While SXSW may be known by the general public for its eclectic music and film festivals, this year’s interactive event – featuring live video interviews with Julian Assange and Edward Snowden – is sure to draw attention.

A Virtual Conversation With Julian Assange

Assange, the brain behind WikiLeaks, will speak to Benjamin Palmer of The Barbarian Group via satellite video on Saturday, March 8. The event will be held in Exhibit Hall 5 of the Austin Convention Center at 11 a.m. local time (CST). The conversation will also be livestreaming from 11 a.m. to 12 p.m. (CST) on The Texas Tribune website.

“Assange will discuss the importance of online privacy, the ethical and political implications of releasing classified information into the public realm, and the concept of the ‘Internet Nation’,” reads the event description.

Assange will also touch on governments’ use of surveillance and the notions of privacy.

A Virtual Conversation With Edward Snowden

Assange’s appearance at the festival will be followed by another video conversation, this one with the infamous Edward Snowden.

Snowden, known as the NSA whistleblower, will speak with Christopher Soghoian, a technologist at the American Civil Liberties Union. The Snowden event will focus on the actions of the NSA and ways in which technology can help counteract surveillance. The conversation will be moderated by Ben Wizner, director of American Civil Liberties Union’s Speech, Privacy & Technology Project, and Snowden will take questions from the audience.

“Hear directly from Snowden about his beliefs on what the tech community can and must do to secure the private data of the billions of people who rely on the tools and services that we build,” reads the event description (https://sxsw.com/interactive/news/2014/monday-march-10-edward-snowden-speak-sxsw-interactive-videoconference).

“A Virtual Conversation with Edward Snowden” will take place in Exhibit Hall 5 of the Austin Convention Center at 11 a.m. on Monday, March 10. The Texas Tribune will be livestreaming the event and the event will also be available for viewing on the ACLU website later that afternoon.

The conversation with Edward Snowden will also be simulcast in Ballroom D and Ballrooms BC of the Convention Center.

Seating for both events is first come, first served.

Olivia Truffaut-Wong

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