Edward Snowden to Work on Privacy Technology

by Istvan Fekete on July 21, 2014

NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, who is responsible for the biggest leak in modern US history, quit his job at the NSA last year, as he couldn’t stand by and watch the civil liberties of millions of people being eroded. More recently, he repeated a call he had made before to the tech industry: to step up and make safer, more secure, and privacy-aware technology for everyday tech products.

Speaking via a Google Hangout at the Hackers on Planet Earth Conference in New York, Snowden – besides repeating his previous call – hinted, without providing any further details, that he is going to take the initiative and will start that work himself. Of course, he is open to working with like-minded hackers.

“We the people — you the people, you in this room right now — have both the means and the capability to help build a better future by encoding our rights into the programs and protocols upon which we rely every day,” he said. “And that’s what a lot of my future work is going to be involved in, and I hope you’ll join me … in making that a reality.”

Snowden appeared via Google Hangout from Russia, where he currently lives under asylum. During his speech, he defended his actions in leaking the trove of documents he took while working as a contractor for the NSA.

“If we’re going to have a democracy and an enlightened citizenry, if we’re going to provide the consent of the governed, we have to know what is going on, we have to know the broad outlines of a policy and we can’t have the government shut us out from every action that they’re doing,” Snowden said. “We have a right as Americans and as members of the global community to know the broad outlines of government policies that significantly impact on our lives.” Americans generally have had very little idea of how wide a net the government was casting for their information, he said.

The session can be watched on Re/code, and it is also notable for the presence of Daniel Ellsberg, the leaker of the Pentagon Papers that revealed how the US government lied to the public about its operations in Vietnam.

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Written by: Istvan Fekete. www.digitcom.ca. Follow TheTelecomBlog.com by: RSS, Twitter, Facebook, or YouTube.

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