Snowden makes video appearance at TED conference

NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden has made a surprise appearance as a speaker at the TED conference in Vancouver, claiming certain governments wanted him dead.

Edward Snowden appears via video link. Picture: SNS
Edward Snowden appears via video link. Picture: SNS

Mr Snowden appeared on-stage on a remote screen alongside Sir Tim Berners-Lee, created with the invention of the World Wide Web, who was putting forward his vision of a magna carta for the Internet that would enshrine the right to web freedom.

“It is no mystery that there are governments out there that want to see me dead,” Mr Snowden told the conference. “I don’t want to harm any governments but they can not ignore due process.”

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“A magna carta is exactly what we need. We need to encode our values in the structure of the Internet. By engaging the people who rely on it every day we will get a better internet and build a better future than we can imagine.”

“I am living proof that that an individual can go head-to-head with the most powerful intelligence agencies around the world and win.”


His appearance follows a similar video link at the SXSW (South X South West) technology event in Austin, Texas last month, and delivering the alternative Christmas message on Channel Four last year.

The Technology Entertainment and Design (TED) conference brings together speakers from around the world to share their ideas on how to improve and better understand the world.

Mr Snowden also hinted during his address that there were more documents to be revealed about Prism, saying “some of the most important reporting to be done is yet to come”.

Mr Berners-Lee, who was speaking as part of the celebrations to mark 25 years of the World Wide Web, described Mr Snowden as a “hero” and offered him a virtual high-five when he appeared on stage.