Edward Snowden Explains How The Government Can Get Your 'Dick Pic' During Interview With John Oliver

04/06/2015 12:32 am ET | Updated Apr 07, 2015
  • Igor Bobic Associate Politics Editor, The Huffington Post

Former NSA contractor Edward Snowden sat down for an interview with comedian John Oliver nearly two years after he leaked classified documents about U.S. government surveillance programs and fled to Russia to escape prosecution.

"I do miss my country. I do miss my home. I do miss my family," Snowden said.

Oliver, the host of HBO's "Last Week Tonight," encouraged Snowden to explain bulk surveillance in colloquial terms so the general public could better understand it. He showed Snowden a video of Americans who were concerned that the government improperly intercepted nude photos, or "dick pics," as part of its mass surveillance programs.

"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," Snowden said while stifling a chuckle.

"If you have your email somewhere like Gmail hosted on a server overseas or transferred overseas or anytime it crosses outside the borders of the United States, your junk ends up in the database," Snowden added.

Snowden then went on to explain the "PRISM" program, which collects data from tech companies like Google, Facebook, Apple and others.

"PRISM is how they pull your junk out of Google, with Google's involvement," he said. "I guess I never thought about putting it in the context of your junk."

So should Americans stop taking photos of their private parts and sending them online?

"You shouldn't change your behavior because of a government agency somewhere that's doing the wrong thing," Snowden said. "If you sacrifice your values because you're afraid, you don't care about those values very much."

CORRECTION: A previous version of this story quoted Snowden as saying PRISM collects data without Google's involvement. He said that Google is involved in the process.

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