He’s been called a hero, a traitor, a patriot and a dissident. Edward Snowden has been a thorn in the side of US government agencies, and he’s coming to Brisbane. Well, sort of.
If you’ve been looking for a way to get onto the NSA’s radar, this is the show for you!
Snowden will appear live via video link in Brisbane, which — as long as he’s living in an undisclosed location in Russia, on the run from US authorities — is as close as he’ll get to physically being here.
Snowden is known for exposing the actions of the National Security Agency (NSA) and other intelligence agencies during his time as a high-level technology and cybersecurity specialist across US government agencies.
Snowden revealed in 2013 that the NSA was secretly seizing private records from everyday civilians, which led to a nationwide scandal, widespread debate over mass surveillance, government secrecy, and the balance between national security and information privacy, and consequently, criminal charges being laid against Snowden, leading him to flee the country.
Facing controversial “espionage” charges in the US, he currently has legal residence in Russia, though he maintains that “Truth has its costs, but I would rather be without a State than without a voice”.
Snowden’s critique doesn’t stop at America, either. Here’s what he has to say about the Australian government’s own newly-imposed surveillance initiatives: “Just months ago, an aggressive new ‘bulk collection’ program came into effect in Australia, mandating the indiscriminate interception of private records without regard to an individual’s guilt or innocence. This is the most classic form of mass surveillance, and it radically redefines the balance of power between citizen and state…a battle is beginning, and the internet and democracy hang in the balance.”
Snowden will enlighten audiences on how he did what he did, and why he did it, in An Evening with Edward Snowden.
Presented by Think Inc. — who have previously brought the likes of Dr Neil deGrasse Tyson, Sam Harris, Maajid Nawaz and Dr Cornel West to Brisbane — his appearance will provide a rare opportunity for us to hear the first-hand account of a man who claimed to sacrifice everything so that the world would not fall into “the hands of a system whose reach is unlimited, but whose safeguards are not”.
Edward Snowden will appear via video link at the Piazza in South Bank on Friday 27 May. Tickets are on sale at thinkinc.org.au.