All posts tagged: edward snowden

A conversation with Edward Snowden in Hawaii (February 14, 2015)

On an unusual gloomy Saturday morning in Honolulu I was lucky to attend a (video) conference with Edward Snowden who called in from Moscow. The event was hosted by ACLU Hawaii and all 800 seats sold out in advance. The demographic was mainly older (60+) but with a handful of younger curious onlookers, activists and journalists. The moderator Aviam Soifer joked that he knew that some homeland security and other intelligence agents were in attendance but that they had to pay their $5 cover like everyone else and sit idly by while their most wanted man spoke to us in (virtual) person. It’s the kind of humor that flies really well in Hawaii – equality, absurdity and aloha. It’s a fine mix. The event opened by showing the academy award nominated documentary CitizenFour so that everyone who hasn’t followed the Snowden story obsessively could be on the same page. It’s a really great documentary – emotional and human with the urgency of an international spy thriller. Snowden especially comes across as composed, a man on …

Orwell and good in the land of the free

Wow, a lot has happened to the stories we tell ourselves this past week! Another layer peeled from the onion that makes up our reality. I have to admit, I don’t pay too much attention to whistle-blower scandals but when journalists like Chris Hedges and the good people over at Truthdig flood their headlines with the name Edward Snowden I just have to know what the fuss is about. Turns out the fuss was pretty major. On June 8, Americans learned that the National Security Agency has been collecting the telephone records of millions of U.S. customers of the telecommunication giant Verizon. It was revealed that the NSA claims internally that it has been using a top-secret spying program called PRISM to gain direct access to personal data belonging to customers of top Internet companies, including Google, Facebook, Microsoft, Apple and Yahoo. Those revelations came to us courtesy of 29-year-old Edward Snowden, a former CIA employee who currently works for NSA outside defense contractor Booz Allen Hamilton. And as The Guardian noted, “Snowden will go …