“The powers of big brother have increased enormously!”

Much has been said and written about Edward Snowden in the last few months. Known for making the historic revelations about NSA phone and Internet surveillance in 2013 he’s been called a whistleblower, a traitor, a hero. At TED 2014 he explains, that it’s not about him as a person but about issues of national and international concern. Rocking the TED stage by telepresence roboter from a remote place in Russia, he points out how to take back the Internet!

History has seen several whistle blowers, however leaks of classified information have probably never been as prominent and influential in public discourse as they are right now. Clearly it’s time to consider the role of unauthorized disclosures and think through the conundrums of government secrecy and data privacy.

In an animated conversation with Chris Anderson, curator of TED, Edward Snowden addresses his concern about past and current developments of data privacy.

“I’m comfortable with the decisions I made!”

To Snowden leaks of secret information are not necessarily a lamentable deviation from good government, but are — within certain limits — an essential safeguard that should be defended and encouraged. In believing so, he’s assure his revelations did not harm anyone or ever will. Moreover he coincides with the founder of the internet, Tim Berners-Lee, who joins live on stage, regards a “Magna Charta” for the Internet as necessary to help guarantee fundamental principles online. Berners-Lee, who (in cooperation with the World Wide Web Consortium) launched a campaign called the Web We Want, urging people to push for an Internet “bill of rights” for every country.

“I believe a ‘Magna Charta’ for the internet is exactly what we need. We need to encode our values not just in writting but in the structure of the internet. And it’s something that I hope, I invite everyone in the audience not just here in Vancouver but around the world to join and participate in!”

What do you feel about these revelations? Did they influence your “online-behaviour”?

Watch NSA deputy director Richard Ledgett answering Anderson´s questions on TED stage as a direct response to Edward Snowdens appearance. Do you have any idea which kind of information could be revealed next?


Header image credits: Royalty free

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