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.
When Darius asked me to speak I had to think a little bit about what I would say to people who make software agents, which I think is really really cool. And to me, in thinking about it, I think what is a bot to me? A bot is fundamentally a piece of software that involves personality. And I’ve had a long-running interest in building physical robots that have personality of varying degrees. So I proposed to give a talk about that.
One of the most surprising outcomes since then is to find just how many people I know who are engineers [have] had some experience with the law. It’s unbelievable the number of people who’ve come to me and said, “Look, the same thing happened to me when I was a teenager, when I was in college, a little after.”
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.
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.