News / USA

Snowden: Reforms Vindicate My Leaks

NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden speaks via videoconference at the "Virtual Conversation With Edward Snowden" during the 2014 SXSW Music, Film + Interactive Festival at the Austin Convention Center, March 10, 2014.
NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden speaks via videoconference at the "Virtual Conversation With Edward Snowden" during the 2014 SXSW Music, Film + Interactive Festival at the Austin Convention Center, March 10, 2014.
Reuters
— Former security contractor Edward Snowden, addressing a sympathetic crowd at a
tech-heavy Austin event on Monday from a secret location in Russia, said proposed reforms at the National Security Agency show that he was vindicated in leaking classified material.
 
Snowden, who faces arrest if he sets foot on U.S. soil, spoke via a video link to a packed house at the annual South by Southwest (SXSW) gathering of tech industry experts, filmmakers and musicians. He said the U.S. government still has no idea what material he has provided to journalists.
 
"I saw that the Constitution was violated on a massive scale," Snowden said to applause, adding that his revelations of government spying on private communications have resulted in protections that have benefited the public and global society.
 
Last year, Snowden, who had been working at a National Security Agency (NSA) facility as an employee of Booz Allen Hamilton, leaked a raft of secret documents that revealed a vast U.S. government system for monitoring phone and Internet data.
 
The leaks deeply embarrassed the Obama administration, which in January banned U.S. eavesdropping on the leaders of friendly countries and allies and began reining in the sweeping collection of Americans' phone data in a series of limited reforms triggered by Snowden's revelations.
 
Major companies also tightened up safeguards, but Snowden said that is still not enough to protect privacy properly, calling for stepped-up encryption that would make mass government surveillance too costly to conduct.
 
"The government has gone and changed their talking points. They have changed their verbiage away from public interest to national interest," he said, adding that this poses the risk of losing control of representative democracy. He said the government's priority has been an expansive and ill-executed system of massive information collection instead of protecting the vast amounts of intellectual property that supports the U.S. economy.
 
"We've got the most to lose from being hacked," Snowden said.
 
U.S. Representative Mike Pompeo, a Republican from Kansas, wrote to SXSW organizers, calling on them to withdraw the invitation to Snowden, a man he said deceived his employer and his country.
 
"Rewarding Mr. Snowden's behavior in this way encourages the very lawlessness he exhibited," Pompeo wrote.
 
To many in government and at the NSA, Snowden is a traitor who compromised the security of the United States. But for many at the conference, he is a hero who protected privacy and civil liberties.
 
"To me, Snowden is a patriot who believed that what he did was in the best interests of his country," said Roeland Stekelenburg, creative director at the Dutch Internet firm Infostrada.
 
NSA officials were not immediately available for comment.
 
Snowden fled to Hong Kong and then to Russia, where he currently has asylum. The White House wants him returned to the United States for prosecution.

You May Like

Reports of Mass Murder on Mediterranean Smuggler’s Boat

Boat sailed from Libya with 750 migrants aboard and arrived in Italy with 569 More

Video New Thailand Hotline Targets Misbehaving Monks

Officials say move aims to restore country’s image of Buddhism, tarnished by recent high profile scandals such as opulent lifestyle, drug and alcohol abuse, as well as child sex abuse More

Study: Dust from Sahara Helped Form Bahama Islands

What does the Sahara have in common with a Caribbean island? Quite a lot, researchers say More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: k from: alaska
March 11, 2014 5:56 AM
Snowden lied about what goes on in juneau alaska and about me. This shows he doesn't know the truth about some spying or he is lying to please russia or he is a double agent spying for the usa. Whatever he is i don't trust him.


by: Karl from: Victoria
March 11, 2014 4:49 AM
If you had simply exposed what you knew to the media then I might be inclined to agree with your self aggrandizement. However when you COPIED everything you could, and THEN fled to a country hostile the the US........................

Ya, a true American hero.


by: Rodbat from: Queensland
March 11, 2014 4:26 AM
He is and always will be, still a man who would sell his country for his own gratification


by: Joy
March 11, 2014 3:55 AM
Snowden...we don't see you as hero and a coward who runs away into hiding because you are afraid to face he concequences of your action.

You put this country at risk therefore you are not welcome here. How can you be so proud of yourself for being a traitor to youwn country? You are not welcome here. Your action is a product of maliciousness and a strong desire o be a hero. Well we have good news for you...YOU ARE NOT!!!

In Response

by: Michael from: Here
March 11, 2014 5:03 AM
@Joy

Who made you the speaker for the people? Far as I'm concerned, he's welcome in my home any day. How do you say he put this country at risk? We are at risk of having our privacy? Are we at risk of not having "big brother" prying into our private lives? Before you say something about how Snowden has now made it harder to spy on our enemies, keep in mind that they were spying, illegally, mostly on allied nations. What's that say about us as Americans? Makes us just as sneaky and devilish as any other god forsaken entity that would utilize dirty tactics for hostile intent. Some of that data was even used to fatten the pockets of international business competitors. You seriously think that's okay? Shame on you. Utterly foolish. By the way, your first sentence contradicts itself.

In Response

by: jake
March 11, 2014 4:48 AM
What snowden did may be wrong to some but as a us citizen how are you suppose to obey the laws set by your government if they break them.
The fourth Amendment
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
They broke one of our first laws and are continuing to do so. I have nothing to hide but they need my permission or a warrant to do these things or change the constitution

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Astronauts Train in Underwater Labi
X
George Putic
July 25, 2014 7:25 PM
In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Not Even Monks Spared From Thailand’s Junta-Backed Morality Push

With Thailand’s military government firmly in control after May’s bloodless coup, authorities are carrying out plans they say are aimed at restoring discipline, morality and patriotism to all Thais. The measures include a crackdown on illegal gambling, education reforms to promote students’ moral development, and a new 24-hour phone hotline for citizens to report misbehaving monks. Steve Sandford reports from Bangkok.
Video

Video Virtual Program Teaches Farming Skills

In a fast-changing world beset by unpredictable climate conditions, farmers cannot afford to ignore new technology. Researchers in Australia are developing an online virtual world program to share information about climate change and more sustainable farming techniques for sugar cane growers. As VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports, the idea is to create a wider support network for farmers.
Video

Video Airline Expert: Missile will Show Signature on Debris

The debris field from Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 is spread over a 21-kilometer radius in eastern Ukraine. It is expected to take investigators months to sort through the airplane pieces to learn about the missile that brought down the jetliner and who fired it. VOAs Carolyn Presutti explains how this work will be done.
Video

Video Treatment for Childhood Epilepsy Heats up Medical Marijuana Debate

In the United States, marijuana is classed as an illegal drug by the federal government. But nearly half the states have legalized it, to some degree. Proponents say some strains of marijuana might have exceptional health benefits, for treating pain or inflammation in chronic conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Shelley Schlender reports on a strain of medical marijuana developed in Colorado that is reputed to reduce seizures in childhood epilepsy
Video

Video Airbus Adds Metal 3D Printed Parts to New Jets

By the end of this year, European aircraft manufacturing consortium Airbus plans to deliver the first of its new, extra-wide-body passenger jets, the A350-XWB. Among other technological innovations, the new plane will also incorporate metal parts made in a 3-D printer. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video AIDS Conference Welcomes Exciting Developments in HIV Treatment, Prevention

Significant strides have been made in recent years toward the treatment and prevention of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. This year, at the International AIDS Conference, the AIDS community welcomed progress on a new pill that may prevent transmission of the deadly virus. VOA’s Anita Powell reports from Melbourne, Australia.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.

AppleAndroid