Updated on July 2, 2015
Today, we’re going to stray slightly off our usual topic and talk about the latest milestone the U.S. has achieved recently.
Data gathering, a topic that outraged the masses since Edward Snowden revealed thousands of documents about NSA’s nefarious activities. The revelation paved the way to the newly passed bill, The Freedom Act, which is designed to counter the Patriot Act’s Section 215 – the part which allowed the NSA to seize business files and gather massive bulk of phone records.
The bill was voted by the Senate 67 to 32 on June 2, and was signed into a law by President Obama that Tuesday night.
With such a huge topic, surely there are a lot of people that are closely monitoring this news? Well, maybe some are, but most are just shrugging the whole thing off. This is because when it comes to subjects like data gathering and laws surrounding it the subject tends to lean heavily towards boredom.
And that’s the sad thing.
Opening the Public’s Eye
Nowadays people seem to be too distracted. By the media, by their problems, by the new fashion trend that’s sweeping the country. And through this distraction most of them remains blind.
In Last Week Tonight’s “Surveillance” episode, John Oliver went all the way to Moscow, Russia to interview Edward Snowden, the whistleblower dubbed by some as a hero, and by others as a traitor.
During the interview Snowden was shown a video of Oliver conducting a public interview whether or not the masses knows who the whistleblower is. Most have no idea he is, while some have a semblance of it – muddled though it was.
However, the masses do know that there are existing government agencies that are gathering information about millions of people without their knowledge. Information that is intimate in nature.
So how does one discuss a topic like this without your listeners dozing off? Well, Oliver and his team pulled it off the way the always do – with satiric humor.
Comedy and News
Comedy has always been a great medium for informing the public. George Carlin, Bill Burr, and other standup comics have incorporated sensitive topics in their acts to raise awareness about certain subjects.
The whole team of the Last Week Tonight made the entire Snowden interview not only informative, but also humorous. They hammered their point home by correlating the boring subject with, of all things, someone able to view the dick pics you’ve sent to your wife or girlfriend.
By taking this approach, Oliver abled to take the topic down a few tiers where the general public will have a fundamental understanding of how intrusive the Patriot Act Section 215 actually is.
Oliver then went on to ask Snowden that with this knowledge – the NSA able to pull sensitive information off the web – should people be now more careful about taking photos of their genitals?
Which Snowden replied with a no, explaining that people shouldn’t change their behavior out of fear because a government agency is conducting illegal measures on their own people. A response expected from a patriot like Snowden.