It was Edward Snowden's first public appearance in months.
Virtual appearance, anyway.
“They are setting fire to the future of the Internet. The people in the room right now are the firefighters.” (Via Texas Tribune)
Speaking remotely from Russia where he's been granted temporary asylum, Snowden addressed a packed audience at the South by Southwest Interactive Festival in Austin. The video call was reportedly routed through seven different proxies. (Via ACLU)
During the panel, he stressed that intelligence should be target specific — suggesting the Boston Marathon bombings could have been prevented had officials spent less time on widespread web surveillance.
He also offered some tips for average internet user to keep from getting spied on — including using non-tracking plug-ins, installing Tor (a mixed-routing network), and encrypting your hard drive. (Via National Security Agency)
He argued the government's inability to figure out what documents he provided to journalists was proof encryption works. (Via ABC)
His appearance was not without controversy. Republican Congressman Mike Pompeo had written a lengthy letter to the organizers of SXSW urging them not to give Snowden a platform. (Via Office of Rep. Mike Pompeo)
Snowden's leaks, of course, revealed the NSA had been collecting bulk data from companies like Apple, Facebook and Google. (Via CBS)
The irony of Snowden speaking via a Google Hangout wasn't lost on many. (Via Twitter / @mikethomsen)
Snowden did say during the panel he's not opposed to companies like Google collecting data, as long as they do so responsibly.