Monday, April 30, 2007

On the way to Computers, Freedom, and Privacy

The boarding area for the flight from San Francsco to Montreal was filled with people headng off to CFP. [My keyboard is havng problems, especially the 'I' key, so apologies n advance if things are somewhat hard to read.] We chatted with people like Jennifer Granick and other folks from the Stanford Center for the Internet and Society and ex-EFFer Alex Fowler of Price Waterhouse Coopers; Whit Diffie of Sun (inventor of public key cryptography!) was a few people ahead of us in the boarding line. This year's program looks great; the theme is autonomy, there are a lot of sessions focused on identity and surveillance, and as always there's a lot of different perspectives, with a mix of academics, government and corporate types, non-profits, students, hackers, and activists.

The network around CFP is one of the many hotbeds of resistance to Real ID. In fact, I met people like Jim Harper (now at the Cato Institute), Mike Stollenwork (Fairfax County Privacy Council), and Katherine Albrecht (Spychips) for the first time at past CFPs. Last year, Sonya Hipper (who designed our logo) was on a social networking panel that Deborah organized; Bill Scannell ( and Bruce Schneier (who along with Jim Harper has done some of the best writing on Real ID's flaws from a security perspective) both gave keynotes a couple of years ago. What's really exciting about grassroots activism is that it's an opportunity for this network to intersect with others ...

In any case, CFP 2007 should be interesting, and fun, and I'm looking forward to spending time in Montreal as the fight against Real ID goes international!