John Oliver took Last Week Tonight to Russia this week to sit down with the best person to explain the spate of confusing government surveillance programs and how they affect the dick pics we send: Edward Snowden himself.
The Patriot Act is up for reauthorization June 1, and with it, the legislative provisions that allow for the government surveillance revealed in leaks by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden. But nearly two years after handing over classified documents to journalists, most Americans are still too confused, apathetic, or just clueless about what data is being collected from them.
"The fact is: We have this information now and we no longer get the luxury of pleading ignorance," Oliver says. "It's like how you can't go to Sea World and pretend that Shamu is happy anymore when we know that at least half the water in her tank is whale tears."
But the myriad government programs that allow for the collection of data being beamed to one server or another is hard to understand. There's a brief segment (around 7:30 in the clip above) where producers ask passersby in Time Square who Edward Snowden is—most have him confused with Julian Assange. So Oliver hopped a flight to Russia to have a sit-down with the former NSA contractor:
OLIVER: "Did you do this to solve a problem?"
SNOWDEN: "I did this to give the American people the chance to decide for themselves the kind of government they want to have."
OLIVER: "There's no doubt it is a critical conversation, but is it a conversation that we have the capacity to have? Because it's so complicated, we don't fundamentally understand it."
OLIVER: "Everything you did only matters if we have this conversation properly—let me help you out there..."
The interview then cuts to a segment (around the 25 minute mark) that rephrases questions (to the same Times Square interviewees) about government surveillance in the context of Uncle Sam having access to their dick pics. They're not fans!
"Well, the good news is that there's no program named, 'The Dick Pic Program.' The bad news is that they're still collecting everybody's information—including your dick pics," Snowden says before confessing, "I guess I never thought about putting it into the context of your junk."