Former U.S. Army intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning, convicted of leaking classified information about the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, spoke about surveillance technology Thursday to students at San Diego State University.
Manning spoke on subjects including national security, individual rights, artificial intelligence and her status as a whistleblower.
“Institutions can and do fail and when they fail, you can’t ask them to be better any more. You have to go outside of that system. You have to go outside of that process,” Manning said.
Manning was convicted in 2013 of leaking classified information about the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. She was released in May 2017 after serving seven years of a 35-year prison sentence, which President Barack Obama commuted in his final days in office.
“Chelsea Manning is one of those figures who decided in a really, really brave way that telling the truth was more important than keeping the secret,” said student Cheri Morgan.
Morgan said college students are taught to question and that questioning helps students grow.
Manning’s thoughts about personal responsibility when it comes to controlling the personal data made available to algorithms used by companies to track our lives impressed student Jillian Crespi.
“Our privacy is in jeopardy through mass media and social media, how we’re giving out all of this information and accepting all of these agreements without reading through them,” Crespi said.
In addition to public speaking, Manning has announced she's running for U.S Senate in Maryland.