Edward Snowden gives TED Talk on saving the Internet

by Charlton “Chuck” Stanley, weekend contributor

TED2014 Edward SnowdenFor those not familiar with the TED Talks, they were the brainchild of Richard Saul Wurman, an architect and graphic designer. TED was intended as a single presentation in Silicon Valley back in 1984. TED is an acronym for Technology, Entertainment, Design. The talks have grown from a handful of views and participants into millions of views. Presenters have come from every walk of life and culture, including entertainers, scientists, entrepreneurs, and educators.

TED has recently redesigned their website, hosting their own original content videos. What does that mean? They are immune from copyright takedown demands. Many people livestream and record the videos. That means it is virtually impossible for anyone to censor or take down a TED Talk. Copies are out there in the wild. At least, they are out there until the Internet is destroyed, but even then, they will be circulated on film and digital media much like the pamphleteers of long ago. I am sure everyone recalls those troublemakers Thomas Paine and Benjamin Franklin. I posted a story on February 1, entitled Edward Snowden Speaks. In that story, we discussed the mysterious takedowns of the German TV interview with Mr. Snowden on YouTube almost as fast as they appeared.

A few days ago, Edward Snowden was a guest speaker at the TED2014 annual conference in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. The 2014 conference celebrated the 30th anniversary of TED.


Mr. Snowden made his appearance from a remote location via a gadget TED calls a “Telepresence Robot.” It looks like a cross between a TV on a stand and a Segway. The speaker can control this audience interactive device from their own computer. He was interviewed live by Chris Anderson. A special guest appearance was made by Sir Tim Berners-Lee, the real inventor of the World Wide Web.

Here is the TED talk and interview with Edward Snowden, recorded last Tuesday, March 18. It is longer than many of the TED talks, but well worth 35 minutes of your time. Especially if you are concerned about freedom of speech, association, and long term viability of the Internet.

For those who cannot get the video to work, here is a transcript of the TED Talk with Edward Snowden.


The views expressed in this posting are the author’s alone and not necessarily those of the blog, the host, or other weekend bloggers. As an open forum, weekend bloggers post independently without pre-approval or review. Content and any displays or art is solely the author’s decision and responsibility.

26 thoughts on “Edward Snowden gives TED Talk on saving the Internet

  1. A correction: “Sir Tim Berners-Lee, the real inventor of the Internet” should refer to “inventor of the World Wide Web”. The internet was already in fairly wide use, when Berners-Lee invented an easy means of linking pages to other pages in the WWW.

  2. An amazing interview Chuck. I think Mr. Snowden will go down in history as an heroic whistleblower. It is unbelievable that anyone would listen to Dick Cheney on any issue. HIs intentional lies led us into a war that killed hundreds of thousands Iraqi’s and thousands of America’s best and brightest.

  3. Rcampbell: Snowden just reported in to the blog, after reading your comment, that he looked up your heritage on the CIA-NSA scrolls and you are second cousin once removed from wifeypoo. I did not have any interest in what he had to say either. Of course what he revealed in the “data” borrowed from the NSA makes me wonder about Dick Cheney, George Bush and others. It is not what he has to “say” that was important. The British are coming! That would have interested your great great grandpa perhaps.

  4. Raff & Paul

    We knew what kind of low life Dick Cheney is and what he was capable of and willing to do long before Snowden appeared on the scene.

  5. Hey, I got nothing to hide… so why does the NSA keep my secrets private?
    Public servant spying on private citizens… smell the fascism.

  6. I had a fascinating discussion with a former military guy who was head of the intelligence divisions in Europe, US mainland and Hawaii. His take was that Snowden went to Hawaii because security was not as tough there. He thinks Snowden is a traitor and hope he is caught, tried and electrocuted. I am not sure where I stand on Snowden, still I would not take his word for what was happening on the Internet. Things move so fast that he was out of date a week after he disappeared.

    I have watched a lot of TEDTalks because they are available on Netflix. They are of varied value. Do remember folks that everything that is happening now is happening on Obama’s watch, not Cheney’s. Don’t be distracted by the moving objects, it is all on Obama now.

  7. AY,
    I had not seen the dutch roll story. One of the first things I learned was how to do dutch rolls deliberately. Helped a lot many years later when I had a runaway autopilot start doing uncontrolled dutch rolls. Big airplanes cannot withstand the kinds of loads that a smaller airplane can tolerate. For one thing, a dutch roll can create intolerable aerodynamic loads on the tail section.

  8. It sounded like a horror ride….. It did say that the tail section snapped off first… My question is why didn’t they bail when they realized the problem…

    Also in the news 18 confirmed missing in Washington State mud slide….

  9. If one million people write in Snowden for President in 2016 it would be big news. If 10 million write in Snowden it might force change in Washington. If 100 million people write in Snowden for President change will occure. If you think this country needs dramatic change in Washington, vote for Snowden!

    After reading “Top Secret America” by Priest and Arkin; reading disclosures made possible by Snowden; reading “legacy of Ashes – the history of the CIA” by Tim Weiner; reading Prof Turley’s documentation of the changing balance of power between branches of government; documentation of the concentration of wealth; documentation of political corruption by wealth and special interest; I believe dramatic change is required.

    Democrat and Republican votes will not solve any problems.

  10. If you have nothing to hide you have nothing to keep secret? If you have nothing to hide you have nothing to worry about? History and tyraany speaks differently to that formula. On the other hand, The reverse is also true.
    If they have nothing to hide then Snowden is not a threat to them.

    The details of this reality should be a bigger scandal then Snowden’s revelations… It is difficult to believe that the core corporate outsource for American National Security was Booz Allen. In turn, Booz Allen was essentially
    directly tied to Carlyle. Carlyle, an aggressive politically entrenched
    predator Private Equity concern, has its International Board members existing out of Dubai in the Middle East. Furthermore, The Booz Allen concern split during this process recent years of becoming the private corporate corporate concern specializing in Government/Military contracts into two halfs. The second half remained entirely All commercial. In effect we had a subdivision of one of the world’s largest and most aggressive private equity firms (corporate raiders), dividing itself and getting special attention for contracts to outsource the most sensitive intelligence of the United States of America.

    There are major questions raised just by the nature of how this ever was put into place, let alone how much authentic National Security was being compromised for corporate interests that essentially, by association, crony International connections.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Booz_Allen_Hamilton for details !

  11. Charlton S. Stanley, PhD, ABPP: My hat is off to you, Sir. Ethics is not a parlor game over tea during calm seas. It concerns the rules when things get tough.
    Presenting this forum was truly ethical leadership.

  12. You know when Jimmy Carter expresses concern over his privacy in America under a Democratic Administration, the Nation is off course…

  13. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Booz_Allen_Hamilton
    [select excerpts]:
    “As of August 2008, Booz Allen Hamilton’s former parent company (which used the Booz Allen name itself) divided in two. The Booz Allen Hamilton moniker was retained by the half focusing on U.S. governmental matters, with Booz & Company taking sole control of its commercial strategy and international portfolio. However, as Booz Allen’s three-year noncompete provision has expired, it is now building out its commercial consulting practice focusing on technology integration and cybersecurity programs.[8] Booz Allen Hamilton is majority owned by private equity firm The Carlyle Group, while Booz & Company is owned and operated as a partnership.
    “A June 28, 2007 Washington Post article related how a U.S. Department of Homeland Security contract with Booz Allen increased from $2 million to more than $70 million through two no-bid contracts, one occurring after the DHS’s legal office had advised DHS not to continue the contract until after a review. A Government Accountability Office (GAO) report on the contract characterized it as not well-planned and lacking any measure for assuring valuable work to be completed.”

  14. Jimmy has incentive to blast Obama, Jimmy is trying to get outta being the worst prez since Nixon category.

  15. Nice! I liked the Jimmy Carter video too, but you know Carter can’t tread on many Illuminati toes & I always feel he’s atoning for his sins committed to survive a Presidency; still a good thing though. But yeah, Snowden is a hero along with others, including that guy hounded to suicide in jail to save the internet recently. Snowden for Prez? Okay. Or he could take VP & let the experienced but unpolluted Ron Paul take the main reins.

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