Here’s what programmers can do to further the whistleblower’s cause.
NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden has called on hackers to develop accessible tools to help people evade government snooping.
Speaking through a video link at the Hackers on Planet Earth (HOPE) conference in New York, the former surveillance contractor said he intended to spend his time promoting anonymous and encrypted communications.
He said: "We the people, you the people, you in this room right now have both the means and the capability to improve the future by encoding our rights into programmes and protocols by which we rely every day."
Daniel Ellsberg, a Pentagon whistleblower who leaked papers on the Vietnam War to several American newspapers during the 1970s, took the call on behalf of the conference, and also asked hackers to help whistleblowers.
"Criticise me, hate me, but think about what matters. Think about the world you want to live in and then be part of building that," Snowden said, after which the session finished with a standing ovation.
The whistleblower was brought to international attention by the Guardian reporter Glenn Greenwald last summer, revealing widespread spying programmes by the US and the UK.
He is residing in Moscow as a temporary asylum seeker, though American authorities wish for him to be extradited home to face charges of espionage.