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Edward Snowden Talks Government Spying and 'Dick Pics' with John Oliver

NSA whistleblower appears on HBO comedy show to answer questions about NSA surveillance, the Patriot Act, and more

NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden sat down in Russia for an interview with comedian news anchor John Oliver. (Image: Screenshot/youtube)

In a sit-down interview with John Oliver, host of HBO's comedy news show Last Week Tonight, that aired on Sunday, NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden said that people should not curb their online habits just because the U.S. government is conducting mass surveillance across the internet.

"The good news is that there's no program named the 'dick pic' program. The bad news... they are still collecting everybody's information, including your dick pics." —Edward SnowdenAsked jokingly by Oliver about whether or not Americans should worry that the National Security Agency is collecting "dick pics" of internet users, Snowden said that people shouldn't change their behavior simply "because a government agency somewhere is doing the wrong thing" by using a series of advanced surveillance programs to collectprivate personal data in bulk. "If you sacrifice your values because you're afraid," Snowden said, "you don't care about those values very much."

He continued, "The good news is that there's no program named the 'dick pic' program. The bad news... they are still collecting everybody's information, including your dick pics."

Prompted by the upcoming reauthorization of the U.S. Patriot Act in Congress, Oliver's top story for the half-hour show was a look at the sweeping law in the context of the revelations made possible by the trove of NSA documents Snowden leaked to journalists in 2013.

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