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Edward Snowden: Why Does Online Privacy Matter?

Part 3 of the TED Radio Hour episode IRL Online.

About Edward Snowden's TED Talk

Edward Snowden revealed government programs that collected our private data. Today, he says private corporations have become just as intrusive—but without the restraints placed on government.

About Edward Snowden

In 2013, Edward Snowden leaked thousands of classified National Security Agency documents, sparking a global conversation about citizens' rights to privacy in the digital age. It's a conversation that continues today and has only expanded as corporations increasingly come under similar scrutiny.

In the years since, the former NSA contractor joined the board of the Freedom of the Press Foundation — and in 2016 became its president. There he helps develop tools and methods aimed at protecting journalists who cover data collection. In 2019, he wrote an autobiography, Permanent Record.

Under U.S. Justice Department charges of espionage and theft of government property, Snowden has temporary asylum in Russia and has lived in Moscow since the months following the leaks.

In 2015, the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit ruled that the Patriot Act did not authorize the NSA to collect Americans' calling records in bulk, as exposed by Snowden in 2013. The appeals court did not, however, rule on the overall constitutionality of mass surveillance.

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