Edward Snowden tells SXSW that encryption is ‘defense against the dark arts’ - BestVPN.com

Edward Snowden tells SXSW that encryption is ‘defense against the dark arts’

Douglas Crawford

Douglas Crawford

March 13, 2014

We at BestVPN have long argued that everyone should routinely encrypt everything they do on the internet, not just because doing so provides a high degree of personal defence against abusive NSA snooping, but because only by such collective effort can the overweening power of the NSA and its ilk be limited.

Referencing Harry Potter stories at his video interview at the South By Southwest (SXSW) Interactive Festival in Austen, Texas on Monday, NSA wistleblower Edward Snowden told a packed auditorium,

‘We need to think about encryption not as black magic but as something that works. It’s the defense against the dark arts in the digital realm.’


He said that the NSA had created an ‘adversarial internet’, to which the answer was to use use encryption.

‘End to end encryption makes bulk surveillance impossible. There is more oversight, and they won’t be able to pitch exploits at every computer in the world without getting caught.’

He later explained that,

‘The result of [end-to-end encryption] is a constitutional, more carefully overseeing sort of intelligence gathering model. Where if they want to gather somebody’s communications they have to target them specifically. They can’t just target everybody all the time and then when they want to read your stuff they go back in a time machine and say what did they say you know in 2006. They can’t pitch exploits in every computer in the world without getting caught. That is the value of end to end encryption and that is what we need to be thinking about.’

We explain how you can start going about encrypting your digital life in our Ultimate Privacy Guide, but one of the first and most useful steps you can take is using a good ‘no logs’ VPN service, which creates an encrypted tunnel between you and a VPN server, anonymising your outward facing IP, while hiding your online actions from your ISP and other unwanted snoops.