The Internet is no longer a toy we play with, it’s where we live. In it we have new problems and old problems amplified. The new problems include mis- and disinformation, tracking through metadata, the effects of the attention and surveillance economies, to outright betrayals of trust from our ISPs and other providers. Old problems like flaming, abuse, and rudeness which in the wrong places have lead to violence and genocide. Even one of the best things about the Internet, helping communities of people who might never meet, allows communities of bad people to form as much as good ones. Today’s problems are bad enough that we often think it’s as if our house is filled with roaches.
These problems are also the excuse for calls for more surveillance everywhere and newest global Crypto Wars. Governments that want to spy are using these problems as their excuse for fighting against encryption. They say that bulldozing the house will fix the problem. They’re wrong about the solution, while right that the problems are real and worth solving.
This talk will look at these very real problems and how hackers, security people, and others can work to mitigate our quandary. It isn’t easy, there’s no silver bullet, and that’s why we should give it our attention. We hackers have skills the world needs.