Edward Snowden, a former employee of the US National Security Agency, complains that the Chinese version of his autobiography has been censored, according to the Guardian.
“Let’s put together a proper and unrestricted version to publish freely online in Chinese by bringing together translators to expose any shameful editorials required by censors,” he writes.
Snowden’s resume traces his life from childhood to the time he worked for Central Intelligence and the National Security Agency. Snowden’s thoughts on authoritarianism, democracy, and privacy – all topics censured by China – are included.
In a chapter on the events of the 2011 Arab Spring, the Chinese version skips Snowden’s observations on why people were urged to protest: “Crowds are calling for an end to oppression, censorship, and insecurity. They have declared that in a truly just society, people do not answer the government. The government is accountable to the people. ”
A large section on the nature of authoritarian states is also censored. “Authoritarian states are usually not governments of laws, but governments of leaders who demand loyalty from their subjects and are hostile to dissenters.”
Changes in the Chinese version are not surprising given the extent to which foreign materials are often censored before being published in the mainland. But Snowden has been hailed as a hero in China for exposing US hacking to China.
Chinese state-owned media reported on a lawsuit brought by the US government against Snowden. They applauded the publication of a book to uncover the truth about sponsored surveillance by the US government.
Last week, the state-run Global Times explained that it would select ten people to receive copies of the Chinese version of Snowden’s book.
Other censored sections include references to China’s large firewall used to block access to foreign websites, mention of “Hong Kong nominal autonomy,” and the extent of China’s surveillance capabilities.
Snowden writes in a passage cut from the Chinese version: “… the mechanisms and machines needed to continually collect, store and analyze the billions of daily telephone and internet communications of over a billion people were incredibly astounding. At first, I was so impressed by the sheer achievement and the audacity of the system that I almost forgot to be horrified by its totalitarian control. ”
Deleted explanations for privacy. “After all, saying you are not interested in privacy because you have nothing to hide is no different than saying that you are not interested in free speech because you have nothing to say,” he writes.
More on the topic:
China: The US has been systematically and purposefully eavesdropping and stealing information for a long time
The US is engaged in eavesdropping, theft of confidential information, and at the same time trying to attribute its sins to China, especially in Africa, commented Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesman Gen Shuang, quoted by TASS.
“US commitment is systematically and purposefully eavesdropping, tracking, and stealing sensitive information. This applies to companies and individuals alike,” he explains, commenting on statements by individual US government experts that China is engaged in theft of African data alliance using Chinese equipment from Huawei.
According to the diplomat, the US should rather comment on their behavior as they eavesdrop, which is “no longer a secret.”
“The US side does not provide any further details on this. China and Africa are good friends, partners, brothers,” Gen Shuang added.
“Many African leaders at international events, including during bilateral UN major events, approve of the successful results of our highly effective cooperation,” he explains.