Snowden appeared before thousands of technologists at the South by South West Interactive Festival on Monday, marking the first time he addressed the United States public after leaking the NSA scandal in June.
He wasn’t present in person though, instead appearing on a livestream from Russia, where he currently resides after seeking asylum to the country with assistance from Wikileaks.
“Would I do it again? Absolutely. Regardless of what happens to me, this is something we had a right to,” said Snowden.
When asked via Twitter from Tim Berners-Lee, the inventor of the World Wide Web, about what he would change about the country’s government surveillance procedures, Snowden responded, “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 (government) policies.”
Snowden encouraged technologists to help build more user-friendly secure communication applications. Many it seems, have been listening, with companies such as BitTorrent and Mega pushing for more secure and easy to use services.