Edward Snowden, the former NSA contractor that is the source of a cache of leaked internal NSA documents who is now hiding out in Russia to avoid espionage charges promises that more revelations about the agency's vast international and domestic spying programs will be revealed. He calls these upcoming revelations "big" and notes that reporting these revelations is not a crime. Snowden made his comments remotely during a recent TED event.
While Snowden had a lot to say about specific NSA programs – detailed in this Ars Technica report – the thrust of his comments during the TED event were that the intelligence agencies have created entire systems in the name of fighting terrorism after 9/11.
Snowden told the audience that his work has exposed "one of the dangerous legacies we've seen in the post 9/11 era. They're making the Internet fundamentally less safe for Americans. Is it really terrorism we're stopping? Do these programs have any value at all? I say no. Three branches of the American government say no."
"The bottom line is terrorism has always been a cover for action—it provokes an emotional response," he added. "The NSA asked for these authorities back in the 1990s. But Congress and the American people said no, said it's not worth the risk to our economy. But in the post 9/11 era, they used secrecy and the justification of terrorism to start these programs in secret."
Tim Berners-Lee, who many consider the father of the Internet, was called on stage by TED curator Chris Anderson. He said that Snowden was a "hero." Snowden said that he supported Berners-Lee's call for an Internet "Magna Carta."
"I grew up in the Internet," Snowden said. "I believe a Magna Carta for the Internet is exactly what we need. We need to encode our values in the structure of the Internet. I invite everyone in the audience to join and participate.
You can learn more details about Snowden's interaction at TED here.