You may have heard people come up to you and say like, “Hey, you’re young. That makes you a digital native.” Something about being born after the millennium or born after 1995 or whatever, that makes you sort of mystically tuned in to what the Internet is for, and anything that you do on the Internet must be what the Internet is actually for. And I’m here to tell you that you’re not a digital native. That you’re just someone who uses computers, and you’re no better and no worse than the rest of us at using computers.
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Aaron fought tirelessly to make information free, and keep the Internet free, and to make academic research available for free, among other things.
As we dug into this topic, we realized research gets forbidden for all sorts of reasons. We’re going to talk about topics today that are forbidden in some sense because they’re so big, they’re so consequential, that it’s extremely difficult for anyone to think about who should actually have the right to make this decision. We’re going to talk about some topics that end up being off the table, that end up being forbidden, because they’re kind of icky. They’re really uncomfortable. And frankly, if you make it through this day without something making you uncomfortable, we did something wrong in planning this event.
Maybe what we ought to do is start advocating that hacking is a religion. We can expand, right? We can carry around our little circuit boards with lights and maybe extend to e‑meters or something.
The thing about SecureDrop […] is that it’s changed a lot in the past two years. But what I realized was that the core design, the core architecture, is almost completely unchanged from what Aaron created and called DeadDrop over 2 years ago today.
I’d suggest it’s time to fix the World Wide Web […] and I’m going to suggest the way to do this is by building a distributed Web. This is a call to build a distributed Web, to lock the Web open.
We’ve got an inflection point opportunity here and we ought to be talking about this European Court of Justice opinion and what it means, because what the European Court of Justice said is the NSA surveillance is not appropriate.
Let’s not only liberate the documents of the world, let us act in solidarity to liberate all of humanity. Let us create infrastructure that resists mass surveillance. Let us enable people to leak documents. And let us also work to infiltrate those organizations that betrayed us.
I was thinking back about all the various memories of Aaron, and I wanted to share three of them with you. Two of them fun and cheerful, and one of them a little bit less fun and cheerful.