Archive

The Conversation #45 — James Bamford

You’re not going to get a gen­er­a­tion of peo­ple out­raged that somebody’s read­ing their email like you would’ve in the 70s get­ting a gen­er­a­tion of peo­ple out­raged that you’re read­ing their snail mail.

Forbidden Research: Against the Law: Countering Lawful Abuses of Digital Surveillance

When I announced the talk on Twitter, some­body imme­di­ate­ly was like, Lawful abuse, isn’t that a con­tra­dic­tion?” But if you think about it for just a moment it might seem to be a lit­tle bit more clear. After all, the legal­i­ty of a thing is quite dis­tinct from the moral­i­ty of it.

Fran Allen Keynote, Grace Hopper Celebration 2008

What I believe is that com­put­er sci­ence emerged as a sci­ence, as a pro­fes­sion, with all the require­ments on what pro­fes­sion­al stan­dards and require­ments of what one need­ed to know to get a job in the field. […] In that peri­od, then, cre­den­tials were estab­lished, and by the ear­ly 70s things had real­ly changed for women, at least in my envi­ron­ment, and most oth­er groups that I’ve talked to about this the­o­ry absolute­ly agree that that was where there was a sig­nif­i­cant shift.

Cindy Cohn at Aaron Swartz Day 2015

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.

Esoteric Content

So the kind of tech­nolo­gies that get made are not nec­es­sar­i­ly very excit­ing. It’s some­thing that [Alexis] Madrigal of The Atlantic said, these tech­nolo­gies that are com­ing out of these star­tups, they’re nice, they’re cheap, they’re fun. And they’re about as world-changing as anoth­er vari­a­tion of beer pong. This is not big, rad­i­cal change.

Ingrid Burrington at Deep Lab

So much of the work that is being done by the gov­ern­ment is actu­al­ly being done by third par­ties, and it’s a very lucra­tive busi­ness. So I went to this office park and kind of just walked around it, and it’s bor­ing. It’s real­ly kind of weird and bor­ing and it’s weird to think about the fact that these com­pa­nies that are enor­mous and involved in pret­ty unseem­ly shit appear like this, like this kind of crap­py build­ing with this kind of crap­py pub­lic art.

Threat Modeling and Operational Security

I fig­ured I would give a pre­sen­ta­tion to bet­ter explain the work that I do and show, hope­ful­ly not too tech­ni­cal, but show how you can think about the way you go about your online life and the traces you leave online, and what this means for the work that you do, the peo­ple you inter­act with, and so on.