Edward Snowden, now popularly referred as a fugitive from the U.S.A government for leaking National Security Agency documents, spoke at the SXSW (Annual music, film, and interactive conference and festival held in Austin) calling for a public oversight of the united states spy programs.
Edward Snowden spoke from Russia where he has been granted temporary asylum last year, marking the first time the former National Security Agency officer spoke to United States citizens since fleeing with numerous secret documents belonging to the government. He faces espionage and other felony charges and claimed that he would not return to the States until their whistle blower laws were amended. He spoke to the audience via teleconference. When asked, the agent claimed that he had no regrets for leaking the documents which showed that the government snooped on Americans' telephones and their internet behaviors in the name of national security.
When asked whether he would do it again he said that he would do it again since it seemed the right thing to do. He also claimed that the United States constitution was being violated in a large scale, appearing on video screens with the constitution on the background. Liberty unions Lawyers who hosted Snowden claimed that the videos were uploaded via Google hangouts and routed through various routers for security reasons.
Snowden claimed that internet users needed to be more aware of their surrounding and better equipped to secure their information on net from spying users. He said that the average internet users need to access deep web protections similar to those that geeks enjoy by use of software's such as Tor to hide their IP address. He also asked the public to be informed and form watchdogs to be able to govern congress so as not to consent to policies they do not understand.
Many of his audience had different views, some claiming that he did a wonderful job in leaking the information while others claiming that they expected him to tell them how his life in Russia is.
Also present and scheduled to speak in the Austin forum, that is to run for 10 days from the 7th March to 16th March, was journalist and lawyer Glenn Greenwald who was instrumental in breaking news of Snowden's leaks. The forum was also used to educate entrepreneurs on how to make money using the information they collected from users of their products.