In late January it was announced that FBI Director James Comey would be speaking at the SXSW Conference alongside The Newseum’s CEO Jeffrey Herbst about the inherent tensions between national security and privacy.
Now, the FBI Director is recusing himself, if you will, from speaking at SXSW because of “scheduling conflicts keeping him in Washington D.C.,” per a press release. So, in his stead, FBI General Counsel James Baker will talk to Herbst about the FBI/Apple battles, the Edward Snowden leaks and First Amendment rights.
Like with Comey, there’s no word on whether any current leaks or the alleged Russian hacking scandal will be discussed with General Counsel Baker, but as a previous SXSW statement pointed out, the chat remains significant because we live in a time where “the nation’s top law enforcement agency has been at the center of international news.” “While Director Comey is now unable to attend, we’re still really excited that this important conversation will take place,” said Herbst in a statement.
The Newseum is an interactive museum dedicated to defending and promoting First Amendment rights. The chat with Baker is scheduled for March 13 at 5 p.m. local time in the Hilton Austin, and attendance requires SXSW registration.