Earlier on Thursday NSA whistle-blower Edward Snowden addressed the attendees of 2014's Personal Democracy Forum, and renewed his call for privacy rights.
This is not the first time that Snowden has made a Web appearance -- he even participated in a televised interview. However, today's talk with Electronic Frontier Foundation co-founder J.P. Barlow was momentous, because it coincided with the one-year anniversary of the first published report of NSA surveillance.
Snowden, who spoke via Google Hangouts from Russia, opened with a joke: "Next year I'll be there in person." In his talk Snowden pointed out that netizens don't trust tech firms or government with Internet privacy. Though this may seem dire for the Web users, Snowden has a solution -- take privacy back ourselves.
"We're past the point where citizens are entirely dependent on governments to defend our privacy. We don't have to ask for our privacy, we can take it back," he told Barlow. "We can do it with our technology applied in new, innovative ways.”
Snowden is also advocating for the Reset the Net campaign targeted at stopping mass surveillance through encryption and other security means. It also hopes to get large tech companies to up their security.
The solution to stopping mass surveillance is not just a technical or Internet-based fix: It is also political. Snowden told the group: "We need to vote."