This was unexpected, but awesome. On Friday, Stephen Colbert went ahead and spoke at the RSA conference, despite our petition (that many of you signed) asking him not to. But in the end, it was kind of amazing, and basically went just the way we’d planned.
UPDATE: Here’s full video of Colbert’s speech, in two sections:
He directly addresses our petition at 7:04 and then goes on to thoroughly roast the NSA and poke fun at the conference attendees in typical Colbert style.
From the moment we launched this petition, our primary goal was to make sure that Colbert knew about RSA’s dirty deal with the NSA, and frame the debate around the entire conference in the media to keep the pressure on RSA and other companies who have sold out their users’ privacy. We succeeded in a big way – possibly even bigger than if Colbert had canceled.
This CNN piece made the rounds right after the conference. Definitely not the kind of headlines that RSA was hoping for while they try desparately to distance themselves from their sordid past with the NSA: http://www.cnn.com/2014/03/01/tech/colbert-rsa-keynote/
In our opinion, the media didn’t quite get Colbert’s humor, though. CNN and CNET both reported that Colbert defended RSA and "called Edward Snowden a war criminal." We suggest you watch the whole speech and decide for yourself.
We won’t give too much away, but here’s one of Colbert’s choicer lines: "We can trust the NSA, because without a doubt it is history’s most powerful, pervasive, and sophisticated surveillance agency ever to be totally PWNED by a 29 year old with a thumb drive."
Thanks for being part of making this happen. It was totally worth it.
Your friends at Fight for the Future
Holmes, Tiffiniy, and Evan
P.S. If you think it’s pretty awesome that we impacted Colbert’s speech in such a big way and turned up the heat on RSA, please make a donation to support our work.
CNET, "Colbert turns his funny gun on Snowden in RSA keynote"