Edward Snowden, the National Security Agency whistleblower, called for the creation of "a union that recognises that we have both the power and the responsibility to protect and defend the rights of users, not just in our own country but around the world," during a video conference in Nuremberg on Thursday. Snowden spoke at the event via video link from Russia, where he is currently in exile. The event was coined "Defence against the Dark Arts: Today’s cybersecurity problem and how to fix it." Snowden took the opportunity to urge the technical community to “unionise” to protect themselves against government policies “that will have extraordinary impacts on the rights of users.” “These policies that have reduced the security that we feel in our standards that we rely upon, the private systems that we rely upon has brought us to a place where offence is much easier than defence,” added the whistleblower. Edward Snowden has been in self-imposed exile in Russia following his revelations that the NSA was using various computer programmes to monitor the digital correspondence of millions of American citizens and international world-leaders. In absentia, he has been charged with espionage by the US government, and faces arrest if he were to return home.
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