A Virtual Conversation with Edward Snowden
Our communications are not secure. Our telephone calls, emails, texts, and web browsing activity are largely transmitted without any encryption, making it easy for governments to intercept them, in bulk. Likewise, the mobile devices, apps, and web browsers that we use do not protect our data. In many cases, they intentionally give it to third party companies as part of the sprawling online advertising ecosystem. This only makes the NSA's task easier.
Join us for a conversation between Edward Snowden and Christopher Soghoian, the American Civil Liberties Union’s principal technologist, focused on the impact of the NSA's spying efforts on the technology community, and the ways in which technology can help to protect us from mass surveillance. The conversation will be moderated by Ben Wizner, who is director of the ACLU's Speech, Privacy & Technology Project and Edward Snowden’s legal advisor.
Just as technology has enabled our modern surveillance state, so too can technology protect us. But regular users cannot make privacy-preserving tools themselves. The technology industry and the tech community can and must do more to secure the private data of the billions of people who rely on the tools and services that we build.
Edward Snowden’s revelations have launched a historic debate about surveillance practices and democratic controls, in which all three branches of government are actively and publicly engaging. But the technology community has too often been left out of the debate. It’s time to fix that.
The session will be simulcast in two other rooms in the Austin Convention Center — Ballroom D (on the top floor of the building, near 4th Street) and Ballrooms BC (on the first floor of the building, at the southeast corner.)
Dir Speech, Privacy & Tech Project
Ben Wizner is director of the ACLU Speech, Privacy & Technology Project, which is dedicated to protecting and expanding the First Amendment freedoms of expression, association, and inquiry; expanding the right to privacy and increasing the control that individuals have over their personal information; and ensuring that civil liberties are enhanced rather than compromised by new advances in science and technology. He has litigated numerous cases involving post-9/11 civil liberties abuses, including challenges to airport security policies, government watchlists, extraordinary rendition, and torture. He has appeared regularly in the media, testified before Congress, and traveled several times to Guantánamo Bay to monitor military commission proceedings. Ben is a graduate of Harvard College and New York University School of Law and was a law clerk to the Hon. Stephen Reinhardt of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit.
Dubbed the “Ralph Nader for the Internet Age” by Wired and “the most prominent of a new breed of activist technology researchers” by the Economist, Christopher Soghoian works at the intersection of technology, law, and policy. A leading expert on privacy and government surveillance, Soghoian is currently the Principal Technologist with the Speech, Privacy, and Technology Project at the American Civil Liberties Union.
Soghoian completed his Ph.D. at Indiana University in 2012, which focused on the role that Internet and telephone companies play in enabling government surveillance of their customers.