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Edward Snowden talks during a simulcast conversation during the SXSW Interactive Festival on Monday, March 10, 2014, in Austin, Texas. Snowden talked with American Civil Liberties Union's principal technologist Christopher Soghoian, and answered tweeted questions.

Jack Plunkett, ASSOCIATED PRESS

This image made available by The Guardian Newspaper in London shows an undated image of Edward Snowden, 29. Snowden worked as a contract employee at the National Security Agency and is the source of The Guardian's disclosures about the U.S. government's secret surveillance programs, as the British newspaper reported Sunday, June 9, 2013. (AP Photo/The Guardian, Ewen MacAskill) NO SALES NO ARCHIVE ONE TIME USE ONLY MANDATORY CREDIT ORG XMIT: MIN2013060916315083 ORG XMIT: MIN1306091634454735

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NSA leaker Snowden says has no regrets for leaks

  • Associated Press
  • March 10, 2014 - 6:24 PM

AUSTIN, Texas — National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden says he has no regrets about revealing the agency's mass surveillance program.

Snowden spoke Monday via live video conference to a packed audience at the South By Southwest Interactive Festival.

The former NSA contractor, who remains in Moscow living in temporary asylum, faces felony charges in the U.S. after leaking thousands of classified documents to media outlets.

Christopher Soghoian, principal technologist at the American Civil Liberties Union, spoke to Snowden from the Austin, Texas, event along with Snowden's legal adviser, the ACLU's Ben Wizner.

Snowden touched on a number of issues in the hour-long conversation. He dispensed advice on how U.S. citizens can keep their web-surfing activities more private by using a free service called Tor, which encrypts web traffic. He also called on the technology industry to create more software and services that help guard individual privacy.

He appeared to have no regrets about exposing the U.S. government's surveillance methods.

"And when it comes to would I do this again, the answer is absolutely yes," he told the audience.

"I took an oath to support and defend the Constitution, and I saw that the Constitution was violated on a massive scale," he added.

The ACLU offered a live blog of Snowden's talk on its website and the Texas Tribune's website hosted a live video stream.

Fugitive WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange spoke at the SXSW conference in a similar manner on Saturday. Assange is living in asylum at the Ecuadorean embassy in London.

© 2014 Star Tribune