NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden has called on those who understand tech to better educate those who don’t in order to improve our overall ability to retain some vestige of privacy online.

Snowden himeslf remains a refugee in Russia, but has become an increasingly more prolific guest at conferences via video links of late. On Saturday, he spoke the Hackers on Planet Earth Conference (HOPE) in New York.

In his address, Snowden repeated his standard call for the world to become more aware of what was going on around them and for the technology producing companies of the world to embed more security features and privacy-guards in the hardware and software that they’re creating to ensure that the uneducated end-user is as protected from mass surveillance as possible. His message to the conference attendees, who understand the kinds of tools used by the NSA to gather information on the masses, was that they needed to be the ones to help educate people on what information was being collected – and then create new technologies that can prevent the abuse of civil liberties.

“You are an advocate to help… shift the middle ground of technical literacy. A lot of young people understand how technology works to an extent, but the system functions are hidden from them,” he said. “They don’t know where the dangers are and they trust their devices.”

Snowden then went on to say that he would be embarking on a new project to help facilitate this change, by promoting to a new set of protocols and hardware that would help protect the average consumer, which he once again called on the attendees to help him achieve.

“We the people — you the people, you in this room right now — have both the means and the capability to help build a better future by encoding our rights into the programs and protocols upon which we rely every day,” Snowden said. “And that’s what a lot of my future work is going to be involved in, and I hope you’ll join me … in making that a reality.”

You can see the Google (irony?) Hangout of the event below.  There was also an exhaustive interview with the man published in the UK’s Guardian over the weekend.

[Source – The Register, Image – HOPE Google Hangout]