Snowden at SXSW Film Festival, Second Year in a Row

Edward Snowden

Three days after a surprise semi-private Q&A session at this year’s SXSW film and arts festival (his second consecutive annual appearance at SXSW), whistleblower Edward Snowden gave a public talk at the CeBIT German Information Technology conference. In each case he appeared by video from Russia (or so it  was claimed).

According to the article “Edward Snowden issues ‘call to arms’ for tech companies in secret SXSW meeting,” authored by Adi Robertson and published by The Verge, Snowden said:

“[The US] government hasn’t felt the pressure; they don’t care about petitions, they need higher-level pressure. It is not a legal issue, it is a political issue.” He also said, as he had before, that he’d do it again. “I really got the sense that I’m helping to improve lives. It gives me a reason to get up in the morning. And that’s something that you can’t get from almost anything other than maintaining a guiding principle that you believe in very strongly.”

(This year’s SXSW festival also included a public session by whistleblower Bill Binney titled “The State of Surveillance.”)

At the CeBIT event, Snowden admonished the audience that:

“They are looking for the people who are in this room right now. You are their target, not because you’re a terrorist, but because you have access to systems. You have access to the private records of people’s private lives and these are the things they want.”

Attorney and Journalist Glenn Greenwald also appeared at the CeBIT session, the full hour of which is available below. (Edward Snowden appears at about the 30 minute mark):

According to an article about his CeBIT appearance published by Russia Today:

“Snowden is popular in Germany, which has a more negative view of government surveillance because of its history under the Nazis and the East German Stasi secret police.”

Last year’s SXSW 2014 appearance by Edward Snowden can be seen here:


In an article by Darryl W. Perry published by the FFP titled “A Pardon for Edward Snowden,” Perry doubts a pardon for Snowden will be granted by representatives of either of the two major parties.

“In early March, one of Snowden’s lawyers said, “[Edward] Snowden is ready to return to the [United] States, but on the condition that he is given a guarantee of a legal and impartial trial.” Jesselyn Radack, who also works on Snowden’s legal team, says a trial under the Espionage Act [of 1917] — the World War I-era law that Snowden is alleged to have violated—“would not be considered fair.” Radack reportedly said, “Snowden would be amenable to coming back to the United States for the kind of plea bargain that Gen. [David] Petraeus received.”

Patreus . . . unlike Snowden . . . gave classified info to his biographer and girlfriend, Paula Broadwell [and] lied to the FBI. By contrast, Edward Snowden never lied about his actions. . . [H]e should not have to appear in court, because he should be granted a full pardon. I know that will not happen as long as Barack Obama is in the White House, because it was Obama’s Administration that sought espionage charges in the first place. Nor do I expect a Republican Presidentt (sic) to issue such a pardon either. Even the supposed libertarian Rand Paul has said that Snowden should spend “a few years in prison. It is clear that neither major party will do what is right, and will only serve to protect their own interests. Is it any wonder that both parties now have an approval rating below 40%?”

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