Snowden plans to work on anti-surveillance technology

Snowden plans to work on anti-surveillance technology

Summary: The former NSA contractor, still hidden within Russia, plans to develop anti-surveillance technology following the US government spying scandal.

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Edward Snowden says he plans to develop and promote anti-surveillance technology to hamper government spying across the globe.

The former US National Security Agency (NSA) contractor, who leaked confidential documents detailing the extensive surveillance activities of the NSA and the UK's GCHQ, called for support at the Hackers On Planet Earth (HOPE) conference via a video link from Moscow, Russia.

Snowden addressed the conference on Saturday, requesting that the hacking community channel its resources into developing anti-surveillance technologies which will make government spying more difficult — and said that he planned to spend much of his future time doing the same.

The former NSA contractor said:

We the people — you the people, you in this room right now — have both the means and the capability to improve the future by encoding our rights into programs and protocols by which we rely every day. [..] and that's what a lot of my future work is going to be involved in, and I hope you'll join me in making that a reality.

Speaking at the New York City conference, Snowden also defended his actions in relation to leaking confidential documents from the US intelligence agency to the media. The contractor said that most Americans have little concept of how wide-ranging their government's surveillance activities are, but "have a right as Americans and as members of the global community to know the broad outlines of government policies that significantly impact on our lives."

"If we're going to have a democracy and an enlightened citizenry, if we’re going to provide the consent of the governed, we have to know what is going on, we have to know the broad outlines of a policy and we can’t have the government shut us out from every action that they’re doing," Snowden commented.

Snowden is currently hidden in Russia after fleeing the United States last year. The former NSA contractor's Russian visa expires at the end of July, and the former contractor has requested an extension. However, Snowden did not comment on whether his visa has been extended.

In an interview with The Guardian last week, Snowden said he is unlikely to have a fair trial if he returned to the US, being one of few whistleblowers in history to be charged under the Espionage Act.

Topics: Security, Government US, Privacy

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  • Hidden?

    I hadn't been aware that Snowden was "hidden" in Russia. Certainly the amount of air time he has been getting suggests that people know where to find him. Or is that just journalistic hyperbole?
    • Not hyperbole.

      He is hiding in Russia. Thus, he is "hidden".

      Perhaps you can choose a more perfect word, but I don't have a problem with this one.
      • A better term?

        Let's see:

        "Avoiding the US injustice system".
        "Holed up" is a common term for such a situation.
        "Trapped" - given that it is the US that refuses to allow him to travel freely in countries that ARE NOT the US (don't forget which country illegally forced down the plane of another country's ambassador because it had heard a rumour).

        He is not "hiding". The term "hidden" is totally inappropriate to the situation that the US has forced upon someone who pointed out that his government was acting unlawfully.

        Were Russia to behave similarly to one of its own citizens, the US would be more than happy to offer them shelter, but it has decided to show its hypocrisy in this case - as in many others - by refusing to abide by international law. It is incredibly sad that a country that sees itself as the "leader of the free world" behaves as such a bully and seems to believe that the rest of that world has no rights.
    • Great idea; Wrong person

      Edward has great ideas. However he is the wrong person to lead the concept. I like his ideas. I think he is a traitor! NOTHING he leads has a prayer in hell of taking off. Why waste an excellent concept because of the WRONG messenger. I would help rally support through social media with the RIGHT messenger. Step up to the plate CNET. If you build it, they will come. Maybe Kevin Costner is available if CNET has cold feet. Ball in your court. Definitely needed unlike Mr. Snowden.
  • Irony

    Having to live in Russia is a true punishment for Snowden. Oswald thought he would like it too, for a while. It sounds crazy for him to be talking about democracy and enlightened citizenry, concepts that he surely is not learning about in Russia. Snowden: we don't want to hear it over here in the U.S., please tell it to the Russians. That is until they hang you for it.
  • Hidden?

    I hadn't been aware that Snowden was "hidden" in Russia. Certainly the amount of air time he has been getting suggests that people know where to find him. Or is that just journalistic hyperbole?
  • Mullitone

    Good! He should start with a high-speed VPN out of Vancouver.
  • How can anyone trust this guy???

    This guy will betray his own mother. The fact that he still alive only proves the sad state of our government.
    • Who betrayed whom?

      The question is, where does your ultimate loyalty lie?
      With your company, the government of the U.S., the citizens of the U.S., or the U.S. Constitution?
      I'd say that rather than a traitor, Snowden is a patriot. The government of the United States is the one that has betrayed its own people.
    • "The fact that he's still alive"?

      So you'd rather have your government send assassins to kill anyone abroad who inconvenienced them and exposed their wrongdoing? Is this the idea of a good government you have?

      Well, those methods were used at the time of Communism by Soviet KGB (and its Russian successor FSB - see the Litvinenko polonium poisoning case in London), East Germany's Stasi, the Bulgarian secret service (with their famous ricin-loaded umbrellas), North Korea, and, at the other extreme of the ideology spectrum, by far-right dictatorships such as Pinochet's in Chile (the Letelier assassination, for example) and other South American military dictatorships in the 1970s cooperating in Operation Condor. Israel's Mossad has been known to do it quite often, too, sometimes resulting in gross blunders (the Lillehammer and Amman affairs, for example).

      You may even want such a state of things - there's a taste and opinion for REALLY everything in this world, after all... But if the U.S. ever adopts that as routine, overt, institutional policy (it would be naïve to think they, like ALL foreign intelligence services, don't do it at least occasionally under cover already and have always done), then please don't come bragging about the wonders and the superiority of the American system of government. If it ever comes to that, it will have been brought down to the level of the world's worst scum.
  • Sorry

    LOL. Sorry dude the 15 minutes are long gone. No one trusts a thief for a business venture either.
    Buster Friendly
  • Sure terrorists globally are anxiously awaiting...

    ...whatever tools Snowman can provide them to help get past surveillance.
  • Snowden vs NSA and GCHQ Technologists

    Ed Snowden, the self-proclaimed super-spy, ex-Booz Allen contract tech support staffer, and dishonest liar versus the intellect and resources of NSA/GCHQ to build surveillance systems.

    Wonder who is going to win this contest?
    • So who's ahead so far?

      1. Snowden-- still alive. He packaged and hid in many places a huge "tactical nuke" of damaging data from the NSA, and if he is seriously harmed or killed, it "explodes". At least, that's my explanation for his continued non-death.
      2. NSA- is being slow roasted in the western press, with a "saline drip" of embarrassing, revealing data coming from British and other publications for over a year. Who knew that if you made a sex tape for your hubby and you are a hot chick, you might get passed around NSA offices everywhere??
      3. Obama administration- with headlines about the disastrous O-Tax rollout, stupid and transparently specious hard drive crashes from the supposedly competent IRS, a border so porous that the Texas Nat. Guard must be called in and other such multiple screwups, Snowden looks like a hero in comparison. (Remember- he's a high school graduate who has outsmarted the most powerful nation in the history of the world...)

      So in answer to your question, it isn't at all clear that Mr. ES will lose. That said, he is a traitor and should be kidnapped, tried, convicted and brought to the moment of execution... and then pardoned. What he did must not be repeated; it's a miracle that more people haven't died because of it. Nevertheless, he did our country a great service, and should be rewarded with his life in return.

      May we take to heart the lesson he taught, because we received it at great cost.
      • He's already lost.

        I meant on a technology level, not moral, and in any case, my question was rhetorical. He's already lost. Every few days he raises his narcissistic head for a little more media attention. He is pathetic. And a traitor too. The only reason he's still alive is because the government sees no value in killing him. I bet there's Russian mob that's take him out for less that $10k. But why bother? As I said, he's already lost.
      • Interesting Fiction

        In his own words....

        "Mr. Snowden said he gave all of the classified documents he had obtained to journalists he met in Hong Kong, before flying to Moscow, and did not keep any copies for himself. He did not take the files to Russia “because it wouldn’t serve the public interest,” he said.
        • That's what Glenn Greenwald claims

          Apparently, he's the one with custody of the docs and has been deciding what to release.

          I do get the increasing sense that Greenwald is the one who is really in charge of this show.
          John L. Ries
      • Liar, Traitor, and Thief.

        "2. NSA- is being slow roasted in the western press, with a "saline drip" of embarrassing, revealing data coming from British and other publications for over a year. Who knew that if you made a sex tape for your hubby and you are a hot chick, you might get passed around NSA offices everywhere??"

        I guess you believe everything you read on the internet...but to as clear as possible, this came from the perpetrator of the crime and he's a liar with serious trust issues.
  • We all need to make a living

    it's guaranteed that Snowden will never again be employed as a system administrator; so it looks like his plan is to work as a security consultant and to develop anti-surveillance software. I think he could support a family on that and that it is as honorable a career path as any.
    John L. Ries
  • I like the idea

    but not necessarily the person stating it. I came up with the solution a few years back called the WiMAX steamroller. WiMAX is like a super WiFi - and it uses "meshing algorithms" so that new nodes can just join in (no fixed IPs). You then encrypt ALL of the MESH communications. In this way, you can turn on a device (like a cell phone), get into the MESH and all your communication is encrypted (and your location is not very easy to determine).

    Sprint tried to set up WiMAX (I believe they did one setup in Baltimore) - but lacked the cash to do it well. The big telco/cell providers responded by upping the speed/technology to match WiMAX (LTE), but they still control who gets in, how they are identified, etc.

    We could have had the Snowden Paradise if the WiMAX steamroller got up to speed - but another great technology got upstaged by a conspiracy (BetaMAX 2000).
    Roger Ramjet