The Snowden files -- the inside story of the world’s most wanted man | Luke Harding | TEDxAthens

  • Published on Dec 15, 2014
  • This talk was given at a local TEDx event, produced independently of the TED Conferences. "We now know, thanks to Edward Snowden- that all of us, Greek citizens, Brits, Americans are being spied and that all of our data - whether its text messages, selfies, G-allocation data from our iphones that we carry around with us - is being collected. Luke thinks that Snowden has done the world a great service by revealing this and thinks it’s got profound implications for democracy - and for all of us - for anyone who uses Facebook or Google or downloads videos from TVclip and so on.
    So that’s the big picture. On a micro level what we can do about this as citizens?"
    Luke Harding is a journalist, writer and award-winning correspondent with the Guardian. He has reported from Delhi, Berlin and Moscow and covered wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya and Ukraine. Between 2007 and 2011 he was the Guardian's Moscow bureau chief. The Kremlin expelled him from the country in the first case of its kind since the Cold War.
    His latest book "The Snowden Files: The Inside Story of the World's Most Wanted Man" was published in February by Guardian Faber. In June Oliver Stone bought film rights. Luke is the author of three previous non-fiction books. They are "The Liar: The Fall of Jonathan Aitken" (1997), nominated for the Orwell Prize; and "WikiLeaks: Inside Julian Assange's War on Secrecy" (2011), both written with David Leigh. The screen rights to Wikileaks were sold to Hollywood and the film, "The Fifth Estate", starring Benedict Cumberbatch and Daniel Bruhl, came out in 2013. "Mafia State: How One Reporter Became an Enemy of the Brutal New Russia" appeared in 2011. His books have been translated into 20 languages.
    About TEDx, x = independently organized event In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. At a TEDx event, TEDTalks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group. These local, self-organized events are branded TEDx, where x = independently organized TED event. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events are self-organized.* (*Subject to certain rules and regulations)

Comments • 437

  • Dick Riley
    Dick Riley 4 days ago

    These western governments only serve the corporate central banking system. They are your enemy and steal your resources to better control you as a unit of production. THE MEDIA, EDUCATION SYSTEM, RELIGIONS ARE ALL UTILIZED AND WHOLLY CONTROLLED BY THE BANKING SYSTEM. Do good to others. Do unto others as you'd have them do unto you.

  • Taylay 1100
    Taylay 1100 4 days ago

    My last name is Snowden so Eric is my cousin

  • brian frost
    brian frost 7 days ago

    the deserves a medal theres real criminals in the world he's not one of them give the man a medal or 3 or 4

  • Carol Kiefer
    Carol Kiefer 8 days ago

    District Attorneys cutting deals hides evidence gets exposed by journalists

  • Carol Kiefer
    Carol Kiefer 8 days ago

    Error please try again 🔔

    CNN SUCKS 8 days ago

    Obama was the biggest liar. Its amazing how he's given a pass.

  • airmark02
    airmark02 9 days ago

    here we go ~ typical " TED Tawk's " corporate media propaganda ~ Luke Harding the Ultimate Tool & Fraud who doesn't hesitate to make just about anything up for a pay check.... 😉😊😂😋😆🤣

  • Travellin' Man
    Travellin' Man 13 days ago +1

    From "award winning correspondent" to "MI6 mouthpiece" in two years, truly remarkable.

  • Raistlin Majere
    Raistlin Majere 13 days ago

    obama and his organization were cunths

  • Cre8tvMG
    Cre8tvMG 13 days ago +1

    Harding is not a reliable source.

  • vamshi krishna nimmakuri

    Worst thing is America having a statue named as " Statue of Liberty ".

  • Jared Morse
    Jared Morse 16 days ago

    Bill Nye at 18:20 ?

  • Mahmoud FiFteen
    Mahmoud FiFteen 19 days ago

    There is a lot of good people still alive and there is a alot of good to fight for.

  • Keith Dickerson
    Keith Dickerson 21 day ago

    Obama lied.

  • Victor Victor
    Victor Victor 24 days ago

    It's all being staged by the Government Deliberately to Cause Distractions Day In and Out Keeping us Distracted is Paramount .

  • peace
    peace 26 days ago

    he is one of the king of emotional intelligence .. not just emotion

  • Conorscorner
    Conorscorner 26 days ago

    Never heard a Ted talk where absolutely nothing was said of substance.

  • Ro Roo
    Ro Roo 27 days ago

    When you were work for the government and not question orders, so dont insult those who enforce spying\

  • Smoove Cat
    Smoove Cat Month ago

    firearms shouldn't be allowed to public people only military purposes.

  • Anonymous
    Anonymous Month ago +1

    Edward is a hero... Thanks Edward 💙

  • Ana Wilson
    Ana Wilson Month ago

    It's a job.

  • The Angry Dudeist
    The Angry Dudeist Month ago +1

    A "hero" doesnt leave the country with very sensitive information, and go to China, North Korea and Russia...
    Thats called a SPY!!!!!!

  • C List
    C List Month ago +1

    Shouldn't Snowden be protected under the whistleblower act

    • Ari W
      Ari W 18 hours ago

      Good old USA actually added a law in the patriot act that strips whistleblowers protection as it relates to the government " for the safety of Americans" and went a step further they can throw you in prison without charges or due process, torture with impunity

    • Raistlin Majere
      Raistlin Majere 13 days ago +1

      shouldn't Obama and Hillary be in prison?

  • h hr
    h hr Month ago

    ed is the best!

  • h hr
    h hr Month ago

    “Democracy is a con game. It’s a word invented to placate people to make them accept a given institution. All institutions sing, ‘We are free.’ The minute you hear ‘freedom’ and ‘democracy’, watch out… because in a truly free nation, no one has to tell you you’re free.”- Jacque Fresco

  • Abondend Hope
    Abondend Hope Month ago

    If you believe that the goverment allows you to all have iphones, computers etc you are very gullible. Information is power, every western goverment surely does it, if you have nothing to hide that's not a problem for the majority of us. They track human physcology for advertising, colours to use for emotion and temptation, look at popular video games, tv and youtube adverts, they are all designed to be catchy to your mind. The goverment watches and studys all, some more than others, I personally dont see this as a bad thing and I do understand it has been used for combating terrorism etc, however with all the things going on in the uk with organized grooming gangs, it kinda infurates me they dont use these tools for what they should be doing.

  • Dirk Gently
    Dirk Gently Month ago

    What a joke... they took an angle grinder to the motherboard, but didn't touch the hard drive.

  • Tanya Vasina
    Tanya Vasina 2 months ago +1

    Oh, for God's sake! KGB does NOT exist since 1991!!! There is another agency. Not KGB. How a politics journalist who lived in Russia for a while can not know this?!

  • Claude Albertario
    Claude Albertario 2 months ago

    This simple explanation of tapping "Guinness is good" is why intelligence agencies can never truly know everything.

  • Andreas Klein
    Andreas Klein 2 months ago

    I believe many people were pretty sure US is spying on other governments, even not hostile. A small surprise was the extent of listening to regular citizen. Snowden is indeed a great American, I think I would've liked him but ultimately his sacrifice would only help the Eastern block. Our problem is no more lack of information but too much. 99% truth oftenly equals lie. Truth is a poor substitute for justice (which is unattainable).
    You can say that we should fight for democracy in the West so we could have a moral stand against the Dictatorships of the World. I can listen to that.

  • walter white
    walter white 2 months ago +1

    I suspect Facebook was never started as a private company. It is more likely that a government agency stole the idea from the Winklevoss twins, and gave it a fake front man, for the purpose of collecting data on citizens. Zuckerberg doesn't seem smart enough.

    • Anthony Campbell
      Anthony Campbell 2 months ago

      That's factually wrong. Why would you say something so silly?

  • Diesel HRT
    Diesel HRT 2 months ago

    When a Democrat is president, mainstream reporting rarely makes a connection between the story at hand and the current administration. The two are mutually exclusive. However, when a Republican is in the White House, the reporting takes the position that the administration either knew or was complicit in the story. In the rare instances where that narrative isn't pushed, the insinuation is that the situation is the result of complete incompetence. Personally I don't care. If it's factual then so be it. But be consistent.

  • ki daniels
    ki daniels 2 months ago +1

    We need sir is essential for safety...but when there is an error....rather than admitt it they snow everything under with smear Champaign.
    NSA is needed. That being said we simply need a way 4 corrections should be made. That's all

  • long drink of silence dude

    I love America but will never trust our government it's police and information services . They are corporate whores . helping excessive takings , destroying fair trade in name of corporate greed . American people have been brain washed away from the constitutional truth that government should always be watched because of systemic evils always seeking expression. Animal Farm alive and seeking more control.

  • Erikjoelalexander
    Erikjoelalexander 2 months ago

    Who cares about if anyone spy on your internet traffic? I really don't. I don't send or recieve intimate pictures so I got nothing to hide.

  • Zg Programeri
    Zg Programeri 2 months ago

    16:40 Put your cell phone in a cocktail shaker? As soon as you take it out all the data is transmitted. What difference does it make.

  • fergal farrelly
    fergal farrelly 2 months ago +4

    Snowden has the biggest set of balls on earth to do what he did and him of all people knows what his former coleuges are capable of. I still would not be surprised if Snowden got a fast acting cancer any time soon or was in a tragic accident.

  • Abdulrazzaq Abdulkarem
    Abdulrazzaq Abdulkarem 2 months ago

    Once A.I. takes over there will be no privacy, even on the Dark Web.

  • Kaveman Synthwave
    Kaveman Synthwave 2 months ago

    Tough Crowd... Good speech :)

  • Geoffrey Lee
    Geoffrey Lee 2 months ago

    Regrettably the US has become a police state.

  • DJ FX
    DJ FX 2 months ago +1

    big brother is a reality

  • Mike Winn
    Mike Winn 2 months ago +4

    I am American and a strict constitutionalist. I believe in a strong nation. Strong defense. Anti terrorism. That being said, I believe equally in our rights. Our civil liberties. Our privacy and right to anonymity.
    I'm torn between our need for national security, and our right to privacy. That being said when it comes to data mining, spying on nationals and basically "guilty until proven innocent" it's like I teach my children, "if you have to ask yourself, 'is this wrong/should I do it?' the answer is almost always NO."

  • Peter O
    Peter O 2 months ago

    World War III will be beautiful and need to worry....enjoy.

  • Peter O
    Peter O 2 months ago +1

    The UK Fifty First State of the US of AIPAC....have Mr E Snowden under lock and key in London ratty Town.

  • Peter O
    Peter O 2 months ago

    GCHQ knows everyone....George Orwell's 1984.....worldwide.

  • Jason Ray
    Jason Ray 2 months ago

    Yeah, unlike Britain, America has a guaranteed right by our constitution to a free press, the cia or nsa can't just come in and shut down our press

  • Bill Green
    Bill Green 2 months ago +2

    When you say nothing has changed everything has changed. Rusbridger has been booted out and some US woman is now Guardian editor. Iphones are still ubiquitous and Blackberry the one device that was harder to hack nearly went out of business.

  • MariaEsther Estrada De Frets

    One of the worst TED talks ever... Sorry but true

  • d. kiovo
    d. kiovo 2 months ago

    "um" counter anyone?

  • Siva Rajamani
    Siva Rajamani 2 months ago +4

    anybody remember 1984?

    • Peter O
      Peter O 2 months ago

      The goyim would never understand...not ever.

  • Evolution Hotline
    Evolution Hotline 2 months ago

    my big question is... what do you have to hide. and from who?

    • Peter O
      Peter O 2 months ago

      Your sort would not have the brain span of one ant.

    A. DUBITANTE 2 months ago +1

    Not a great talker, because he's insecure, thus too fast, and jumps all the significant pauses. I was wondering how much of his content ppl really got, considering they're not native speakers. But even as one, you get the significance, and even the cool crocodile - but it just rushes by.
    Bet his book is fun reading, thoug.

  • Frank N.Stein
    Frank N.Stein 3 months ago +2


  • Arnold Van Kampen
    Arnold Van Kampen 3 months ago

    Reminds me of the movie, I think it was: 'The cutter'.
    People record their entire life out of free will.
    The cutter is the guy who is the video editor who
    stitches together a summary of a person's life and times
    for presenting at the funeral of the same.
    Repression is no repression if people embrace it out
    of free will.
    Like the infamous 'soma' drug from Aldous Huxley.
    Or the continuous fiddling with the phone (not really a phone anymore)
    not caring much about privacy.

  • Rico Chofsky
    Rico Chofsky 3 months ago +3

    Snowden told us what we've already knew since Dec. 2005 courtesy of the NY Times: NSA was monitoring domestic communications. And we've know since 1975 that the CIA spied on our allies. (And was involved in the ousting of Australia's prime minister.) Why should the intelligence agencies get their knickers in a twist? Maybe because he revealed how broad and invasive the program was.

  • The Sheepdog
    The Sheepdog 3 months ago +1

    The NSA cant access phone records from an iPhone from a possible terrorist and asks Apple for help and is denied but can access your microphone and camera.....? Okay...

    • Peter O
      Peter O 2 months ago

      You forgot mossad also.

    • Torque Loud
      Torque Loud 3 months ago

      I read somewhere that they can decrypt phones, and they did anyway in that case. They just asked Apple so it was on record, and so they'd be able to break into the phone legally. Any evidence they then recovered from the phone could be used in court as it was legally obtained. Can't remember where I read that though...

    • Rico Chofsky
      Rico Chofsky 3 months ago

      They cant access phone records from an ENCRYPTED iPhone. Big difference. The question is, are reporters savvy enough to encrypt their data? Maybe NOW they are. Pre-Snowden, probably not so much. (Btw, my smartphone IS NOT encrypted; no need.)

  • troy dalpiaz
    troy dalpiaz 3 months ago +1

    Hope the bad guys r reminded. we/ me/ Snowden/ the hole planet/ hates u n will fight u anywhere anyway anytime u spying perverts.

  • Tenderkins
    Tenderkins 3 months ago +5

    Spying on me would be super boring. Unless they like TedX, and physics.

  • Xplicid
    Xplicid 3 months ago +2

    PowerPoint remotely deleted 😆

  • Trey Bennett
    Trey Bennett 3 months ago

    Ah. This is what They want. To breed paranoia. The NSA has been spying on the American public for some time. They will induce fear whenever they can.

  • Alex Smith
    Alex Smith 3 months ago

    Absolutely hilarious.

  • sayem akhtar
    sayem akhtar 3 months ago

    Team Snoden

  • Mina Kaye
    Mina Kaye 3 months ago +2

    Thank you Russia for saving this person!

    • Tanya Vasina
      Tanya Vasina 2 months ago

      True. When it comes to government (any government) there is no altruistic matter. It's only about an advantage.
      I'm just glad it worked for him.

    • Anthony Campbell
      Anthony Campbell 2 months ago

      Only to spite the U.S.
      Snowden has also spoke out against Russias own spying.
      Russia has also considered sending Snowden back as a "gift".

  • Oliver Rodriguez
    Oliver Rodriguez 3 months ago

    Well time to put a band aid on my camera's

  • Shawn Clark
    Shawn Clark 3 months ago

    How many times can he say "um" ???

  • Sn1per On3
    Sn1per On3 3 months ago

    Amen, I agree!

  • marten albers
    marten albers 4 months ago

    2:20 why destroy the entire computer, the HDD is the only part storing data...

    • marten albers
      marten albers 3 months ago

      maybe RAM can magicly store a few bits when the power is switched of, but all the other part, like gpu, cpu and motherboard don't store information. ok, the bios does, but it doesn't store the users files only the recipe 'How to make a delicious computer from some hardware'.

    • Torque Loud
      Torque Loud 3 months ago

      I think they wanted to make sure the RAM chips were fried as well. Volatile memory can hold recoverable data depending on the operating system and RAM type. I suppose if you're in the business of lying and illegally demanding the free press destroy equipment, then you're going to be thorough about it. That said I'm not sure how long data remains intact for - I don't think it's that long but then the agents may not have known how long the computer(s) had been powered down for, etc. Better safe than sorry, I guess. Outrageous really.

    • Rico Chofsky
      Rico Chofsky 3 months ago

      Exactly... Wtf is that about?

  • Scott Steele
    Scott Steele 4 months ago

    I wonder why morons like this get to be on TED; I though you had to be an intelligent human instead of a run of the mill fop.

  • yoppindia
    yoppindia 4 months ago +1

    Until you loose money, people don't care!

  • Ode Fornchor
    Ode Fornchor 4 months ago +1

    This was high treason and I’m vexed at the idea that Snowden did this to this country. America is an idea of great men, a country who has moved the world for over 2 centuries. Is it perfect NO but has shaped us to what we are and a crime against that idea is a crime against humanity and the devotion for a better world. Hate and laugh at me but the truth still remains that people who commit treason to this America is pushing our progress backwards

    • an Indian
      an Indian 4 months ago

      Ode Fornchor "Treason against US is treason against world peace". Ha tell me another joke.

    • Ode Fornchor
      Ode Fornchor 4 months ago

      Fred Tlintstone also One can have a conversation with another without resulting to insults and name calling

    CLIK-ADIX 4 months ago

    Ho ho wet anecdotes are so funny.. um... I'm so interesting was i talking about.. got to get home soon and buy my daughter another pony.. what.. um.. rotters? Oh yah.. Snowden. .

    CLIK-ADIX 4 months ago

    Why are guardian journalists so wet.. if you worked for a paper that wasn't controlled by same people you are hitching about.. I might take your foppish sickly toffyness a bit more seriously. .

  • blackklopi
    blackklopi 4 months ago

    opinion from a journalist and not a computer scientist ....

  • 01Phenom
    01Phenom 4 months ago

    murica, world police

  • Mike P
    Mike P 4 months ago

    There's alot to be said for having a flip-phone.

  • Mairéad Whyte
    Mairéad Whyte 4 months ago

    It’s interesting why Snowden is on Ted talks ! I support Edward Snowden hugely ,it’s confusing how and why it appears here

  • Cydp Palley
    Cydp Palley 4 months ago +1

    Snowden opened Pandora's box.

  • Chad McCain
    Chad McCain 4 months ago

    Snowden is a great Patriot. That's all there is to it. That's how it will be seen in years to come, and how it will go down in the history books.

  • Jacques Nicolay
    Jacques Nicolay 4 months ago +41

    Have you seen the privacy policies lately? Forget the NSA, Google and Facebook know more about you than you do.

    • Frank Harrison
      Frank Harrison 2 months ago +3

      The NSA knows everything google/facebook do. Social media and the interconnectivity of the internet are the problem.

  • Elizabeth Saint
    Elizabeth Saint 4 months ago +6

    EDWARD SNOWDEN: Legendary hero. Challenge: even better spying technology since then. Seems like the masses don't care.
    THEY only cared for a little time, then moved on.

    • Elizabeth Saint
      Elizabeth Saint 3 months ago

      Rico Chofsky, they do this deliberately by distracting the people. Notice how quickly the news cycle is changing. It is done knowing the short attention span of the American people. Why? The truth is so deep, so bad that it baffles one's imagination. 500+ children separated from parents at the border still not reunited with their parents.

    • Rico Chofsky
      Rico Chofsky 3 months ago

      Yes... I was surprised by how little they cared. Now it seems virtually forgotten.

  • Chris Bonnett
    Chris Bonnett 5 months ago +3

    Project Snowman, he is a CIA plant. You're being lead off a cliff. Like the Roswell UFO.

    • Peter O
      Peter O 2 months ago

      Hmmm,you could be right.

  • Larry Maggard
    Larry Maggard 5 months ago


  • Samuel Liu
    Samuel Liu 5 months ago

    Does a VPN, distort tracking or hacking?

  • Angel Angelov
    Angel Angelov 5 months ago +8

    That laugh mate 😀 Thank you though it's nice to see that there are people fighting for our privacy. Also F NSA, F FBI AND F THE GUY READING THIS BEFORE I POST IT

  • Ronald C Krause Jr
    Ronald C Krause Jr 5 months ago +2

    To my knowledge Snowden never quite covered this one; although I'm quite sure he does know about it.
    For a number of years the NSA and a few other alphabet organizations have used NSA tools as a method to finance their operations. Basically think of it as insider trading.
    Using insider knowledge to then trade on Wall Street. The NSA (and others) also have the ability to manipulate the market, and also hold any Fortune 500 company at bay

  • Jimmy Meade
    Jimmy Meade 5 months ago

    snowden 4 president of the world

  • Joe Michaels
    Joe Michaels 5 months ago

    One of the worst public speakers I've ever heard/seen. "Use the force, Luke..."

  • Joe Michaels
    Joe Michaels 5 months ago

    The Guardian now hires homeless people?

  • Joe Michaels
    Joe Michaels 5 months ago

    James Clapper LIED under oath. Knowingly. Welcome to the Deep State.

  • Michael Clancy
    Michael Clancy 5 months ago +1

    Privacy is a myth. If you walk down the streets of London you're on a half dozen cameras at any given time. You shopping habits, your search habits, your social habits, all are recorded by a half dozen places. You carry around a GPS and they make it more convienient to leave it on than turn it off by making apps easier to use if its on. All so that you can be monitored 24/7.
    I'm not a conspiracy theorist. I don't believe that the government is out to get me or anyone else specifically. This is just the nature of technology and a connected world. In order to protect us they will try and use any means necessary. Sometimes going too far.

    • Anthony Campbell
      Anthony Campbell 2 months ago

      It's not a myth at all, we can still have privacy. Giving up privacy is optional.
      There's plenty of ways to stop this stuff from happening. The same technologies used for spying are used to prevent it.

  • Jinesh Jk
    Jinesh Jk 5 months ago

    at last that Russian experience cheered everyone. MINDSET is awesome.

  • dubtat
    dubtat 5 months ago +1

    What did Snowden really accomplish? Besides contributing to the erosion of trust in the government, that is? I wonder if Putin was behind him all along.

    • Ari W
      Ari W 18 hours ago

      Oh god you people and your Russia hysteria are mentally insane

    • Anthony Campbell
      Anthony Campbell 2 months ago

      That erosion of trust helped a lot. It led to an uproar in society, more people being aware and protecting themselves etc.

  • VK HAM
    VK HAM 5 months ago

    Google gets you any time. NSA has been watching you every day. 🚾

  • Sri I
    Sri I 5 months ago

    how do you know who is ordinary and who is not? any undercover agent is disguised as ordinary person.

  • Ray Vance
    Ray Vance 5 months ago

    None of what he release was a secret we all know they watch us. I don't know what the big deal is

  • Paul Baumer
    Paul Baumer 5 months ago +8

    I name you 'Judas', Harding.
    "With not a penny going to WikiLeaks, a hyped Guardian book led to a lucrative Hollywood movie deal. The book’s authors, Luke Harding and David Leigh, gratuitously abused Assange as a “damaged personality” and “callous”.
    They also revealed the secret password Julian had given the Guardian in confidence and which was designed to protect a digital file containing the US embassy cables.
    With Assange now trapped in the Ecuadorean embassy, Harding, who had enriched himself on the backs of both Julian Assange and Edward Snowden, stood among the police outside the embassy and gloated on his blog that “Scotland Yard may get the last laugh”."
    Source: Counterpunch. June 2018. John Pilger

    • airmark02
      airmark02 9 days ago

      here we go ~ typical " TED Tawk's " corporate media propaganda ~ Luke Harding the Ultimate Tool & Fraud who doesn't hesitate to make just about anything up for a pay check.... 😉😊😂😋😆🤣

  • muan thang
    muan thang 5 months ago

    Snowden movie👍

  • Bang Duck
    Bang Duck 6 months ago

    End to end encryption seems like a good solution, which is contrary to the big business model. Gmail needs to find another way to identify you for ads then they might support it better, rather requiring geek skills accomplish.

  • Maria Vlahon-Elgin
    Maria Vlahon-Elgin 6 months ago +1

    He was so terrified for self preservation, he wanted to hold his country hostage? Hmmm For some super intelligent folk, that 'I'm a genius and I'll show the world ego sure is strong! Geez.

  • FollowerOfChrist
    FollowerOfChrist 6 months ago

    Not paranoid or surprised anymore in the least of ANYTHING that happens or doesn't happen in today's world. Homeland Security is out for US. Period. They are categorizing every man, woman and child by what they say on the phone, text, email and discuss even in private. When you are invading 7 other nations that pose absolutely no threat to the USA, well after they are finished attacking Iran, the only people in the world capable of stopping those who would control the world, will be Americans. While we sat here on our laurels, we allowed the net to be slowly built overtop of us. Economic crash comes just after the Iran war that should take 6 days, but we will take 6 years (it will take that long to pump all the oil out) WE HAVE LOST AMERICA AND OUR POSTERITY WILL LIVE AS SLAVES