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By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

3/11/2014 (1 year ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

'You guys are all the firefighters, and we need you to help U.S. fix this,' he says

Whistle blower Edward Snowden is issuing a warning call that the internet, once a service for and by the people, is being increasingly used as a toll by world governments to encroach on personal safety. Speaking by a video link to a packed auditorium of technology innovators at the South by Southwest Interactive conference in Austin, Snowden says mass surveillance conducted by the U.S. and other governments is "setting fire to the future of the Internet."

Edward Snowden has granted a handful interviews to the media since his revelations made global headlines and led to his seeking asylum in Russia. The occasion marked one of his first live appearances before a general audience.

Edward Snowden has granted a handful interviews to the media since his revelations made global headlines and led to his seeking asylum in Russia. The occasion marked one of his first live appearances before a general audience.

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

3/11/2014 (1 year ago)

Published in Politics & Policy

Keywords: Edward Snowden, National Security Agency, internet


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - "You guys are all the firefighters, and we need you to help U.S. fix this."

Snowden, a former U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) contractor, fled the U.S. last year after leaking thousands of documents that revealed his employer's extensive surveillance programs. Snowden spoke to the audience through a choppy Google Hangout video connection in order to disguise his location.

Prayer, fasting and almsgiving.


Snowden has granted a handful interviews to the media since his revelations made global headlines and led to his seeking asylum in Russia. The occasion marked one of his first live appearances before a general audience.

During his one-hour session moderated by his lawyer, Ben Wizner of the American Civil Liberties Union, or ACLU, Snowden urged Internet and computing experts to design and produce encrypted communication technology that the average user can use.

Often delving into the technical details of Internet security, calling it "defense against the dark arts in the digital realm", he said the systems currently available, if used by the general public, would make NSA bulk surveillance programs much more difficult.

Snowden said he saw U.S. priorities in security change after the 9/11 terrorist attacks, focusing on breaking communication security rather than protecting information.

"When you are the one country in the world that is sort of a vault that is [fuller] than anyone else, it doesn't make sense for you to be attacking all day rather and never defend your vault," he said.

Snowden also criticized the NSA's mass data collection system as being ineffective and a waste of resources. The agency should be focusing on the type of people who present a specific threat.

As an example, he cited Boston Marathon bombing suspects Dzhokhar Tsarnaev and his brother Tamerlan as individuals the government might have been able to catch if they had directed resources in the right areas.

"We spent all this money, we spent all this time hacking into Google's and Facebook's back end to look at their databases," he said. "What did we get out of that? We got nothing."

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