Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Edward Snowden at SXSW calls on the tech community to add a technical solution to NSA surveillance

Edward Snowden, who leaked large amounts of data about the U.S. surveillance programs he had worked on, spoke at South By Southwest (now SXSW), with two ACLU staffers, Ben Wizner and Christopher Soghoian. The video is posted a number of places in full, but it's rather horrible to try to watch. Every time Snowden speaks, the audio starts to echo back on itself after a few moments, probably as a result of the wonky connection they cobbled together. The presenter jokes at the start that he is appearing "through seven proxies," but that is a joke, and part of the apology for the poor quality of the connection. "Good luck, I'm behind seven proxies" is an internet meme referring to protecting one's location/identity from being traced. (I warn you that it's really painful to watch the video & try to listen!)

The easier way to follow what Snowden spoke about, and the interesting questions that followed, is to read about it in the press reports. See Washington Post, which offers edited snippets of the Snowden video, CNN (nice details, especially on the questions), and the Guardian, which has a really excellent in-depth detailed report, plus links to all their previous coverage on Snowden, which is just great, from the beginning.

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