Edward Snowden addressed the Roskilde Festival via satellite. Photo: Mathias Løvgreen Bojesen/Scanpix
When US whistleblower Edward Snowden addressed the Roskilde Festival via satellite from Moscow last month, he was greeted like a rock star.
Some 4,000 people attended the talk, held during the festival’s “warm-up” days, which is reportedly the largest crowd Snowden has ever addressed.
But prior to his talk, attendees were up in arms about data policy signs posted around the festival grounds telling them that Roskilde Festival will “collect and indefinitely store all text and phone conversations (received or sent) while on festival grounds”.
The signs also told festival goers that “all internet activity will be monitored” and that organizers “reserve the right to share this data with our partners”.
The data policy created an uproar, which was exactly what Roskilde Festival intended.
The whole thing was a prank pulled off by the activist art group The Yes Men. Meant to draw attention to digital surveillance, the activists used the signs – and festival-goers’ reaction to them – to create a short film that was released on Monday.
“We found the idea so exciting because it allowed the festival-goers to take an active stance,” Roskilde Festival spokeswoman Christina Bilde said in a press release.
“It’s inspiring to see these strong reactions, to see people care so much. More than 4,000 people attended Edward Snowden’s talk, and we hope this film will reach a lot of people as digital surveillance has become such a big part of our everyday lives,” she added.
The resulting film from the Yes Men can be seen here: