Edward Snowden calls on the tech industry to develop anti-surveillance products in wake of NSA spying
The National Security Agency (NSA) whistleblower Edward Snowden has called on his peers to help in the development of easy to use technology to avoid government surveillance programs.
Snowden works in tech support for a major Russian website, but told delegates that he intends to devote much of his time to promoting technologies to avoid government snooping by agencies such as the NSA or the UK’s GCHQ. This includes technology that allows people to communicate anonymously and encrypt their messages, Reuters reported.
“You in this room, right now have both the means and the capability to improve the future by encoding our rights into programs and protocols by which we rely every day,” he told the New York City conference, known as Hackers On Planet Earth, or HOPE.
“That is what a lot of my future work is going to be involved in,” he said.
Snowden also defended his decision to leak classified US intelligence documents to the media. He said that most Americans do not understand how pervasive American’s surveillance programmes are.
“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 reportedly said.
However Snowden did not reveal whether he intends to remain in Russia.
Last August he was granted one year’s political asylum in Russia, but that is due to expire at the end of July. Snowden is still wanted in the United States, but he could opt to move to Cuba. He has also been offered political asylum by the governments of Venezuela, Bolivia and Ecuador.
Ecuador has been providing political asylum to Wikileaks founder Julian Assange at the country’s London embassy for the past two years.
What do you know about whistleblowers and their tech? Take our quiz!