Channel 4

Snowden's 'Alternative' Christmas Message Is Pretty Grim

Each Christmas, the U.K.'s Channel 4 airs an alternative to the queen's Christmas message. This year, that broadcast featured Edward Snowden.

By Zach Toombs | December 25, 2013

The American who pulled back the curtain on spying from the U.S. and United Kingdom delivered an alternative Christmas message Wednesday. Britain's Channel 4 broadcast this video statement from Edward Snowden.

SNOWDEN: "A child born today will grow up with no conception of privacy at all. They'll never know what it means to have a private moment to themselves — an unrecorded, unanalyzed thought."

Snowden also compared the surveillance practices he revealed to those used in "1984," the iconic work of British author George Orwell. Delivered from Moscow, Snowden's brief message clocks in at under 2 minutes. (Via Umbrella-Rosenbum Films Production / "1984")

Each Christmas, Channel 4 airs an alternative to the Queen's annual address, which this year ironically touched on a similar theme of personal reflection.

QUEEN ELIZABETH II: "Many have found the practice of quiet, personal reflection surprisingly rewarding." (Via The Telegraph)

In the six months since he spilled the National Security Agency's secrets and fled to Russia, Snowden has mostly remained silent. But he has been speaking up a bit more in the past week.

Monday, The Washington Post published a lengthy interview with the NSA-contractor-turned-political-refugee. In that, he said he had accomplished his mission of providing insight into worldwide monitoring of phone and Internet usage.

In a statement, Channel 4's head of news and current affairs said carrying Snowden's Christmas message was "an opportunity for our viewers to hear from him directly and judge for themselves what he has to say."

Channel 4 has broadcast an "alternative" Christmas message since 1993, featuring international figures, including Iran's Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Rev. Jesse Jackson.

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