Snowden Appears Virtually at SXSW, Talks Privacy

In his first public appearance since fleeing the U.S. with thousands of secret National Security Agency (NSA) documents, whistleblower Edward Snowden spoke about privacy during the South by Southwest (SXSW) festival in Austin, Texas. Bouncing between seven proxies and facilitated by Google Hangouts, SnowdenEUs hour-long live video chat was troublesome but it still allowed him to discuss a variety of topics and answer some questions from the public.

As Snowden began to answer questions from moderator Ben Wizner of the ACLU (American Civil Liberties Union), he highlighted the potential for the NSA and the U.S. government to inflict lasting damage to what is arguably the most important communications system available, stating that they are EUsetting fire to the future of the Internet.EU

Political Problems

While a large portion of the live Snowden interview dealt with technical security issues, the political aspect of the NSAEUs spying was also of utmost importance. The first topic that Wizner brought up was SnowdenEUs decision to make an appearance at SXSW rather than in front of government officials in Washington D.C. He responded by saying that tech enthusiasts are the people who are actually going to fix the problem and protect the Internet.

"The tech community are the ones who could help fix this situation, more than people in Washington," Snowden said. "There's a tech response needed. It's the makers, thinkers, and the dev community who can help make sure we're safe."

Members of the tech community are not just individuals but rather companies like Google, Facebook, and Yahoo, some of which are already beginning to change the way that user data is protected in light of the Snowden revelations from 2013. Encryption is one of the few suggestions that Snowden provided in numerous answers during the talk. The steps that are finally being taken by Internet-based companies...

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