Edward Snowden, A Musician? Ex-NSA Whistleblower Teams With Jean-Michel Jarre On ‘Exit’

You’ve heard of Edward Snowden, the ex-NSA whistleblower who exposed top-secret documents to prove that your privacy has been compromised. It’s partly because of him and the information he leaked that security protocols across the globe are slowly being upgraded.

Unfortunately for Snowden, the leak made him a traitor to U.S. national security, and he was forced to take asylum in Russia to avoid prison. It seems that since moving there, he’s done more than just had an interview with Last Week Tonight’s John Oliver with all of his free time. He teamed up with music producer Jean-Michel Jarre to make a techno song titled “Exit.”


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Ever since Edward Snowden put an unexpected spotlight on internet security, many sites have necessitated updating passwords on occasion to make them stronger. The new minimum standard is now at least eight characters, with the minimum of one capital, one numeral, and one special character. Of course, Snowden suggested during his interview with John Oliver that you should avoid anything easy or popular such as “1234,” “password,” or a common phrase.

Edward Snowden’s revelation even inspired video game developer Ubisoft to make an open-world game where hacking from a smartphone is necessary to get anywhere. Watch Dogs didn’t end up doing so well, but it was well-timed.

President Barack Obama also took a cue from the ex-NSA whistleblower to increase security on credit cards using a special chip that tells the register how much you have to spend and who you are. Some consumers felt it was an invasion of privacy, but that didn’t stop most major retailers from upgrading to the new chip method of payment.

In the video above from UK news outlet the Guardian, Snowden explained that he’s always been a fan of electronic music, particularly from video games. He says that in the eight-bit era, it was more than music: It was a theme which drove the narrative, much like life. Most of us have those songs which resonate deeply with us, bringing us back to simpler times or simply giving us an outlet for our frustrations.

Teaming up with electronic music producer Jean-Michel Jarre, Edward Snowden lent his voice to the song “Exit,” which he says helps relay the urgency of hacking a network and overcoming a complex protocol to find a solution and prevent privacy from being compromised.

Some quotes from the song go into further detail.

“Saying that you don’t care about the right to privacy because you have nothing to hide is no different to saying you don’t care about freedom of speech because you have nothing to say. It’s a deeply anti-social principle, because rights are not just individual, they’re collective.

“What may not have value to you today, may have value to an entire population, an entire people, or an entire way of life tomorrow. And if you don’t stand up for it, then who will?”

It might not be a Top 40 track competing with the likes of Kanye West or Justin Bieber, but Edward Snowden feels that the message needs to be out there. If you’re interested in getting your own copy of “Exit,” it is advised that you put some money down and buy a digital copy or the soon-to-be released vinyl version.

Edward Snowden might not be a musician, but he knows the value of the medium.

[Photo by Michael Buckner/Getty Images for SXSW]