NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden today (March 18) addressed Vancouver's TED conference.
Unlike other TED2014 speakers, Snowden spoke through a robot, answering questions from TED curator Chris Anderson.
Anderson told the $7,500-a-ticket crowd that Snowden was controlling the bot with his laptop from a "remote location somewhere in Russia".
Here's what Snowden said in response to a headline reporting that U.S. spies want him dead:
You know, it's no mystery that there are governments out there that want to see me dead. I've made clear again and again and again that I go to sleep every morning thinking about what I can do for the American people. I don't want to harm my government. I want to help my government. But the fact that they're willing to completely ignore due process, they're willing to declare guilt without ever seeing a trial, these are things that we need to work against as a society and say, "Hey, this is not appropriate." We shouldn't be threatening dissidents. We shouldn't be criminalizing journalism. And whatever part I can do to see that end I'm happy to do despite the risks.
Anderson asked the audience if they considered Snowden's release of classified documents in 2013 a "reckless act" or a "heroic act". While more attendees raised their hands in support of the latter stance, a few backed the former, and many didn't move in their seats at all.
Usually, people wait for weeks or months after a conference to see selected TED talks for free online, but TED posted Snowden's talk hours after it happened.