Snowden to hold 'virtual' talk at SXSW

Former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden will speak at the music festival South By Southwest on Monday via webcast. 

The festival, referred to as SXSW, will allow guests to ask questions during an event billed as a “virtual conversation with Edward Snowden.” 

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Snowden leaked hundreds of thousands of documents that exposed secret phone and Internet surveillance programs in the United States and around the world. 

The Monday discussion will focus on how his revelations have affected the technology community. It will also look at how technology can be used by people to protect themselves from mass surveillance. 

Christopher Soghoian of the American Civil Liberties Union will moderate the discussion with Snowden and Ben Wizner, an adviser to Snowden who also works at the ACLU.

Snowden has been granted temporarily asylum in Russia after he fled the United States shortly after his leak. He has given a number of interviews since then. 

In January, he held a similar online chat. At the time he said coming back to the United States would be the best resolution for everyone but did not hold out hope for a return. 

"Returning to the U.S., I think, is the best resolution for the government, the public, and myself, but it’s unfortunately not possible in the face of current whistleblower protection laws, which through a failure in law did not cover national security contractors like myself," he said at the time.  

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