Startalk Radio – Ep’s 36 & 37 w/ Edward Snowden – In Depth
Startalk Radio is renowned astrophysicist and author Neil DeGrasse Tyson’s podcast. Neil has had a range of huge name guests on his show from the worlds of science and tech, from Elon Musk to Richard Dawkins. Episodes 36 and 37 of Startalk were with a guest who is perhaps one of the most sought-after interviews in the world, Edward Snowden. Ed Snowden’s name became famous after he reported the practice of illegal hacking by the US’ National Security Agency (Where he was a former employee), to the media.
In episode 36 of Startalk, Part one of the Snowden interview, Neil and Ed discuss Ed’s background and education, his wider thoughts on education, the 9/11 terrorist attacks and national security, encryption, privacy and civil liberties. In episode 37, part two with Snowden, the two talk about Ed’s time at the NSA, which data the NSA collects, personal privacy, metadata, how encryption works and the problems with current methods of encryption and they finish on an interesting discussion on the difference between useful signals versus background noise.
One of the great things about Neil Tyson is that even though he’s a well-respected figure in the science community, he’s a down-to-earth and funny character. His humor even comes through in these podcast episodes with Snowden as a few clips of well-chosen songs punctuate these episodes. Seeing as his guest is a whistleblower on the tactics of the biggest data collecting organisation in history, you’ll hear the likes of Michael Jackson singing about how he always feels like somebody’s watching him and The Police telling you how every step you take and every move you make, they’ll be watching you. In these episodes, you see a different side to Snowden as he talks with Neil in a friendly, relaxed way on a variety of subjects. This is far from what you hear in short interviews done with the few media organisations that have the cojones to even offer him air time. A fascinating insight into and a cool discussion between two very interesting characters.
Length? Ep. 36 (Part 1 with Snowden) 55 mins, ep. 37 (Part 2) 56 mins.