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Edward Snowden to speak at SXSW conference

Edward Snowden to speak at SXSW conference

NSA leaker Edward Snowden is getting ready to speak at this year’s South By Southwest Interactive Festival. (12 PM EST TIME TODAY MONDAY)

He’ll participate remotely via video as Snowden remains in Moscow where he’s living in temporary asylum.

Snowden faces felony charges in the U.S. after revealing the agency’s mass surveillance program by leaking thousands of classified documents to media outlets.

Christopher Soghoian, principal technologist at the American Civil Liberties Union, will be speaking to Snowden along with Snowden’s legal adviser, the ACLU’s Ben Wizner.

From the SXSW.com site

Our communications are not secure. Our telephone calls, emails, texts, and web browsing activity are largely transmitted without any encryption, making it easy for governments to intercept them, in bulk. Likewise, the mobile devices, apps, and web browsers that we use do not protect our data. In many cases, they intentionally give it to third party companies as part of the sprawling online advertising ecosystem. This only makes the NSA’s task easier.

Join us for a conversation between Edward Snowden and Christopher Soghoian, the American Civil Liberties Union’s principal technologist, focused on the impact of the NSA’s spying efforts on the technology community, and the ways in which technology can help to protect us from mass surveillance. The conversation will be moderated by Ben Wizner, who is director of the ACLU’s Speech, Privacy & Technology Project and Edward Snowden’s legal advisor.

Just as technology has enabled our modern surveillance state, so too can technology protect us. But regular users cannot make privacy-preserving tools themselves. The technology industry and the tech community can and must do more to secure the private data of the billions of people who rely on the tools and services that we build.

Edward Snowden’s revelations have launched a historic debate about surveillance practices and democratic controls, in which all three branches of government are actively and publicly engaging. But the technology community has too often been left out of the debate. It’s time to fix that.

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