John Oliver skewered the Patriot Act in his latest show, which also featured an interview with Edward Snowden and did not go easy on him and his decision to steal and release NSA documents revealing details of a vast surveillance program.
In his commentary, Oliver began by pointing out we don’t know how many documents Snowden stole, “although he has consistently tried to reassure people he put them in good hands.” Then turning a bit more serious Oliver points out that Snowden’s plan to let media decide what is appropriate to publish doesn’t always work out. As the NY Times published a slide that was poorly blurred so people could read how the US Government monitored a nascent ISIS.
“So essentially a national security secret was leaked because no one at the Times can use Microsoft Paint,” joked Oliver, then said it was time for us once again to have a debate about what Ed Snowden did. “We all want perfect privacy and perfect safety. Both those two things can’t coexist.”
The interview, which began on a jovial note turned serious quickly, much to the surprise of Snowden. Oliver started on a line of intelligent hardball questions, here are some highlights:
“How many of those documents have you actually read?”
Regarding how careful Snowden was to preview and understand the contents of the documents before he released them to the media.
“That was a fuck-up.”
On the NY Times blurring mishap.
“But you have to own that.”
Telling Snowden the fuck-up was on him.
“On the plus side, you might be able to go home because no one knows who the fuck you are.
After showing Snowden videos of interviews he conducted with people on the street in NYC, none of which could muster up accurate details on him nor his release of documents.
The most powerful criticism Oliver lodges against Snowden is that the media outlets do not have the same type of cryptography or digital security experience as him, and it was irresponsible to put such sensitive material in the hands of people who cannot protect it.
The interview gets darn right tense at times, but ends in a sequence of Snowden explaining to Oliver how the NSA can see your dick pics. Although the segment ends on this light note, we wonder how the order of the questions in the actual interview went, and Snowden’s mood leaving from an interview that he must have suspected to be an easy one. You should watch the entire video above.