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[liberationtech] Commercialization of online spying talk @ Stanford 11/29
vivekdse at stanford.edu
Mon Nov 26 11:48:04 PST 2012
Nov 29 at 4:30 pm @ Wallenberg Auditorium, Stanford University
SPEAKERS: *Bill Marczak* - Computer Science, PhD Student at UC
Berkeley & *Morgan
Marquis-Boire* - Security Engineer at Google
The so-called "Arab Spring" saw politically and economically
disenfranchised citizens take advantage of new tools such as social media
and smartphones to break the state’s monopoly on information, and mobilize
mass protest. While governments were quick to employ familiar, time-tested
mechanisms of repression against demonstrators in the streets and main
squares, they fumbled at first in controlling this new digital dissent.
Against an increasingly security-aware online community, the traditional
tools of blocking, filtering, and wiretapping had become less effective.
Nervous regimes turned to the largely unregulated $5 billion a year
industry in Internet surveillance tools. Once the realm of the black
market and intelligence agencies, the latest computer spyware is now sold
at trade shows for dictator pocket change.
Activists and journalists soon found themselves the target of e-mails
promising exclusive or scandalous information. We analyzed messages
forwarded to us by suspicious users, and found spyware products apparently
from Gamma International and Hacking Team, recognized players in the
surveillance industry. For the first time, we analyzed their products,
chasing internet addresses and shell corporations across the globe. As we
published our findings, servers disappeared, and spyware was rewritten.
In this talk, we detail the cat and mouse game between authoritarian
regimes and dissidents, as well as our ongoing efforts to map out the
relationship between surveillance software companies and governments.
The event is open to public. For further details, see:
Program on Liberation
C 149 Encina Hall
616 Serra St.
Stanford, CA 94305
Phone: 1-801-784-8357, that is 1-801-S Vivek's!
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