NEW YORK (CBS DC) – NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden wants to put his old employer out of business. The man who leaked confidential documents to expose the extent of U.S. surveillance says he wants to develop technologies that hinder the ability of governments to electronically eavesdrop on their citizens.

Speaking via video conference from Moscow, Snowden urged a computer hackers convention in New York City to channel their energy into efforts to thwart government spying. He promised to do the same.

“We the people, you the people, you in this room right now, have both the means and the capability to improve the future by encoding our rights into programs and protocols by which we rely every day. And that’s what a lot of my future work is going to be involved in, and I hope you’ll join me in making that a reality,” Snowden told the HOPE X Conference.

He said knowledge is the only way to ensure the success of democratic governments.

“If we’re going to have a democracy and an enlightened citizenry, if we’re going to provide the consent of the governed, we have to know what is going on, we have to know the broad outlines of a policy and we can’t have the government shut us out from every action that they’re doing.”

Snowden is still living in Russia after fleeing the United States last year. His current visa runs out at the end of this month. He has requested an extension.

(TM and © Copyright 2014 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2014 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)


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