SXSW: Stratfor CEO Gets “Mic Checked”
During George Friedman's first public speaking appearance since his company was hacked by Anonymous, occupy protesters interrupted a panel he hosted at SXSW, calling him a private spy who worked for wealthy corporations.
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On Tuesday, at a SXSW Interactive panel, George Friedman, CEO of the Austin-based Stratfor, made his first public speaking appearance since his company was hacked by Anonymous. But before he could dive into his talk on “Surviving Technology,” two protesters interrupted his opening remarks by engaging in the signature Occupy method of “mic checking.”
The disruption was not welcomed by the audience. People began booing the protestors and yelling at them to leave. As security escorted the Occupiers out of the room, Friedman said, “For what it’s worth, I agree with the demonstrators. It would be an outrage to use public funds to spy. I only have a very lame answer. We didn’t do it … It’s proven that somebody gave us some material on Occupy Austin, but we never published it.”
Friedman went on to say that the hack in December “completely destroyed” Stratfor’s servers, and that the selected emails WikiLeaks released painted a false picture of the company, making Stratfor out to be “a rogue organization” made up of “monsters.”