People around the world are reeling over the steady flow of surveillance revelations from documents leaked by Edward Snowden. As globally operating internet companies respond to these reports by deploying more widespread and easy-to-use encryption to protect their users’ data, the battle ground is shifting to whether governments should somehow be able to force those providers to compromise encryption when needed.
In an era where everyone touts the importance of information security, government efforts to ensure surveillance-friendly technology could create a troubling future for the internet. How can the people best educated about this these threats — security professionals — fight back against these misguided efforts? In this political, legal, and technological battle for online security, there are lessons to be learned from the 1990’s, when civil libertarians fought what are now being called the first crypto wars.
This talk will trace the history of the earlier crypto wars, what they have to teach us, and how we apply those lessons today. How should we think about privacy and security in the post-Snowden age, and what is the best way to realistically guard against the unprecedented threats we’ve learned about? What role should technology providers play, and how can they better protect their users? What legal challenges should we anticipate, and how might law change to add checks and balances to government surveillance? We’ll discuss how to plan a proactive agenda for addressing these issues and more.