Army whistleblower Chelsea Manning said Thursday that government surveillance is "getting worse, especially in the United States," stressed the need for "community building," and underscored to a crowd, "You have power."
The 30-year-old former U.S. Army private, who exposed U.S. war crimes and is now running for a seat in the U.S. Senate in the 2018 Maryland Democratic primary, made the comments at Montreal's C2 technology conference, which ends Friday.
"The world that I feared in 2010 would exist ... has really played out and accelerated in its development when I was (in prison)," she said. "You see the intensity and the aggressiveness and the real authoritarian police forces that we have in the U.S. and how normal that is," the Globe and Mail reports her as saying.
"It looks like a U.S. military occupation," she said.
Thank you Chelsea Manning for your support and activism. You are true change maker and such an inspiration for all of us!#ChelseaManning #LGBTQIcon #LGBTQActivist #WhistleBlower #TransgenderAdvocate #C2m18 #c2m18backstage @xychelsea pic.twitter.com/oVY4s9X8hD— JF Bouchard (@jfbouchard) May 24, 2018
“Every single one of us has political agency” @xychelsea says in conversation with @lex_is “everything we do every day has a political impact, and not doing something can also have a political impact” #C2M18 pic.twitter.com/6bcCXPxvzh— C2 Montréal (@C2Montreal) May 24, 2018
Manning also said computer scientists should "consider the ethical implications of the technology that they are building and developing," adding, "Just because you can build a tool doesn't mean you should."
According to Manning, "We're going to have to do a lot of work as people, as a community, in our cities, to build a better world and offer an alternative."
After her release, Manning explained that she exposed the trove of military documents because she felt "a responsibility to the public … we all have a responsibility."