WATCH: Whistleblower Snowden warns governments are building tools of “oppression”

Yahoo reports Edward Snowden, the whistleblower who leaked information on America’s National Security Agency, has warned that governments may use the coronavirus to curtail freedoms.

Snowden, in an interview with Vice, said that governments may take advantage of the pandemic to impose authoritarian rules on populations.

Snowden said, “As authoritarianism spreads, as emergency laws proliferate, as we sacrifice our rights, we also sacrifice our capability to arrest the slide into a less liberal and less free world.

“Do you truly believe that when the first wave, this second wave, the 16th wave of the coronavirus is a long-forgotten memory, that these capabilities will not be kept? That these datasets will not be kept?”

Snowden warned that while Governments may have good intentions as they build technologies such as contact-tracing apps, they are building what he describes as “the architecture of oppression”.

Snowden also claimed that, based on his experience working for intelligence agencies, the pandemic should have been predicted.

Snowden told Vice, “There is nothing more foreseeable as a public health crisis in a world where we are just living on top of each other in crowded and polluted cities, than a pandemic.”

“Every academic, every researcher who’s looked at this knew this was coming. And in fact, even intelligence agencies, I can tell you firsthand, because they used to read the reports had been planning for pandemics.”

Earlier this month, Apple and Google announced they would work together to create contact tracing technology that aims to slow the spread of the coronavirus by allowing users to opt into a system that catalogs other phones they have been near.

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