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Published On: Sun, Mar 16th, 2014

Bill Gates on Edward Snowden: ‘I certainly wouldn’t characterize him as a hero’

Microsoft co-founder and world’s richest man, Bill Gates, doesn’t look at National Security Agency (NSA) whistleblower, Edward Snowden through the same glasses as fellow techie,  Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak.

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In an interview with Rolling Stone magazine, Gates said the following about Snowden, “I think he broke the law, so I certainly wouldn’t characterize him as a hero. If he wanted to raise the issues and stay in the country and engage in civil disobedience or something of that kind, or if he had been careful in terms of what he had released, then it would fit more of the model of ‘OK, I’m really trying to improve things.’ You won’t find much admiration from me.”

Concerning government surveillance in general Gates said, “There’s always been a lot of information about your activities. Every phone number you dial, every credit-card charge you make. It’s long since passed that a typical person doesn’t leave footprints. But we need explicit rules. If you were in a divorce lawsuit 20 years ago, is that a public document on the Web that a nosy neighbor should be able to pull up with a Bing or Google search?

“When I apply for a job, should my speeding tickets be available? Well, I’m a bus driver, how about in that case? And society does have an overriding interest in some activities, like, “Am I gathering nuclear-weapons plans, and am I going to kill millions of people?” If we think there’s an increasing chance of that, who do you trust? I actually wish we were having more intense debates about these things.”

 

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About the Author

- Writer, Co-Founder and Executive Editor of The Global Dispatch. Robert has been covering news in the areas of health, world news and politics for a variety of online news sources. He is also the Editor-in-Chief of the website, Outbreak News Today and hosts the podcast, Outbreak News Interviews on iTunes, Stitcher and Spotify Robert is politically Independent and a born again Christian Follow @bactiman63

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  1. Bill Gates Credit Card Information | Our Best Credit Cards says:

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  13. andrew delamarter says:

    If Snowden stayed in this country he would be in a super max prison being tortured. Nice little place we have here;.

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  15. Korey says:

    Why do i care what Bill Gates is saying?

  16. Bill Gates on Edward Snowden: 'I certainly wouldn't characterize him as a hero' - The Global Dispatch - News Smart Devices says:

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  17. Katrina White says:

    I would be more apt to believe Snowden meant well if he hadn’t run like a scalded dog the moment he ran his mouth. Those that truly want change will accept whatever consequences come, knowing they broke the law, and what’s going to get the American public on your side faster? Letting the government big dogs act like idjits while you’re in jail, trying to cover their behinds from all the info you just uncovered, or running like a coward to another country? My vote is the former. If you’re big boy enough to tell on the government, then be big boy enough to take what’s coming. As for Gates, I think he’s been living in the ‘I’ve got waaaay too much money’ land for too long. Reality looks too much like a board game from the pedestal he’s set himself up on. I wonder how quick he’d change his mind if it were his own life being watched at all times. Nothing to hide, nothing to fear, huh? So what if they decide you’re up to something anyway? It happens often. You just happen to know the wrong guy, and because of that, you’re being scrutinized like you walk to work every day with a bomb strapped to your back. Yes, we need to look out for our country, but trying to watch the public like we’re the enemy isn’t the answer.

    • Zzz says:

      Snowden did the right thing by exposing absolute crimes that were being perpetuated against the American people. By default, unlawful laws are not laws, so Snowden didn’t break any laws by exposing the crimes.

      Snowden had every right to report the crimes to the public, and he tried to do so; before going to the public, Snowden went through the proper channels, over 10 times, but he was ignored and threatened.

      In other words, I wouldn’t say Snowden ran like a coward (as apologists like to call him), but I would say *standing idle while a crime syndicate calls for your head* equates to suicide.

  18. Bill Gates on Edward Snowden: 'I certainly wouldn't characterize him as a hero' – The Global Dispatch | Singaporenewsjournal.com says:

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  19. Bill Gates on Edward Snowden: ‘I certainly wouldn’t characterize him as a hero’ – The Global Dispatch | TopHeadlinesNews.com says:

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  20. Zzz says:

    Gates is EVIL.

    On one hand, Gates is more paranoid than Micheal Jackson; most people don’t even know Gates has children, because Gates hides his children from the public.

    On the other hand, Gates believes everybody else should be spied on, that we should all have cameras in our homes, that nobody else should have their privacy protected.

    To make matters worse, people should look into how he is trying to release genetically modified mosquitoes into the wild; he would have our bodies violated via forced vaccinations, and he is using mutated mosquitoes to deliver his ideal vaccinations to us.

  21. Outside Perspective says:

    Breaking the law or not breaking the law can not be a criteria for being a hero or not, and Bill Gates should know this. Martin Luther King, Rosa Parks, Runaway slaves, Ghandi all broke the law, as did the founders of the USA when it was under British rule, and as did those who provoked the end of apartheid in South Africa.

    Mr. Gates usually seeme to answer with intelligence and sensitivity, from the little I know, but I think he was very much off in his reasoning this time.

    Clearly, he doesn’t want to offend the government. And presumably he’s participating in this personal spying and has had some knowledge of it’s extent before we did.

    This said, it hardly seems a scoop that we can be watched. How do they dismantle and find out about terrorist cells? It seemed like that it was by some random listening and reading.

  22. Bill Gates on Edward Snowden: ‘I certainly wouldn’t characterize him as a hero’ – The Global Dispatch | iphonz says:

    […] The Global DispatchMicrosoft co-founder and world’s richest man, Bill Gates, doesn’t look at National Security Agency (NSA) whistleblower, Edward Snowden through the same glasses as fellow techie, Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak. donkeyhotey [email protected] Gates Thinks Snowden is no Hero for Leaking NSA DocumentsDaily …read more […]

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  25. james says:

    The difference is that everything Gates mention becomes public record or can be looked up during a criminal investigation. The irony is that Microsoft has been found to be assisting the NSA plus Gates views on involuntary birth control puts him in the ‘elitist control of the peasants’ category. Of course, like Senator Dianne Feinstein, Gates would come unglued if he found that that some government wonk was recording his every move…

  26. RG says:

    It seems the old man is out of touch. Passively accepting a surveillance is the equivalent of saying, “I have nothing to hide, if I’m doing nothing wrong.” Well, how about your children, friends, parents, siblings? What if someone with political connections blackmails you for a business favor or endorsement by threatening your loved ones, Mr. Gates? That’s how this sort of corruption works. If you want to see the problems with your loved ones disappear, thank goodness we found out first. If your friend’s guilty of something, we have your back; guilt by association is a terrible thing. A surveillance state means there is always leverage, someplace

  27. gosh says:

    some of the smartest people are very naive. What, pray tell, does Mr. Gates think Mr. Snowden SHOULD have done?

    To say so facile: he broke the law. That simple account of the situation could have been used to justify the taking of run away slaves too. Sometimes unjust laws CAN ONLY BE BROKEN.

  28. Sandra gelber says:

    I whole heartedly agree with Mr. Gates. We live in the most wonderful country in the world. A country which allows the opportunity for Mr Snowden to challenge the system. Even if he has to challenge over and over and over. At least he is able to.

    • Walter anthony says:

      You’re being a bit naive, aren’t you.

      He worked under a contract and security clearance that denied him any ability to challenge the system. The breaking of government security clearances can be punished in some circumstances by jail time. Even if you don’t agree with it, you can’t talk about it.

      And then there’s the press generated. The vast majority of the members of Congress, including several on the intelligence committee, had no idea this was going on.

      You can wave your flag all you want, but remember that this country was founded by people who broke the law when they decided enough was enough.

      Bill Gates is a poor example of a patriot. He has risked nothing in his fortunate and charmed life.

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