Edward Snowden to SXSW: I'd Do It All Over Again

He addresses conference from Russia
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 10, 2014 1:48 PM CDT
Edward Snowden talks during a simulcast conversation during the SXSW Interactive Festival on Monday, March 10, 2014, in Austin, Texas.   (Photo by Jack Plunkett/Invision/AP)

(Newser) – By leaking NSA data, Edward Snowden forced himself into exile—but he'd "absolutely" do it again, he said today during a video talk broadcast at SXSW. He spoke from Russia, saying that he "took an oath to support and defend the Constitution," NPR reports. "I saw the Constitution ... being violated on a massive scale," he continued. And for what? He argued that the US has "actually had tremendous intelligence failures because we're monitoring ... everybody's communications, instead of the suspects' communications." He pointed to the Boston Marathon bombings as an example, arguing that tips about the terrorists may have been overlooked while investigators focused on the surveillance programs.

How to "fix" the system? "There's a political response that needs to occur, but there's also a tech response that needs to occur," Snowden said, according to CNN. "We need public oversight ... some way for trusted public figures to advocate for us. We need a watchdog that watches Congress, because if we're not informed, we can't consent to these (government) policies." He also suggested Internet users protect themselves, and suggested using a "mixed routing network" to make online activity more difficult to track. Today is the first time Snowden has directly addressed US citizens since fleeing the country. (Read more SXSW stories.)

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