KEYNOTE 2: Rop Gonggrijp (Hacker & Activist)

Presentation Title Modern Day Robin Hoods?
Presentation Abstract

Do you have the right to encrypt your data? Can telcos just give the government all their call-records? Should there be net neutrality? Can we trust voting on a computer? Should there be more unlicensed spectrum? Do our governments need to know where everyone is in real-time? What all these issues have in common is that they either did not exist or were seen as obscure fringe issues until quite recently. Whether or not you think of yourself as having an explicit political agenda, hackers often agree on a host of different issues. What does it mean for us as hackers, now that so many of the issues we care about are taking central stage?

About Rop Gonggrijp

Rop Gonggrijp is the founder of the Dutch hacker magazine Hack-Tic and was believed to be a major security threat by authorities in The Netherlands as well as in the USA. In 1993, a number of people surrounding Hack-Tic including Gonggrijp founded XS4ALL. It was the first ISP that offered access to the Internet for private individuals in the Netherlands. Gonggrijp sold the company to the former enemy Dutch-Telecom KPN in 1997 and founded ITSX, a computer security evaluation company.

Gonggrijp has also been the main organizer of the Dutch series of hacker events held every four years. Originally organized by the cast of Hack-Tic, these events have continued to live to this day. Throughout the years, Rop has repeatedly shown his concerns about the increasing amount of information on individuals that government agencies and companies have access to. In 2006 he founded the organization “Wij vertrouwen stemcomputers niet” (“We do not trust voting computers”) which campaigns against the use of electronic voting systems without a Voter Verified Paper Audit Trail and which showed in October 2006 on Dutch television how an electronic voting machine from manufacturer Nedap could easily be hacked.

On May 16, 2008 the Dutch government decided that elections in the Netherlands will be held using paper ballots and red pencil only. A proposal to develop a new generation of voting computers was rejected.