Edward Snowden drops epic Harry Potter reference

Is Edward Snowden the Harry Potter to the NSA's Volermort?

Published March 10, 2014 4:32PM (EDT)


During the question and answer portion of Edward Snowden's SXSW Interactive panel -- his first American appearance since leaking documents on the NSA's surveillance programs -- he made a quick reference to the well known wizard franchise, calling for "defense against the dark arts of the digital realm."

The panel, which consisted of Snowden, his Lawyer Ben Wizner and ACLU's principal technologist Christopher Soghoian, said that encryption and oversight are the keys to stopping mass surveillance. Soghoian said that the goal wasn't to completely blind the NSA but rather to stop the government from being able to spy on everyone. Making mass data collection too expensive could be the public's expelliarmus.

By Sarah Gray

Sarah Gray is an assistant editor at Salon, focusing on innovation. Follow @sarahhhgray or email sgray@salon.com.

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Edward Snowden Government Harry Potter Nsa Surveillance Sxsw