South by Southwest announced Thursday that FBI Director James Comey will speak as part of SXSW’s Government track in March.
Comey will speak with Newseum CEO Jeffrey Herbst at 5 p.m. March 13 at the Hilton in downtown Austin, SXSW said. The event’s page states “FBI Director James Comey and Newseum President and CEO Jeffrey Herbst will discuss challenges to our national security. What threats do we face from terrorist groups overseas and from homegrown violent extremists? Does the FBI have the tools and the resources needed to confront emerging cyber issues? How does encryption impact the work of law enforcement? Can we strike the right balance between privacy, public safety and security? Comey and Herbst will talk about how today’s FBI works to protect the public while safeguarding civil liberties, civil rights, and the rule of law.”
“The Newseum is the premier national institution that promotes the freedoms of the First Amendment and the right of free expression,” said Herbst. “This year we will conduct a unique conversation examining the tensions between privacy and national security. Being able to share a high level conversation with FBI Director James Comey and the audience in Austin will help us all understand the challenges to our rights in the age of disruption.”
Now-former President Barack Obama spoke at SXSW in 2016, and his wife Michelle was at the opening Keynote for SXSW Music several days later. U.S. Air Force Gen. Paul J. Selva, vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, is also slated to speak at SXSW in 2017.