SXSW Interactive Festival attendees crowd the Austin Convention Center at the 2013 event. The festival's typically sprawling range of topics this year took a turn toward online privacy and surveillance implications.
Former NSA contractor Edward Snowden will speak via videoconference to the attendees of South by Southwest Interactive later this morning, and you can bet a much wider audience than just those here in Austin will be watching.
Mike Janke used to be a Navy SEAL sniper. These days he's taking on the government and corporate America. He's the founder of Blackphone, an Android-based smartphone with privacy as its mainselling point.
It's not NSA-proof — in that everything is hackable if you try hard enough. But Janke says it's taking on the entire mobile economy that lets law enforcement and companies in way too easily.
The sheer size and frequency of the recent credit card data breaches at Target, Neiman Marcus and other companies are prompting lawmakers to consider legislative options to keep sophisticated cyberthefts from happening.
"If anything, we've learned from this major, major breach that we can no longer do nothing," said Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn. "We have to take action."
Mug shot sites, like the Smoking Gun, have long been a staple online. While some trade in celebrity mug shots, others publish publically available local mug shots.
Credit thesmokinggun.com / screencap
A bipartisan committee at the statehouse has moved forward a bill to make it easier to remove people’s mug shots from commercial websites if they were never convicted of the crime for which they were arrested.
Along with the privacy advocates and the national security establishment, there is another set of players with strong views on NSA surveillance programs: U.S. tech companies.
Google and five other companies weighed in on the surveillance debate last month, sending a letter to members of the Senate Judiciary Committee, supporting legislation to reform National Security Agency surveillance programs.