US whistleblower and fugitive Edward Snowden coming to S'pore to speak at AI conference in June

He has an arrest warrant out on him since 2013 after blowing the whistle on massive secret US surveillance programmes.

In June 2024, US whistleblower and fugitive Edward Snowden is coming to Singapore to speak at a conference on artificial intelligence (AI).

Called SuperAI, the event is set to take place at Marina Bay Sands from June 5 to 6. Tickets start from US$399 (S$540). Five thousand attendees are expected.

SuperAI touted Snowden as "the whistleblower who redefined digital privacy", adding: "Snowden, once an NSA (National Security Agency) contractor, now plays a key role in discussions on government surveillance and AI ethics, advocating for responsible AI advancement."

Other speakers include angel investor Balaji Srinivasan and SingularityNET founder-CEO Ben Goertzel.

On Feb 12, Snowden tweeted about his upcoming participation in the conferencing, posting: "I really enjoyed my last conversation on AI with @bengoertzel, so I'm looking forward to sharing a venue again at @superai_conf in Singapore."

Calling himself "the world's most famous whistleblower", Snowden was granted Russian citizenship by president Vladimir Putin in 2022 after fleeing to Moscow from Hong Kong, where he handed over tens of thousands of top-secret documents to journalists in 2013.

As a result of the leaks, Singapore's envoys to Malaysia and Indonesia were summoned by the respective governments to clarify reports that suggested the Republic's intelligence arms were working with Western nations to spy on their countries.

In Kuala Lumpur, the Singapore High Commission denied knowledge of helping the US spy on Malaysia and said it had no interest in harming the friendship between the city-state and its neighbour.

Singapore also told the Indonesian ambassador that the reports were without foundation.

Snowden is wanted by the US for theft of government property, unauthorised communication of national defense information and wilful communication of classified communications intelligence information to an unauthorised person.

Independent US presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr. recently said he would pardon Snowden on his first day in office if he is elected to the White House.

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