Develop secure comms software, Snowden tells hackers

NSA whistle-blower urges HOPE summit delegates to create anti-eavesdropping tools for citizens

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Develop secure comms software, Snowden tells hackers Snowden fled Hawaii last summer with thousands of documents on secret surveillance programmes. (Getty Images)
By  Stephen McBride Published  July 20, 2014

Edward Snowden, the former NSA contractor who leaked details of illicit state spying projects, has urged delegates of a hacking conference to work on creating encrypted communications software for the general public, Reuters reported.

Snowden fled Hawaii last summer with thousands of documents on secret surveillance programmes by the US and UK, which he passed to newspapers in the US, Germany, Hong Kong and UK. He yesterday addressed attendees at HOPE's (Hackers On Planet Earth) conference in New York City.

"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 [sic]," he said via video link from Moscow where he received asylum last year on a visa that expires at the end of July.

US prosecutors continue to seek his extradition on charges that include espionage. Snowden has been heavily criticised in his native US, but remains a hero among many in the hacking community. Among anti-surveillance measures discussed at the HOPE summit was SecureDrop, a means of securely and anonymously leaking documents to journalists.

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