Right now, downtown San Francisco is teeming with people attending RSA, the world's biggest conference devoted to "cybersecurity." But up the street, there's another tech conference. It's full of computer security analysts who want to stop the surveillance state. It's called Trustycon, and you can watch it here, live.
Trustycon isn't the only protest that hackers and security experts have organized in San Francisco this week. But why create an entire conference just to protest another conference? It all started with RSA, the company that organizes the eponymous conference whose slogan is "capitalizing on collective intelligence." RSA's main business is selling encryption algorithms that are supposed to keep data private. But several years ago, the NSA allegedly paid the RSA 10 million dollars to use a weaker algorithm, creating a back door into lots of private data stores and essentially giving the agency carte blanche to spy on millions of people.
Here's a stencil that appeared on a San Francisco sidewalk this week.
So needless to say, people who research and build secure software systems for a living were kind of pissed off. That's when hacker conference DefCon got together with digital liberties group Electronic Frontier Foundation and security company iSEC Partners to put on Trustycon. It's a gathering of computer security researchers from academia, law, and industry, including Bruce Schneier, Ed Felten, and Marcia Hoffman. The focus of the conference is "trustworthy technology," and they describe it like this:
We welcome all security researchers, practitioners and citizens who are interested in discussing the technical, legal and ethical underpinnings of a stronger social contract between users and technology.
Find out more about Trustycon on their website, and watch it streaming live here, all day starting at 9:30 AM PT.