- The Washington Times - Sunday, March 2, 2014

Stephen Colbert delivered the keynote address at the 2014 RSA computer security conference in San Francisco Friday night, despite calls from protesters to boycott the event.

According to CNN, a number of speakers dropped out of the conference when it was revealed that RSA had a $10 million contract with the National Security Agency “to build a back door for the government agency into encryption software.”

“I don’t necessarily want people reading my emails but I’m not a spy, I don’t run a crime syndicate,” Mr. Colbert said Friday. “I’ve got things I don’t want people to know but I didn’t really go running for cover for a new way to encrypt.”

Protesters put on a counter-conference nearby called TrustyCon on Thursday, and privacy group Fight for the Future started an online petition asking Mr. Colbert not to attend, CNN said.

“Now a lot of people, maybe some in this room, were upset to learn I’d be speaking here today. Many of you see me as a champion of privacy,” the Comedy Central host continued. “Which I know because I read your emails.”

“We all deserve credit for this new surveillance state that we live in because we the people voted for the Patriot Act. Democrats and Republicans alike,” he said. “We voted for the people who voted for it, and then voted for the people who reauthorized it, then voted for the people who re-re-authorized it.”

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