Snowden at SXSW Conference: They’re “setting fire to the future of the Internet”

Edward Snowden, the NSA whistleblower made his longest public appearance at the SXSW conference since his surveillance act. This was done through a video conference made via Google hangouts Snowden but in this Snowden’s actual location was kept hidden through a barrage of 7 proxies.

Snowden in this event was basically addressing the programmers and the main idea behind was to give them briefing the regarding the current situation of internet privacy and how can it be made better.

Ed Snowden at SXSW: They’re “setting fire to the future of the Internet”
Ed Snowden at SXSW: They’re “setting fire to the future of the Internet”

Arstechnica reports that while addressing to the developers he explained the usefulness of end-to-end encryption that it helps in fighting against massive surveillance as it collects all the possible data and provides the sources with only the appropriate results. Furthermore, he said that better encryption will make the agencies to target specifically they will not have the access to someone’s past.

During the conference, Snowden also talked to ACLU technologist “Chris Soghoian” regarding encryption. According to Soghoian, agencies are building fire on internet and emphasized on the fact that developers are firefighters to it. For this same reason, snowden strongly recommended the developed to build tools that ensure privacy in the internet usage.

Soghoian, while his address to the developers highlighted one of the key features of encryption.

  • He said: “Encryption makes bulk surveillance too expensive. The goal isn’t to blind the NSA. The goal is to make it so they can’t spy on innocent people.”

According to him, it’s impossible to remove surveillance acts are impossible to remove but encryption can limit them and possibly a right usage of this act can be made. Furthermore, the current market leaders in the world of internet i.e. Google and Facebook have no intentions to do anything against such acts. What they want is ad-driven revenues and they are happy with it.

Snowden also took some question via twitter and one of them was from the developer of World Wide Web i.e. Tim Berners-Lee who applauded the Snowden’s against and also asked him a question regarding the screening of such act to which snowden replied:

  • That’s a really interesting question, and a very difficult question,” said Snowden. “We have an oversight model that could work. The problem is when the overseers aren’t interested in oversight. We’ve got the House intelligence committees, Senate intelligence committees, that are cheerleading for the NSA rather than holding them to account… We can’t have officials like James Clapper who can lie to everyone in the country, who can lie to Congress, and not face any criticism—not even a strongly worded letter.”

A video of this event was also posted but wasn’t of real high quality so the event is still just in form of words there is no true quality video available yet.

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