Controversial public figure Edward Snowden will speak at a Vancouver event via web-link on the power and perils of big data, according to Simon Fraser University.
The event will be hosted by SFU’s Public Square and will highlight the ways big data practices are evolving in regards to governments and corporations.
“Snowden is a transformative figure in the field of big data,” said Catherine Murray, Professor, Communication at Simon Fraser University in a release.
“No other leak was of this scale, this importance to global and national security, and this revealing of the degree of challenges to privacy that big data may pose.”
Snowden is a former CIA employee who leaked classified information from the United States National Security Agency back in 2013, revealing numerous global surveillance programs. Snowden was granted asylum by the Russian government and he currently resides in Moscow.
In the past, Snowden has spoken directly to issues of Canadian privacy and security such as Bill C-51 and the Canadian Communications Security Establishment internet data surveillance project Levitation.
Snowden will be the keynote speaker and a discussion will follow that’s moderated by CBC’s senior correspondent Laura Lynch and featuring panelists from SFU and the BC Civil Liberties Association. Audience members will be able to ask questions via Twitter using the hashtags #SnowdenBigData and #SFU.