Skip to main content

Watch Stephen Colbert’s full NSA-ripping 2014 RSA Conference keynote

stephen colbert rsa conference 2014 keynote video

Just like the NSA’s top-secret documents, Stephen Colbert’s controversial keynote speech at this year’s RSA cybersecurity conference has leaked onto the Web.

Austin Heap, a San Francisco-based IT specialist and founder of Haystack software, has posted an audio recording of the Colbert keynote, which appears to have been captured by an audience member. As Heap notes on his blog, the RSA has released video of all other keynotes at the conference, but Colbert’s remains conspicuously absent. Fortunately for those of us who didn’t attend the 2014 RSA Conference, video of the speech has also been posted by a sneaky YouTuber (see below).

During the 17-minute speech, Colbert rallies the crowd with a slew of jokes, some of which only cryptography experts will understand. But that doesn’t mean we laypeople can’t get in on the shtick: Everything from the NSA to Bitcoin take a comedy beating from the satirical cable star.

“We can trust the NSA,” said Colbert, “because, without a doubt, it is history’s most powerful, pervasive, sophisticated surveillance agency ever to be totally pwned by a 29-year-old with a thumb drive.”

Colbert caused an uproar in the technology world for refusing to withdraw from the 2014 RSA conference after Reuters reported that the RSA secretly accepted $10 million from the NSA to weaken one of its random number generators, which are used to encrypt sensitive material, thus creating a potential “back door” for government surveillance – a claim RSA quickly denied. But Colbert did not shy away from the controversy.

“The elephant in the room is that I was asked not to come speak here,” he said. “That came something of a shock to me. Normally, I’m asked not to be somewhere only after I’ve spoken.”

Colbert went on to sum up the Reuters report – while pointing out that the report was “without, as far as I can tell, supporting documentation.” And no, that does not appear to have been a joke.

Watch the video below:

Stephen Colbert 2014 RSA Conference keynote part 1

Stephen Colbert 2014 RSA Conference keynote part 2

Editors' Recommendations