Watch: Edward Snowden at SXSW (via planet Mars)

n13-iconThe Guardian reports: Encryptions tools must be simplified and made accessible for the mainstream, Pulitzer-winning journalist Barton Gellman said on Monday, calling on the tech industry to have the courage and ingenuity to help address the disparity of power between the people and their government.

Addressing the SXSW festival shortly before Edward Snowden’s live speech by video, Gellman said we are a long way off simple, transparent encryption tools. He cited Pew research which found that 88% of Americans say they have taken steps to protect their privacy in some form.

“With all the user interface brains out there we could get easier tools,” he said. “But it’s not just the ability to encrypt, it’s a frame of mind, a workflow and a discipline that is alien to most people, and that is the opposite to the open nature of the consumer internet. You could use Tor to access a site a hundred times, but the 101st time you forget, you may as well not have used Tor.”

“There are people at this conference who have taken very considerable risk to protect the privacy of their customers and have put themselves at the edge of the door to jail and it will take courage as well as ingenuity to change the way things work.” [Continue reading…]

Note: The audio quality of Snowden’s feed renders him virtually unintelligible, but Christopher Soghoian, the American Civil Liberties Union’s principal technologist, comes through loud and clear.

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