Most likely everything you know about Edward Snowden’s unmasking of government surveillance programs has come through an indirect source — meaning, you haven’t had the chance to learn about Snowden’s motivations, thought processes, goals, etc. from Snowden himself. Here’s a chance to change that.
In the video interview recorded on October 20th at Harvard Law School, Lawrence Lessig spent an hour talking with Snowden on a Google Hangout. Lessig, a law professor with dual interests in keeping information open and limiting government corruption, was a natural choice to conduct the interview. However, I wouldn’t say that he gives Snowden a soft interview. He asks some good questions, which gives Snowden the chance to spell out his thinking — to explain the problem he observed while working in the NSA and how he went about addressing it.
One thing that comes across is that Snowden has thought things through. Snowden might not have the credentials of the Harvard Law students in the audience — he got a GED and took a few community college courses, after all — but you get the sense that he could teach a pretty good Introduction to American Government course, if not a thought-provoking seminar on constitutional law. Regardless of what position you take on Snowden, it’s worth watching this interview before you declare final judgement.