In a surreal session in Austin today, Wikileaks founder Julian Assange spoke with an enormous exhibit hall full of SXSW attendees via a problematic Skype connection from the Ecuadorian Embassy in London.
(Well, it was full at the beginning of the session. Poor remote video can quickly lose a crowd.)
Assange — credited with opening the current era of classified document releases, and unable to travel internationally for fear of extradition — is not necessarily this arena's star of the year. That would be Edward Snowden, who is also speaking with SXSW via video chat from Russia on Monday. Also on Monday, journalist Glenn Greenwald, who has been Snowden's key outlet, will be join SXSW on a hookup from Brazil.