Edward Snowden is in Russia where the country granted him political asylum for his whistling blowing over the NSA surveillance program. He used Google Hangouts to communicate to the crowd in the convention center, and used 7 proxies to ensure no one would locate where he is. Snowden said it before but reiterated it the crowd; end-to-end encryption would go a long way towards protecting user data from both spying and attackers. While many communications are encrypted, but many decrypt the information in between in order to harvest data to serve ads up to the user.
There are several ways to protect your data, but the most efficient is Tor. However, Tor is incredibly difficult to install and use for the less technically inclined. The ACLU’s Ben Wizner, who was moderating the conversation, said that when Tor is the best choice for the “average user” to protect themselves “we’ve failed.”
“They’re setting fire to the future of the internet,” Snowden told the audience. “The people who are in this room now, you’re all the firefighters. And we need you to help us fix this.” The goal is not to ‘blind’ the NSA but to stop mass collection. “Would I do it again? Absolutely yes,” he said. “I took an oath to defend the Constitution, and I felt the Constitution was being violated on a massive scale.” With Russia only having a temporary agreement asylum, and his future in limbo over his actions in the United States. Elected officials have called for him to return and face charges for the leaks.
The ACLU has posted an archive of Snowden’s interview which will allow anyone to view the most famous whistle blowers first interview.