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[liberationtech] Crypto Advocacy TED Talk

Jeffrey Burdges burdges at gmail.com
Wed Nov 30 21:01:14 PST 2011


There is a call for TED talks out now :
http://blog.ted.com/2011/11/28/deadline-nov-30-do-you-have-a-lesson-to-teach-submit-to-ted2012-the-classroom/

I think a beneficial TED talk might be :
"Why everyone should use cryptography for their day-to-day communications."

There are two arguments I'd hope might gain traction aren't usually discussed :

1) You might not need any message security yourself but many people in the world do.  By using cryptography yourself, you help provide them with cover and protection.  Google says the U.S. requested data on 11057 accounts this year, for example.

2) Using and advocating for using cryptography provides a convenient method for expressing displeasure with or reject the legitimacy of our governments, unelected leaders, etc.  Again, they probably won't care if your messages become invisible, but they'll care if tens of thousands of people start encrypting their IM and email. 

Aside from arguing these point, there should be emphasis that "this ain't your daddy's PGP", meaning modern crypto packages have grown incredibly easy to use.  Tor Browser Bundles are about the most user friendly thing in the world.  Off-the-record messaging is almost a triviality in Adium, Jitsi, or other open source IM clients.  Most mail readers have user friendly plugins for GPG.  etc.

Has TED covered anything too similar before?  Do you think we could convince someone like Jacob Appelbaum or similar to give such a general crypto advocacy talk?  

Thanks,
Jeff




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