Edward Snowden: Google shouldn't be trusted without ‘verifying what their activities are’

Google shouldn’t be trusted when it comes to how the search giant uses data without first “verifying what their activities are”, NSA whistle-blower Edward Snowden has said.

Speaking in a video interview with Guardian editor Alan Rusbridger, Snowden said that while Google can’t "task a drone to drop a bomb on your house”, some form of protection should be in place for those who interact with the company.

“We should have some kind of civil protection, some kind of civil actions that provide for recourse and the review of companies’ use of data,” he remarked. “We need to have at least a broad social agreement about where these lines should be drawn without unnecessarily harming new models of business and new services that we might not be able to anticipate today that we’ll need tomorrow.”

Snowden admitted that he has in the past used Skype and Google hangouts for public talks, but said that he wouldn’t use the services for personal communications as they are “security compromised”.

The 31-year old, who leaked the details of covert US surveillance last May, called for “common protocols” to protect data.

“We don’t want to see a fragmentation of the internet. That doesn’t serve anybody’s interests, whether it’s in Brazil, whether it’s in Germany or any other country in the world. What we need, we need common protocols that protect data, that protect communications regardless of the jurisdiction through which they transmit.”

Snowden added that the only way to ensure a world-wide safety net for data would be to “improve the security of our common stance”.

In the interview he also disclosed details of his time working at the NSA and responded to criticism about his links with Russia where he is currently seeking asylum from the US government.

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