SXSW: Edward Snowden calls for oversight of U.S. spying programs

Metro sxsw 2014

NSA leaker Edward Snowden called for public oversight of U.S. intelligence programs during a web-streamed speech at SXSW Interactive, one of the most anticipated segments of the technology conference. Snowden, appearing remotely from Russia where he remains in exile, urged attendees to take more control over how the various intelligence agencies interact with citizens. The speech marked the first time Snowden has addressed U.S. citizens directly since going into exile.

“South by Southwest and the tech community, the people in the room in Austin, they’re the folks who can fix this,” Snowden said. “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 policies.”

Edward Snowden appears via web from Russia at the SXSW Interactive conference.
Edward Snowden appears via web from Russia at the SXSW Interactive conference.

When asked by an attendee if he had any regrets about his decision to leak classified NSA documents, Snowden replied that he would “absolutely” do it again. “Regardless of what happens to me, this is something that we had the right to do,” he said, a copy of the U.S. Constitution serving as his backdrop. “I took an oath to support and defend the Constitution. And I saw the Constitution was being violated on a massive scale.”

While the speech drew generally positive responses from the crowd, it had been preceded by criticism and controversy, with Rep. Mike Pompeo (R-Kan.) urging the conference in an open letter to cancel the event, calling Snowden a traitor and common criminal.

Snowden’s speech was viewed the 3,000 conference attendees filling the main auditorium at the Austin Convention Center. Two overflow rooms had been set up by the conference, with the speech also streamed live by the Texas Tribune. Video of the event in full is available at the ACLU’s Web site.



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
International

Sierra Leone Ebola patient, recovered from family, dies…

An Ebola patient whose family sparked a nationwide hunt when they forcefully removed her from a treatment center and took her to a traditional healer has died.

Local

VIDEO: Cop reassigned as NYPD investigates alleged head…

An officer alleged to have stomped on a Brooklyn man's head last week had his gun taken away and placed on modified duty.

National

New York Times calls for legalization of pot

The New York Times editorial board on Saturday endorsed a repeal of the federal ban on marijuana, becoming the largest paper in the nation to back the idea.

National

Two injured after cable snaps on Ohio amusement…

(Reuters) - A cable on a large swing ride at an Ohio amusement park snapped and struck two riders as the swing was in motion,…

Music

Newport Folk Festival: Photo gallery of 35 moments…

As has been the tradition since Bob Dylan plugged in a bajillion years ago, the Newport Folk Festival embraces more musical genres than its name implies.

Music

MKTO: Behind the bromance

MKTO's Malcolm Kelley and Tony Oller talk about the American Dream tour, Demi Lovato and getting turned down by girls.

Arts

James Earl Jones and Rose Byrne head to…

Two-time Tony winner James Earl Jones returns to the New York stage next month as an eccentric grandfather in a revival of the 1930s comedy…

Movies

Box office: Scarlett Johansson wins battle of brains…

Scarlett Johansson's "Lucy" handily dispatched with Dwayne Johnson's "Hercules" over the weekend.

MLB

Yankees looking to trade for Josh Willingham: Report

CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman reported Sunday the Yankees are interested in Twins outfielder Josh Willingham.

MLB

Joe Torre: I'm in Hall of Fame because…

Joe Torre spent 18 years putting together a near Hall of Fame career as a player. But it was the 12 years he spent as…

MLB

Yankees GM Brian Cashman breaks down art of…

The action frequently accelerates as the non-waiver trade deadline approaches, as it will on Thursday.

Auto racing

Jeff Gordon captures fifth title at Brickyard 400

Jeff Gordon captures fifth title at Brickyard 400

Wellbeing

This Week In Health: Friends share similar DNA,…

Friends share similar DNA, study finds Location: U.S. Study subjects: Nearly 2,000 people Results: When it comes to our social networks, it seems that birds of…

Education

Are liberal arts colleges turning away from the…

Bryn Mawr College, a small women's college located just outside of Philadelphia, announced last week that it would be making standardized tests like the SAT…

Education

Recent grads discover school superintendent plagiarized parts of…

  Two recent high school graduates made a surprising discovery about the commencement speech their school superintendent delivered at their graduation: portions of it was copied…

Career

Feeling stuck? Get out of the entry-level job…

Television and movies may be littered with 20-something characters who seem directionless when it comes to their careers, but author Mary Traina says she finds…