Edward Snowden gives his first talk to the American public at South by Southwest


Edward Snowden recently delivered a speech at South by Southwest, which is in Austin, Texas, and called for American citizens to help “fix” the mass surveillance that is being done by those in the government.

This public speaking, which took place through a teleconference from Russia, where Snowden currently resides, marks the first time he has spoken directly to the American people since his flight from the United States last year.

When questioned on his actions, Snowden said that he had no regrets about revealing the levels that the NSA was going to in carrying out surveillance on its own citizens.

“Would I do it again? Absolutely. Regardless of what happens to me, this is something we had a right to,” he said, and added that “I took an oath to support and defend the Constitution. And I saw the Constitution was being violated on a massive scale.”

Later on he was question by Tim Berners-Lee, the man who had actually helped create the Internet 25 years ago, on what changes needed to be made in the surveillance programs currently being used.

“We need public oversight … some way for trusted public figures to advocate for us,” Snowden said in response. “We need a watchdog that watches Congress, because if we’re not informed, we can’t consent to these (government) policies.”

[via CNN, image via zennie62’s flickr]

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  • Seamus McSeamus

    [@etim] So true. I’m not sure some of the Justices even know what the Constitution is, based on their votes on some issues.

  • etim

    [@Darcy] “The “watchdog” is supposed to be the supreme court.”
    The key word here is “supposed”, I guess. Judging by some of the court’s decisions in recent years, they’re more concerned with appeasing special interests than the people and the constitution they’re appointed to protect.

  • The “watchdog” is supposed to be the supreme court. That’s why our government is set up on a system of checks and balances. I don’t know what drove Snowden to this extreme, whether it’s justified or not, but it’s true that he has brought a lot of corruption to the public view so I am willing to suspend judgement of his actions. As more come to light I might even wind up praising him.