Eben Moglen: Freedom’s Future

A talk given by Eben Moglen at Columbia Law School on December 4th, 2013

Good afternoon.

We must now turn our attention from what Mr.Snowden has taught us concerning the scope of our problem to what, with his assistance, we may do to conceive our responses.

We have seen that, with the relentlessness of military operation, the listeners in the United States have embarked on a campaign against the privacy of the human race. They have across broad swathes of humanity compromised secrecy, destroyed anonymity, and adversely affected the autonomy of billions of people.

They are doing this because they have been presented with a mission by an extraordinarily imprudent national government in the United States, which having failed to prevent a very serious attack on American civilians at home, largely by ignoring warnings, decreed that they were never again to be put in a position where they should have known.

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Eben Moglen: The Union, May It Be Preserved

A talk given by Eben Moglen at Columbia Law School on November 13th, 2013.

Good afternoon.

Since we were last together, Mr. Albert Gore Jr.—once Vice President of the United States, and the man who got the most votes in the presidential election of 2000—said, in a public speech in Montreal, that Mr. Snowden had disclosed evidence of crimes against the United States Constitution.

Senator John McCain—who has never gotten the most votes in a presidential election—immediately came out, and said that General Alexander—whose departure has been scheduled, as we discussed last time—should be fired for allowing Mr. Snowden, who was a mere contractor, access to classified information. This sudden and unprovoked attack on the business model of Booz Allen Hamilton, and many of his campaign contributors was, of course, a beautiful example of the misdirection, misleading, and sheer lying we were talking about last time.

Mr. Gore—who was famously a journalist rather than a lawyer before he went into politics, which may account for his occasional love of truthfulness—was of course exercising layman’s privilege in talking about crimes against the United States Constitution. Much in the way that liberty has been taken with the law when people attack Mr. Snowden as a “traitor.” But Mr. Gore is using layman’s privilege. Many of the people who have abused the language with respect to Mr. Snowden are lawyers, and should have known better.

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Eben Moglen: Oh, Freedom

A talk given by Eben Moglen at Columbia Law School on October 30th, 2013

Good afternoon.

Since we were last here the press of the world has been full of information concerning the practices of the US listeners, and statements from Presidents, Premieres, Chancellors, and Senators on the subject.

Our purpose this time being to consider the political meaning of Mr. Snowden and the future he has brought us, we must begin by discarding for immediate purposes pretty much everything said by the Presidents, the Premieres, the Chancellors, and the Senators. It has been a remarkable display of misdirection and misleading, and outright lying. We’ll come back to it, but it will not serve us at the outset.

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“Edward Snowden committed espionage on behalf of the human race.”

Westward the Course of Empire

A talk given by Eben Moglen at Columbia Law School on October 9th, 2013

Good afternoon.

There is no introduction. After 26 years in this place it feels ridiculous to me to pretend that anyone is especially honored by my presence here.

If I am to be frank about it, I invited myself. Not in the way that Edward Snowden invited himself to Sheremetyevo Airport. Nor in the way that Julian Assange invited himself to the Ecuadorian embassy in London. Surely not in the way that Chelsea Manning invited herself to 35 years in Fort Leavenworth. No, law professor-like I have assigned myself no onerous duties. I undertook nothing more than to come here and to tell you the truth.

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