NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden took to his new favorite social media platform on Monday (Oct. 12) to argue that indiscriminate mass surveillance is a tool of social control that disproportionately affects the underprivileged:
Snowden’s comments provoked a response from DeRay Mckesson, a leading activist from the Black Lives Matter movement:
Their discussion, in full below, included advice from Snowden on how to best fight back against the US government’s watchful eye. The result of their exchange was a tentative plan to have a public discussion on the relationship between mass surveillance and violence by the state.
Black Lives Matter is a non-hierarchical movement that began after the shooting death of Trayvon Martin, an unarmed black teenager, in 2013. Earlier this year, The Intercept reported that its activists have been closely monitored by the US government.
In September, Mckesson told Buzzfeed News that he assumed the government was reading all of his communications. “I know that they want it to have a chilling effect and I’m just not feeding into it. All we’re doing is telling the truth and I’ll never be afraid to tell the truth,” he said.
Here’s the full exchange between Snowden and Mckesson: