Software programmers should use their skills to help protect peopleâ€™s privacy from government surveillance, Edward Snowden, the former NSA contractor turned whistleblower, said at the SXSW culture and technology conference in Texas, according to The Register.
In a speech transmitted by Google Hangouts, Snowden said software developers are responsible for creating more user-friendly, secure communications tools to help people take â€œreally technical steps to protect themselvesâ€ from NSA spying. The developer community can also encourage adoption of new privacy standards by the US Congress.
Snowden said Internet users ought to secure their hard drives and make sure all their network connections are securely encrypted end to end to avoid mass surveillance.Â He also advised people to browse the web anonymously using the Tor network.
Encryption is â€œthe defense against the dark arts in the digital realm.â€ If regular users cypher their data, the government has no choice but to focus on criminal suspects rather than analyze everyoneâ€™s internet traffic, he said.
Snowden believes his actions improved US national security and does not regret disclosing NSA surveillance plans, despite the personal backlash.