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Welcome Address by Rop Gonggrijp (Hacker & Activist)

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.