Edward Snowden Helps John Oliver Break Down Government Surveillance On 'Last Week Tonight'


John Oliver started out Sunday night's episode of Last Week Tonight just like any other installment of the HBO comedic news show. In honor of the impending June 1 deadline for the reauthorization of the Patriot Act, OIiver announced that he would be talking all about government surveillance.

If you found yourself tuning out a little as Oliver started naming government surveillance programs like Section 215, Prism and XKeyscore, you probably weren't alone. As the Last Week Tonight team found out after interviewing randos in Times Square, many Americans don't really seem to know or care about the surveillance programs the government is carrying out, even after Edward Snowden famously leaked information about many of them in June 2013. Maybe if Oliver got some help from Snowden himself, Americans would finally take notice and give a hoot about government surveillance.

So Oliver flew over to Russia to interview Snowden. Yes, the Edward Snowden. Since Last Week Tonight is really a comedy show, it was hard to tell if Snowden would actually walk through that door to be interviewed by Oliver, who, after waiting for the whistleblower for more than an hour, was sweating it out too.

But Snowden did eventually arrive, and we learned oh so much, like that he misses Hot Pockets, but the entire state of Florida? Probably not so much.

However, it wasn't all fun and games. As the interview continued, Oliver came prepared with some hard-hitting questions, grilling Snowden a bit on the insufficient security measures taken by some of the journalists he leaked documents to and the fact that Americans don't seem too interested in the implications of government surveillance.

To that latter point, from speaking with those same people in Times Square, it was clear that they would care very much about the government spying on them if it was looking at the nude photos that they store and share digitally, something that the NSA does do, according to Snowden. Oliver had a brilliant idea of breaking down the government's various surveillance programs in the context of what it means for your nude pics since that seems to be what the American people are really concerned about.

I highly encourage you to watch the whole eye-opening segment, but just know that if you send a nuce pic to your significant other, chances are, you two won't be the only people seeing it, according to Snowden. But does that mean you should stop sending nude photos to other people? Snowden says of course not.

"You shouldn't change your behavior because a government agency somewhere is doing the wrong thing," Snowden told Oliver. "If we sacrifice our values because we're afraid, we don't care about those values that much."

You heard the man. You gotta fight for your right to send a nude pic, apparently.

Watch the full Last Week Tonight segment below, and you might just learn a very important thing or two.

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