Speed Reads

do you want to build a snowden

Edward Snowden said aliens could be trying to communicate with us right now

NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden may be in isolation in Russia, but that didn't stop him from calling into Neil deGrasse Tyson's StarTalk podcast via robot video link Friday. The two science nerds discussed a wide range of topics — including alien life forms.

Snowden described how aliens could be communicating with us this very second, even though we have no clue it's happening:

So if you have an an alien civilization trying to listen for other civilizations, or our civilization trying to listen for aliens, there's only one small period in the development of their society when all of their communication will be sent via the most primitive and most unprotected means. So when we think about everything that we're hearing through our satellites or everything that they're hearing from our civilization (if there are indeed aliens out there), all of their communications are encrypted by default. So what we are hearing, that's actually an alien television show or you know a phone call...is indistinguishable to us from cosmic microwave background radiation. [StarTalk]

Mind. Blown.

Snowden also spoke openly about dropping out of high school, enlisting in the military, and getting skeptical about U.S. programs. Listen to the full interview below. Julie Kliegman