05/09/2017 15:57 EDT | Updated 05/09/2017 16:00 EDT

Snowden tells universities technology outpacing ability to control privacy

WINNIPEG — Edward Snowden says the decision by U.S. President Donald Trump to fire the director of the FBI is alarming.

Snowden, a former worker with the National Security Agency in the U.S. who is living in exile in Russia after revealing agency surveillance secrets, spoke via video to three universities in Manitoba and Alberta Tuesday night.

He says it is worrisome that Trump has fired FBI director James Comey because Comey was in charge of investigations into Trump's administration.

Snowden says the move is part of a global move toward a disrespect for democratic controls over powerful people.

Snowden focused much of his 40-minute speech on government surveillance, and said technology is outpacing the ability of democratic institutions to control abuses of individual privacy.

Snowden quit his job in 2013, and revealed how the NSA spied on the communications and online activities of millions of people.