LONDON, Dec. 25 -- Edward Snowden, a former National Security Agency (NSA) contractor, said in his Christmas message that "privacy matters" and called for ending the "mass surveillance," according to a video broadcast on Christmas Day via Britain's Channel 4 television.
"A child born today will grow up with no conception of privacy at all. They'll never know what it means to have a private moment to themselves -- an unrecorded, unanalyzed thought," Snowden said in the video message.
"And that's a problem because privacy matters, privacy is what allows us to determine who we are and who we want to be," he continued.
He also mentioned British writer George Orwell's dystopian novel Nineteen Eight-Four, warning that "the types of collection in the book -- microphones and video cameras, TVs that watch us are nothing compared to what we have available today."
"The conversation occurring today will determine the amount of trust we can place both in the technology that surrounds us and the government that regulate it," he said.
"Together, we can find a better balance, end mass surveillance, and remind the government that if it really wants to know how we feel, asking is always cheaper than spying," he added.
Snowden, who blew the whistle on the NSA's global surveillance scheme and is wanted in the United States for divulging secret documents, was granted a one-year temporary asylum in Russia.
He told the Washington Post in his first in-person interview published online Tuesday since his June arrival in Russia that his mission is accomplished.
"For me, in terms of personal satisfaction, the mission's already accomplished," Snowden said.