Edward Snowden, a former security contractor, spoke at South by Southwest (SXSW) yesterday, to speak about the proposed reforms at the Natonal Security Agency, and how they vindicate his actions while under their employ.
I saw that the Constitution was violated on a massive scale," Snowden said to the crowd.
He went on to talk about his quick actions have gone on to change government policies regarding individual privacy of the citizens of the United States, and have benefited the public and global society as a whole.
In 2013, Snowden brought to light what he was as unconstitutional actions by the US government in their system for monitoring phone and internet data of citizens, regardless of suspicion of terrorism. These documents had previously been unavailable to the public, and general knowledge of the program was not at hand until it was leaked by Snowden.
In January of last year, the Obama administration banned eavesdropping on the leaders of friendly countries and allies.
Since Snowden's revelation, major companies have tightened safeguards, bringing little peace of mind to their customers, but thus far, are still not enough to make government data-mining too costly to conduct. An improved encryption system offered to customers for privacy on the net would be required, which at this time, is not available to them.
"The government has gone and changed their talking points. They have changed their verbiage away from public interest to national interest," Snowden added in his talks.
US Representative Mike Pompeo, called for SXSW to withdraw Snowden's slot to speak at the event, citing his deception of his employers and his country as the reason. Snowden has counter-argued over the last year of his self-exile that in his actions he upheld the constitution and the responsibility of an informed citizen in releasing the information, and that those officials at the NSA were not.
Despite the proposed reforms, Edward Snowden remains a wanted fugitive in the US. He currently resides at an undisclosed location in Russia, where he currently has asylum.