“The FBI Can’t Arrest a Robot,” Snowden ‘Appears’ in Vegas, Trolls Feds Using New Technology


Appearing on a telepresence device, former National Security Agency contractor-turned-whistleblower Edward Snowden talked cybersecurity and playfully taunted the US government, saying, “The FBI can’t arrest a robot.”



The Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas features cutting edge technology, but the biggest surprise this year was a whistleblower. Snowden showcased the Beam, a screen-on-wheels robot by Suitable Technologies for offices facilitating virtual meetings.

Edward Snowden speaks at Consumer Electronics Show disguised as a robot https://t.co/acmBtvScCe #ces2016 pic.twitter.com/EbnOoHm6oF

— Jeremy Dalton (@jeremycdalton) January 8, 2016

“This is the power of Beam, or more broadly the power of technology,” Snowden told Dr. Peter Diamandis, founder of Xprize Foundation and executive chairman of Singularity University, who joined him on stage.

“The FBI can’t arrest a robot,” Snowden said.

Snowden wows CES 2016 crowd disguised as a Robot. #BEAM #CES2016@Snowden https://t.co/AzU9cmHXqw pic.twitter.com/fPJ4ABNt7A

— Michael (@_cypherpunks_) January 8, 2016

Snowden was optimistic about artificial intelligence, virtual reality, and other up-and-coming technologies, but warned,“They don’t really think of the security of these things very much.”

“Technology is both a tool for oppression and a tool for liberation,” Snowden said, adding that government surveillance and bulk data collection “can create a chilling effect.”

VertiGo: Disney introduces wall-climbing robot (VIDEO)
https://t.co/CGaeENdR9u pic.twitter.com/4S9dC9Wl7D

— RT America (@RT_America) December 30, 2015

According to Snowden’s lawyer, Ben Wizner of the American Civil Liberties Union, Snowden received no compensation for his presentation and interview, but “he has benefited from the technology,” Wizner wrote in an email to The Guardian.

“What if you could commute to work without having to sit in traffic?” Snowden said. “The US government basically canceled my passport, but I’m sitting here in Las Vegas with you guys at CES.”

“It’s not me, it’s the robot!” – @LionelMedia on AI’s use by military, Musk [VIDEO] https://t.co/zSWptHJ1QN

— RT America (@RT_America) December 15, 2015

Diamandis then changed the subject to Snowden’s criminal charges, asking him if he would like to return to the US.

“Absolutely,” Snowden answered, but he isn’t ready, explaining that he lacks confidence that the US will treat him well, as they have only promised so far not to “torture” him.

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