Edward Snowden

Whistleblower
In 2013 Edward Snowden leaked thousands of classified American National Security Agency documents, sparking a global conversation about citizens' rights to privacy on the Internet.

Why you should listen

Edward Snowden was just about to turn 28 when his face was suddenly splashed across every major newspaper in the US. In the summer of 2013 The Guardian published a series of leaked documents about the American National Security Agency (NSA), starting with an article about a secret court order demanding American phone records from Verizon, followed by an article on the NSA's top-secret Prism program, said to be accessing user data from Google, Apple and Facebook.

It wasn't long before Snowden came forward as the source, revealing that he had carefully planned the leak, copying documents when he was working as a contractor for the NSA. "I understand that I will be made to suffer for my actions," he said at the time, but "I will be satisfied if the federation of secret law, unequal pardon and irresistible executive powers that rule the world that I love are revealed even for an instant." Snowden's actions have led to a global debate on the relationship between national security and online privacy. His leaks continue to have a lasting impact on the American public's view of the government, and has encouraged media scrutiny on the NSA.

Snowden had coordinated the leak with journalist Glenn Greenwald and filmmaker Laura Poitras from Hong Kong; after he revealed his identity, he fled and ended up in Moscow. Under charges of espionage by the American government, Snowden remains in Russia in temporary asylum.

Edward Snowden’s TED talks

Edward Snowden on the TED Blog
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Technology

The Snowdenbot’s next adventure?

June 20, 2014

Edward Snowden hasn’t forgotten about the remote presence robot that allowed him to speak on the TED2014 stage and roam the halls of the conference, chatting with attendees. While in exile in Russia, Snowden has apparently used this system, affectionately dubbed the “Snowdenbot,” on a semi-regular basis. Andy Greenberg writes in Wired about how Snowden […]

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Live from TED2014

The NSA responds to Edward Snowden’s interview at TED

March 20, 2014

Rick Ledgett is the deputy director of the National Security Agency. He’s here to give a response to Edward Snowden’s onstage/virtual appearance at TED earlier in the week. (See the talk, Here’s how we take back the Internet.) On Tuesday, the former NSA sysadmin made the case for open government and private lives, arguing that “we […]

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Live from TED2014

In case you missed it: Day 2 at TED2014

March 19, 2014

So what went down at TED on day two? Well, a lot, as it happens. As curator Chris Anderson commented rather tiredly later, “that was the most intense day of TED I can remember, ever.” Here, a lightning round-up of some of the day’s key moments. Edward Snowden trundles onto stage The first big surprise […]

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