Keynote: Living in a Surveillance State – Mikko Hypponen (F-Secure)

In the last couple of years, we realized that data is cheap. This has enabled global surveillance on everyone. The solution is opensource.

In the US, the NSA has the right to collect information about foreigners. 96% of the planet are foreigners, and we all use US-based services all the time.

NSA is finishing a data center that has 5 ikea’s worth of hard drives.

Actually, some surveillance is OK. As long as the required legal paperwork is done, and not everyone is monitored but only people who are suspect. And even if we don’t have a problem with the government today, we may have a problem with the government in 20 years. You show me your search history, and I will find something criminal or embarrassing.

Some reactions to Prism were “We knew this already”, however, we didn’t. We suspected, but now it’s very clear. it’s also different from the WikiLeaks and Manning leaks: these are top-secret files. For instance, we now know that NSA has infiltrated standardization bodies to purposefully sabotage security algorithms.

“All countries spy”, however all major services are in the US. Windows or OS-X, Google, dropbox, Skydrive, … is used by everybody in the world. There are almost no Americans using an non-American service. So this is completely unbalanced. Take Skype: was European, was encrypted. Now it is bought by Microsoft and it is no longer encrypted.

It’s not about the war on terror: they also spied on presidents, the EU Commission, … . And anyway, how far are we willing to go to fight terrorists? Are we ready to throw away the US Bill of Rights to fight terrorism?

“If there is no right of privacy, there can be no free expression and therefore no democracy.” (Dilma Roussef)

Internet has become a colony for the US.

NSA, when they monitor someone, they also monitor their friends of friends of friends.

[Skipped a piece where it became a bit paranoid and subjective]

The solution: open source. It will be very hard to replace all the US-based services, but with open source it becomes possible because you don’t have to do it on your own.

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