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From the comments: Edward Snowden zingers

May 21, 2014 /

TED community member Steve Jurvetson highlights some of the key moments (and photos!) from the TED Talk given by Edward Snowden, Here’s how we take back the Internet:

“Here is a photo collection I took of his talk and slides. And here, some of Snowden’s zingers:

I am living proof that an individual can go head to head against the most powerful agency in the world and win.

Democracy may die behind closed doors. We don’t have to give up privacy to have good government; we don’t have to give up liberty to have security.

Boundless Informant is a program the NSA hid from Congress. It tells us that more communications are being intercepted in America about Americans than there are in Russia about Russians.

The public interest is not always the same as the national interest.

At the NSA, ‘terrorism’ is used as a cover for action. Terrorism provokes an emotional response that allows people to rationalize and authorize programs they wouldn’t have otherwise. They asked for this authority in the 1990s and Congress said no.

[Facing Tim Berners-Lee on stage]: A Magna Carta for the Internet is exactly what we need to encode values not just in writing but in the structure of the Internet.

PRISM is about content. It deputizes corporate America to do the dirty work for the NSA. Even though some companies did resist, they lost. But this was never tried by open court, only by secret court … making secret interpretations of the law. There have been 34,000 warrant requests in 33 years and they only rejected 11 government requests.

[Of 1.7 million documents, only a hundred have been shared so far. Is there more to come?] There are absolutely more revelations to come. Some of the most important reporting is yet to come.

[When asked if he would return to America if given amnesty]: Absolutely. There’s really no question. The government has hinted they want some kind of deal, a compromise deal to come back. But I want to make it very clear. I did not do this to be safe. I did this to do what was right. I won’t stop working in the public interest just to benefit myself.”
— Steve Jurvetson

We’re always on the lookout for sharp critique, thought-provoking questions or interesting insights in response to TED Talks. Post your thoughts alongside any talk; we read them all and will feature one comment on ideas.TED.com each weekday. (Comments are lightly edited for spelling and grammar.)