Whistleblower Edward Snowden to talk privacy at SXSW

5 Mar 2014

Former CIA contractor Edward Snowden. Image via Wikimedia Commons

Former CIA contractor and whistleblower Edward Snowden will be talking about privacy via live video at the SXSW Interactive festival in Austin, Texas, on Monday.

The tech event, which will be streamed live on The Texas Tribune‘s website, will mark Snowden’s first conversation in front of an audience since his disclosures about US government surveillance began generating headlines last year.

Snowden will be speaking with American Civil Liberties Union’s Ben Wizner and Christopher Soghoian on 10 March at 11am Central Time (4pm Irish time), and is expected to take questions from the audience.

“Just as technology has enabled our modern surveillance state, so too can technology protect us. But regular users cannot make privacy-preserving tools themselves,” SXSW said in announcing the talk with Snowden.

“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.”

Snowden now lives in Russia, having fled the US via Hong Kong in May.

SXSW Interactive runs 7-11 March.

Tina Costanza was a journalist and sub-editor at Silicon Republic