SXSW 2014
12:02 pm
Mon March 10, 2014

Edward Snowden Speaks at SXSW Interactive

Update: Edward Snowden made the case for online privacy in his South by Southwest video appearance today. 

Speaking via Skype, and superimposed over an image of the Constitution, Snowden said it needs to be easier for people to interact with secure data.

"If any journalist in the world gets an email from somebody saying, 'Hey, I have something that the public might want to know about,' they need to be able to open it, they need to be able to access that information, they need to be able to have the communication," Snowden said. "Whether they’re a journalist, or an activist, or even your grandma."

NPR has a live blog of Snowden's remarks you can read here.

Original story (10:55 a.m.): Edward Snowden is scheduled to speak via video from Moscow this morning at South by Southwest Interactive.

Snowden, the former contractor facing felony charges for leaking classified documents revealing National Security Agency surveillance, will speak to SXSW's tech community today at 11 CST. The conversation will be moderated by Ben Wizner, director of the ACLU's Speech, Privacy & Technology Project and Snowden’s legal advisor.

While Snowden's revelations have launched debates about surveillance, privacy, and democracy, not everyone is excited about his talk. As NPR reports:

U.S. Rep. Mike Pompeo, R-Kan., wrote an open letter to conference organizers on Friday calling Snowden a traitor and demanding that they rescind their invitation to the former contractor. Pompeo wrote that Snowden's "only apparent qualification ... is his willingness to steal from his own government and then flee to that beacon of First Amendment freedoms, the Russia of Vladimir Putin." SXSW hasn't responded.