Share on Google Plus Share on Twitter Share on Facebook 1 Share on LinkedIn Share on PInterest Share on Fark! Share on Reddit Share on StumbleUpon Tell A Friend (1 Shares)  
Printer Friendly Page Save As Favorite View Favorites View Stats   No comments

General News

Snowden at SXSW: "The Constitution was being violated on a massive scale"

By (about the author)     Permalink       (Page 1 of 2 pages)
Related Topic(s): ; ; ; , Add Tags Add to My Group(s)

Must Read 1   Inspiring 1   Valuable 1  
View Ratings | Rate It

opednews.com Headlined to H2 3/11/14

- Advertisement -

Edward Snowden
(image by (Video still from The Texas Tribune))
  DMCA

Speaking remotely from Russia on Monday, former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden told attendees at the SXSW Interactive conference in Austin, Texas that encryption is still a powerful deterrent against government surveillance.

Nearly nine months to the day after he revealed himself to be the source responsible for a cache of leaked NSA documents, Snowden participated via video link in a conversation with two representatives from the American Civil Liberties Union to discuss encryption and surveillance at one of the largest tech conference in the United States.

Snowden, 30, said he chose the SXSW Interactive conference to make remarks because the event attracts "the folks who can really fix things" on a technical level as lawmakers in Washington still struggle to pass any sort of measure meant to reform the NSA practices exposed by the former contractor's leaks.

"There is a policy response that needs to occur, but there is also a technical response that needs to occur," Snowden said. "It's the development community that can really craft those solutions and make sure we're safe."

But while programmers and developers continue to spend countless hours trying to make those solutions come to life -- especially after Snowden's revelations -- much of the connected world is still at a loss when it comes to understanding how to encrypt digital communications in an easy-to-understand manner.

At least twice during the event, Snowden jokingly referred to what he called the "Glenn Greenwald Test," named in honor of the American journalist who was unable to initially communicate with the NSA contractor because of his inability to decrypt sensitive emails.

"If any journalist in the world gets an email... of importance," Snowden said, "...they need to be able to open it."

- Advertisement -

Snowden said that journalists shouldn't be the only ones relying on encryption, though, and that both activists and grandparents alike need to be able to understand simple ways to keep their communications secure -- something that Snowden said is the easiest way to keep the NSA and other government agencies from being able to conduct mass surveillance in bulk.

"We should understand that most regular people are not going to go out and download an obscure encryption app," ACLU technologist Chris Soghoian said from the stage in Austin. "What I want is for the next WhatsApp or the next Twitter to be using encrypted end-to-end communications."

But already, Soghoian said, some tech companies have made that realization on their own and altered their products accordingly to make their customer's privacy more important than ever.

"In the last eight months, the big Silicon Valley tech companies have really improved their security in a way that's surprising to many of us," he said. "Without Ed's disclosures, many of the tech companies would not have improved their security, either at all or at the rate they did."

With the rest of Silicon Valley showing plenty of room for improvement, though, Snowden said this new trend of incorporating encryption needs to continue to grow. "We need to think about encryption not as this sort of arcane, black art," Snowden added later on. "It's a basic protection."

- Advertisement -

Encryption, he added, makes it "very difficult for any sort of mass surveillance" to occur since it obfuscates the intelligence being sought in bulk by governments, as evident in programs first made public last year thanks to Snowden's revelations.

"Let's put it this way," Snowden added . "The United States government has assembled a massive investigation team into me personally, into my work with the journalists, and they still have no idea what documents were provided to the journalist, what they have, what they don't have, because encryption works."

"If the government really wants to get into your computer," Soghoian said later, "...they will find a way. But that won't involve breaking the encryption. That involves breaking the device."

"If you are a target of the NSA, it's going to be game over no matter what unless you are taking really sophisticated steps to protecting yourself," Soghoian added. With regards to the bulk surveillance programs that can indiscriminately monitor millions of people at once, though, Soghoian says encryption makes such spying endeavors too expensive for governments to undertake.

Next Page  1  |  2

 

http://rt.com

rt.com is Russian television, which actually does a great job reporting on US news too.

Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon


Go To Commenting

The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.

Writers Guidelines

Contact Author Contact Editor View Authors' Articles
- Advertisement -

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

Senators terrified with abuse of Patriot Act's secret laws

Pope Francis shakes up Vatican Bank supervisory board

DOJ wants Bush, senior cabinet members exempt from Iraq War trial

"World moving away from American financial hegemony"

Fracking Debris Considered Too Radioactive Even For Waste Site

"More destructive" than Stuxnet: Saudis and Israelis propose new malware against Iran nuclear program

Comments

The time limit for entering new comments on this article has expired.

This limit can be removed. Our paid membership program is designed to give you many benefits, such as removing this time limit. To learn more, please click here.

Comments: Expand   Shrink   Hide  
No comments