Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian recently told Reuters that tech companies should strive to uphold constitutional principles like privacy.
He said Edward Snowden, who leaked information about the National Security Agency, showed that the government was engaged in “unacceptable” levels of digital surveillance that violated privacy rights.
Ohanian told Reuters Opinion Editor Jim Ledbetter at the Aspen Ideas Festival that tech companies could help protect Americans’ privacy by not collecting and storing their data online.
“I think we are awakening to a new age of sort of distributed — instead of centralized — hubs for all our data,” he explained. “So I think this is the free market, we could very likely see alternatives pop up were social networking or whatever the thing might be does not concentrate all of our private data in one particular space.”
Ohanian was a vocal opponent of legislation known as the Stop Online Piracy Act. Reddit, along with other tech giants like Wikipedia, successfully killed the bill by staging an Internet “blackout.”
However, Ohanian admitted that drumming up support to fight NSA surveillance was a more difficult task than battling SOPA. While SOPA threatened job creation, the consequences of mass surveillance were less tangible.
Watch video, uploaded to YouTube by Reuters on June 30, below: