Edward Snowden to Speak at SXSW Festival

Image: Edward Snowden
This June 9, 2013 photo provided by The Guardian Newspaper in London shows Edward Snowden in Hong Kong. The Guardian via AP file

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U.S. intelligence leaker Edward Snowden will speak at SXSW, a leading media, technology and music festival in Austin, Texas next week, organizers said Tuesday.

The former National Security Agency contractor, who has been living in Russia under temporary asylum, will participate in a South by Southwest (SXSW) Interactive Festival conversation on surveillance and online privacy at 11 a.m. CT next Monday, according to a description of the event on the festival website. He is slated to appear via videoconference.

The session will be moderated by Ben Wizner, the director of the American Civil Liberties Union Speech, Privacy & Technology Project — and Snowden's legal adviser.

"The conversation will consider the impact of the NSA's spying efforts on the technology community, and the ways in which technology can help to protect us from mass surveillance," the festival said on its website.

Snowden is wanted in the U.S. on espionage charges for allegedly pilfering thousands of classified documents from the NSA and turning them over to several journalists who have since published reports about the spy agency's vast surveillance programs.

— Daniel Arkin