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Electronic Frontier Foundation

Video Why is the EFF at the RSA Security Conference? (Video) 34

Timothy asked Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) International Outreach Coordinator Maira Sutton that very question. Watch the video for her answer. It turns out that the EFF has lots of friends among RSA ("the most comprehensive forum in information security") attendees, and has some very good reasons to be there, in the midst of companies and government agencies that Timothy thinks might not only violate your privacy once in a while, but (gasp!) might even enjoy it.
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Why is the EFF at the RSA Security Conference? (Video)

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  • by QuasiSteve ( 2042606 ) on Friday March 02, 2012 @10:53AM (#39220097)

    And by 'we' I certainly don't mean Slashdot staff.

    -- begin transcript --
    [0:00] <TITLE>
    The background shows the EFF logo and the following three lines:
    Electronic Frontier Foundation
    protecting Rights and promoting Freedom on the Electronic Frontier

    The logo for Slashdot, with the subline "News for Nerds. Stuff that matters." scrolls into view.

    Timothy> A lot of the companies here at RSA probably don't mind violating your privacy once in a while in fact, I get the feeling some of them enjoy it.
    Timothy> So, what's a nice bunch like the EFF doing here?
    Timothy> I talked to International Outreach Coordinator Maira Sutton to find out.

    Timothy> Why is the EFF at an event like this surrounded by companies that do very different things and don't necessarily respect privacy?

    Maira> Well, we are part of the community.
    Maira> Whether or not we do the same things, we are a counter point to a lot of the work that these companies do.
    Maira> And, I think we need to be here to add to the conversation.
    Maira> And at the same time, we do support coders' rights and programmers' rights.
    Maira> So on an individual level a lot of people come to us to support what they do.
    Maira> So, we have a lot of fans here.
    Maira> Sometimes, you know, they might say "It's great that you're here.. but why are you here? It's strange that you're here".
    Maira> But, I think it's important that we add to the conversation and just by having a presence, I think we are making a statement.

    Maira> So the question as to whether privacy can be a security risk:
    Maira> It's a complicated question, it's something that we deal with constantly.
    Maira> The age-old example is child pornography.
    Maira> You know, what are you supposed to do with these criminals that can hide their identity and do evil, criminal things?
    Maira> But at the same time, you can't assume that they're doing something criminal.
    Maira> And that's where that delicate balance comes in, and that's where [the] EFF is at the forefront.
    Maira> We take on cases dealing with these delicate, fragile issues.

    Maira> People that come by here - I would say they're pretty much a fan.
    Maira> I've seen some people who don't know who we are, and we explain, and they say "Whoa," you know, "that's strange that they're here in the first place."
    Maira> But for the most part the people that do approach us are huge fans, and they are members or they are becoming members.
    Maira> So it's great, we're getting a lot of love here.

    [02:05] <TITLE>
    What threats to you see to online freedoms now, in the year 2012?

    Maira> Well, a large issue is situations in which ISPs, intermediaries, are handing over user data to the state - whether it's in the U.S. or in other countries.
    Maira> So that's an on-going issue.
    Maira> When should a company hand over user's data to the state or to police authorities if they are charged with doing a crime?
    Maira> Locational information, GPS, cases such as license plate monitoring - biometrics is actually a large new issue -

    [02:44] <TITLE>
    The background shows a shot of the stand for the (U.S.) Federal Bureau of Investigation.

    Maira> - tracking people's biometric data, so their eye color, their face structure - and how these new technologies are making it much easier for that data to be put in a database and filed away, so that if you are filmed on a camera on the street, they can recognize that you're there.
    Maira> You know, it's some scary stuff.

    Timothy> What would make a company better in your eyes?
    Timothy> If they're already companies, you know, any actions that come to mind that would make a company, you know, seem like a better netizens, and a better protector of online freedoms?
    Timothy> What so

Beware of Programmers who carry screwdrivers. -- Leonard Brandwein