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Selective surveillance will create "vulnerabilities": Snowden

By Ians

San Francisco, Dec 14: In a clear message to US President-elect Donald Trump, the famed National Security Agency (NSA) whistleblower Edward Snowden has said that government surveillance programmes will create "vulnerabilities" for social media users.

"The same technologies that are being used to connect us, to tie us together, to let you listen to this right now, are also being used to make records about your activity. Recording the activities of someone creates vulnerabilities for them," Snowden said during a question-and-answer session with Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey CEO on the live video app Periscope owned by the micro-blogging site.

Edward Snowden

According to Re/Code, Trump had called for enhanced digital surveillance as well as a federal registry of Muslim-Americans.

"While other major tech companies have refused to comment about whether they plan to participate if asked to hand over data to build a database specifically profiling Muslim-Americans, Twitter said it definitely would not," the report said.

"Pardon Snowden", a campaign launched in September by major civil rights groups working to win official forgiveness for the whistleblower who is currently in exile in Russia, had announced the Periscope session watched by over 150,000 people.

Snowden also spoke about the prevalence of fake news on social media plaforms.

"The answer to bad speech is not censorship. The answer to bad speech is more speech. We have to exercise and spread the idea that critical thinking matters now more than ever given the fact that lies seem to be getting very popular," Snowden said.

On Wednesday, several top-notch tech executives are set to meet Trump at Trump Tower in New York City.

Among them are: Indian-born Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, Apple CEO Tim Cook, Alphabet CEO Larry Page, Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg, Cisco CEO Chuck Robbins, IBM CEO Ginni Rometty, Intel CEO Brian Krzanich and Oracle CEO Safra Catz.

The tech giants may discuss issues ranging from immigration reform, encryption and social concerns.

According to reports, Twitter CEO Dorsey was not invited for the tech summit.


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