Edward Snowden, the former National Security Agency contractor-turned-whistleblower who leaked thousands of classified documents regarding the United States’ covert surveillance program to media outlets, will be speaking today at South By Southwest Interactive Festival in Austin, Texas.
Snowden, a former employee of NSA contractor Booz Allen Hamilton, will be broadcast live via video from Moscow, where he’s been granted temporary asylum after fleeing the United States in May 2013, first to Hong Kong. The NSA whistleblower will “urge the entrepreneurs, innovators, makers, hackers, geeks, founders, investors and leading-edge thinkers who attend SXSW Interactive to build better systems that better protect user privacy,” the annual film, music and interactive festival states on its website.
The talk will also include Christopher Soghoian, principal technologist at the American Civil Liberties Union and Snowden’s legal advisor Ben Wizner, of the ACLU, reports the Associated Press.
Snowden made worldwide headlines in June 2013 when a series of exposes detailing the existence and operations of covert surveillance programs PRISM, XKeyscore and Tempora, among others, and the bulk collection of telephone metadata, were published by The Guardian and The Washington Post. Former Guardian political journalist Glenn Greenwald and his staff at the recently launched online publication The Intercept, has continued to publish stories based off the leaked documents.
The U.S. government charged him with espionage and theft of government property the same month. He remains a fugitive.
WATCH THE LIVE STREAMED VIDEO OF EDWARD SNOWDEN HERE