowden, beamed his way from an undisclosed location (likely in Russia) to the Joe Rogan podcast.
"For people who have no idea who the hell I am," Snowden began, "I'm the guy who's behind the revelations of global mass surveillance." Seven years ago, in 2013, while working for the CIA, Snowden copied classified information from an NSA site in Hawaii. Snowden then leaked the documents, eventually to reach public view, through journalist Glenn Greenwald of The Guardian. It's unclear exactly how large Snowden's disclosure was—and officials say we may never know. Greenwald says Snowden gave him between 9,000-10,000 documents (though, U.S. intelligence has downplayed Snowden's authority, and the Obama administration reportedly referred to Snowden as merely a "systems administrator," i.e., just a small fry). Nonetheless, Snowden's leaks exposed several government practices, including cooperation between U.S. internet companies and the NSA, as well as various strategies for compiling information on U.S. citizens. (Of course, there was that NBC interview where Snowden told Brian Williams the NSA could turn on his phone, right then and there, if they wanted.) Upon the documents' publication, Snowden flew to Hong Kong and sought temporary asylum in Russia. He currently lives in Moscow as a permanent resident. "The big thing that's changed since 2013 is now it's mobile-first everything," Snowden told Rogan, explaining how things have shifted since his time in U.S. intelligence. Snowden explained people are less likely to use laptops than smartphones—most surveillance now will simply target the device in your pocket. "You have a phone somewhere in the room," began Snowden. "The phone is turned off—at least the screen is off. But this "bulk collection"—where you go and what that behavior says about you—"[the government] collects all in advance in hopes one day it will become useful." And that's just what happens when you connect your phone to a network. "That's not talking about all those apps that are contacting the network even more frequently," Snowden emphasized. Snowden told Rogan that our phone constantly "squawking," all the data collection, should be our primary privacy concern. And the problem with smartphone use today is you have no idea what the hell it's doing at any given time," Snowden explained. (This article Snowden wrote with Bunnie Huang gives an explanation on how to know whether your phone is truly off.) Snowden calls it an "an inequality of information." Since Apple and iOS make it impossible to se what network connections are being made, Snowden suggests more user agency—the ability to silence certain apps. "We need to be able to make these intelligent decisions not just on an app-by-app basis, but also a connection-by-connection basis," said Snowden. If there was a button on your phone that said do what I want but don't spy on me, you would press that button. Whistleblower Edward Snowden said that he searched databases before he left his job as a contractor for the National Security Agency (NSA) and found no evidence that the government was hiding the existence of aliens. "I know you want there to be aliens," Snowden told Joe Rogan during an interview for the "Joe Rogan Experience" podcast released Wednesday. "If we are hiding them — I had ridiculous access to the networks of the NSA, CIA, military, all these groups — I couldn't find anything. If it's hidden, and it could be hidden, it's hidden really damn well especially for people on the inside." He also said "there probably are aliens," but dismissed conspiracy theories that the government is hiding their presence from the American public. During the interview, Snowden also detailed his time as a contractor for the NSA. He left the agency in 2013 and leaked thousands of documents to journalists outlining the government's surveillance of American citizens through their internet use and phones. I saw that, basically, the government was violating the law and what I believed to be the Constitution of the United States, more broadly human rights, for everyone in the United States and around the world," Snowden told Rogan during the three-hour discussion. There were mass surveillance programs that worked internationally. Snowden's appearance on the popular podcast comes as part of an extensive media tour following the release of his new book, "Permanent Record." "They don't want to see books like this getting written," Snowden said in the interview. Snowden currently lives in Russia, where he sought political asylum after fleeing from the U.S.