Despite the news today that NSA’s cryptography defeating programs violate every conceivable contract regarding privacy, from HIPAA to run-of-the-mill end user license agreements, the news is good if it’s persuading people like security expert Bruce Schneier to call for help from technologists to restore democratic principles.
In today’s Guardian, he writes, “We need to demand that real technologists be involved in any key government decision making on these issues. We’ve had enough of lawyers and politicians not fully understanding technology; we need technologists at the table when we build tech policy. To the engineers, I say this: we built the internet, and some of us have helped to subvert it. Now, those of us who love liberty have to fix it.”
Although Schneier is writing about a much larger issue than we at SeattlePrivacy ever set out to address, or even suspected existed, the fundamental concern is similar. Our entire society depends on a technical infrastructure now. It is not possible to govern or to report news without acknowledging that fact and drawing on the expertise of technical professionals. Similarly, as a society we must commit ourselves to ensuring that our technologists have access to education about ethics, civil liberties, history, and related fields that provide the information and context that can help us avoid repeating the mistakes of the past.
With this in mind, we invite you to join us at the next meeting of the Seattle Chapter of Techno-Activism, 3rd Mondays (MTA3M). Info here:
What: TA3M-Seattle #1
When: 3rd Monday, Sep 16, 2013, 6:30-9:00pm
Where: Black Coffee Coop, 501 E. Pine St; Seattle, WA 98122 <http://blackcoffeecoop.com/>
Welcome to the first TA3M-Seattle meeting!
TA3M-Seattle (Techno-Activism, 3rd Mondays) is a monthly event for people that either work on or want to learn more about online surveillance and censorship, the open source tools that are used to combat it, and issues and initiatives associated with this area. The idea is to bring together software developers, activists, concerned citizens, and others, so we they can both educate each other, and share knowledge.
For more information about TA3M-Seattle, see the wiki:
We are proud to have two excellent speakers lined up for our first event!
6:30-7:00 (30m), pre-event networking
7:00-7:10 (10m), welcome
7:10-7:50 (30m), Jason Self, “The FSF, LibrePlanet, And GNU”
7:40-7:55 (15m), break, networking
7:55-9:00 (65m), Jerry Whiting, “Life Online Post-PRISM”
Jason Self, “The FSF, LibrePlanet, And GNU”
Jason Self, a free software and free culture activist, will be giving a talk entitled “The FSF, LibrePlanet, And GNU”. In this talk, Jason gives an introduction to the Free Software Foundation, their efforts for Free Society – including its anti-Surveillance campaign, their free software projects, including including GNU/Linux, their local LibrePlanet Washington State community, and related upcoming events.
Jerry Whiting, “Life Online Post-PRISM: tiptoeing through cyberspace”
If you’ve been awake and paying attention the last month you know that the National Security Agency among others has been eavesdropping, wiretapping, and invading our privacy for years. Jerry will review what the NSA can and can’t do, as well as what the NSA does and doesn’t do.
More importantly he’ll discuss what we as individuals can do in response including truly secure password hygiene, encryption and cryptography that actually works, Tor, the anonymizing network, and a new security model that assumes ever-present surveillance. A Tor relay will be configured and given away as well as flash drives and CDs full of tools and toys.
Jerry Whiting engages in what he calls “political computing” providing assistance and guidance to activists, NGOs, and others. He has done encryption and cryptography for 15+ years, runs Tor relays, and lectures on related topics. Founder of Azalea Software, he served on Seattle’s Citizens Telecommunications & Technology Advisory Board (CTTAB) for 4 years and publishes JetCityOrange. Jerry has done presentations for #OccupySeattle, Seattle Mini Maker Faire, ToorCamp, and Ada Books. He works with elders of the Black Panther Party, the Tibetan diaspora, and others engaged in the struggle around the world.