Around 3,000 people have attended Edward Snowden’s talk via videoconference at the SXSW Interactive Festival in Austin, Texas. As promised, the organizers have made available a video recording of his talk.
While there have been some connection issues during the session, Snowden’s message got through.
This time, the whistleblower didn’t reveal anything major. Instead, he talked about the need to adopt encryption on a larger scale.
In reply to a question from Timothy John Berners-Lee, the inventor of the World Wide Web, regarding an accountability system for governance, Snowden noted that there was an oversight model that worked.
However, the problem, he highlights, is when the overseers are not interested in oversight.
He believes that if all communications are encrypted, it becomes too expensive for governments to conduct mass surveillance. Snowden notes that the US government is currently focusing more on collecting massive amounts of information instead of focusing on protecting intellectual property.
When asked if he’d do it again, Snowden replied, “Absolutely!” He said that he decided to leak the NSA’s secrets after seeing that the Constitution, which he took an oath to support and defend, was “being violated on a massive scale.”
After learning that Snowden was invited to speak at SXSW, US Rep. Mike Pompeo asked organizers to withdraw the invitation, arguing that he had deceived his employer and his country.
Watch Snowden’s talk at SXSW.