Steve Wozniak is one colorful character, and that's why we love him. He usually eschews corporate doublespeak for something we don't hear much of these days from high-powered figures regardless of their background: honest, hard-hitting opinions and feedback. From Apple, to Dancing With The Stars, Woz is beloved by many for his sincerity and genuine nature. If you ask Steve Wozniak a question, you'll usually get an answer that's at the very least, interesting and insightful, even if you don't agree with him.
Recently, Steve Wozniak was approached by some folks in an airport as the Apple co-founder was waiting to board a flight. Wozniak was asked to weigh in on a myriad of topics, including iOS 7, which was revealed at WWDC last week. He also commented on Android, the NSA PRISM surveillance scandal, the U.S. Constitution and more. Here are some of the highlights from the video.
The recently revealed PRISM surveillance program:
"I was brought up, for example, my dad taught me that other countries, when they got prisoners in a war, they tortured them. But we Americans didn't torture them, we gave them good food and clothing and everything. And I was so proud of my country, you know. And now I find out it's just the opposite. And I just wish all these things I thought about the Constitution that made us so good as people, they're kinda nothin'. They all dissolved with the Patriot Act. There's just all these laws that say we can just sort of secretly call anything terrorism and do anything we want without all these rights of courts to get in and say we aren't doing the wrong things. There's not even a free open court anymore."
"If you read the Constitution, I don't know how all this stuff happened. It's so clear what the Constitution says. It's extremely clear in the Bill of Rights. One thing after another after another that just got overturned. That's what a king does. King just goes out and has anyone rounded up, killed, put in secret prisons."
"When I was brought up we were taught that communist Russia was the ones that were gonna kill us and bomb our country and all this stuff. And communist Russia was so bad because they followed their people, they snooped on em, they arrested them, they put them in secret prisons, they disappeared. These kind of things were part of Russia. You know, we're getting more and more like that."
On ownership of property in the Soviet Union and now in the U.S.:
"And you couldn't own anything. Well, nowadays in the digital world you can hardly own anything anymore. It's just kinda subscriptions, and, you've already said 'ok ok ok.' We've agreed that every right in the world belongs to them and you've got no rights and, anything you put on the cloud you don't even own. You don't own it. You've signed away all the rights to it. If it disappears, if they decide they don't like you, you've lost all your photographs of your life or something, you don't own it. But when we grew up, ownership was what made America different than Russia. So, so yeah, I get disturbed with these things that are going on."
When asked if the "common people see it this way also":
"No because, the Rights of Man was a process that took hundreds of years starting in Europe. And it was largely rights of accused people and how governments couldn't just grab anyone they want. They couldn't use their own will, had to be open in courts, that got developed over hundreds of years by pretty much intellectuals, high-thinking people, that were kinda like philosophies of why humans should be treated a certain way. Sometimes there were very wrong acts that the peoples were trying to correct that were obvious, but, the common people I don't even think about that. In this day and age, everything is going so fast, we all got our great toys. Why think of anything else? Being good as people and understanding to protect the innocent is important to me, and also to protect the poor. Cause the poor are the ones who gets abused the most when these sort of things happen."
On PRISM And PRISM Whistleblower Edward Snowden:
"Look at the guy that just turned over the information on what the NSA program was. He said that anyone like him sitting at a terminal could instantly go and grab all the data of anyone they felt like. With no courts, no inspection, no warrants, nobody having to approve it. That means there's 1,000 people in the CIA that could just sit and whoever they want to go look at. It could even be an ex-girlfriend, you know, and pull up everything. That sort of structure is wrong."
On the source of the PRISM issue:
"The troubles come from the top."
Oh, and Wozniak also had some words related to tech stuff as well. Here's what he had to say about iOS and Android.
On iOS 7:
"I think I like all the visual stuff better than before."
On multitasking in iOS and Android:
"They had this thing where you swipe and you hit delete. That's nowhere nearly as good as Android's. You swipe it right off and you see it fly off."
Fascinating stuff, huh? Watch the full video of Steve Wozniak commenting on PRISM, iOS 7 and Android below, courtesy of YouTube.
What do you think of Steve Wozniak's comments? Do you agree or disagree with any of them? Why or why not? What do you think of iOS 7? How does it compare to Android? Sound off in the comments below.
I cover video games, tech, privacy issues and more for IBT. Prior to joining the staff, I wrote for Major League Baseball, Computer Shopper and other publications. I earned...
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