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Snowden calls encryption “defense against the dark arts”

on March 10, 2014

Gigaom

Encrypting our communications is the best way to thwart mass government surveillance programs, according to fugitive whistle blower Edward Snowden, who appeared via live-stream at the SXSW tech festival in Austin on Monday.

Snowden, whose leaks have exposed secret data collection operations between the NSA and major U.S. companies, claims that is impossible for specific individuals to hide from the government, but that encryption will render the current practice of mass surveillance expensive and impractical.

“Encryption is the defense against the dark arts for the digital realm,” Snowden said, appearing against a backdrop of the Constitution, and protected by what he described as “7 proxies” – an apparent allusion to a 4Chan meme.

Snowden’s remarks came as part of a public discussion with ACLU lawyer Christopher Soghoian over how to take privacy techniques employed by tech enthusiasts — which Snowden described as “firefighters” who can oppose those who are “setting…

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