CAMPERSpeak: Wikileaks is the absolute most important project on the globe -- JACOB APPELBAUM
Jacob Appelbaum says a hello from Calgary, Canada.
FN: Activist, artist and hacker. Photographer, and writer of Free Software. How do you combine all these many roles?
I try to balance all of my roles to create a sense of meaning in life. I try to document things with my camera and I try to write software or work on projects that will create the change that I want to see in the world.
FN: Tell us why you chose to come?
I attended the summer source camp in Croatia many years ago.
I found the camp to be a really wonderful event with wonderful people. Many of the friendships that I forged many years ago are still very strong. When I saw that this new camp was happening, I jumped at the opportunity to attend.
FN: Could you tell us briefly about the Tor project? Is it known here in South Asia? Will your participation at Bangalore help you link up with interested others?
The Tor Project is a Free Software project that helps defend against traffic analysis.
It's a privacy tool that is utilized by everyone from human rights activists to normal people seeking control over their personal information. The best description is written here: https://www.torproject.org/overview.html.en
I am hopeful that participation in Bangalore will lead to training more users on how to properly use Tor, to better understand the needs of our users and hopefully to help grow the Tor network.
FN: What's this concept of Open Source intelligence gathering? Are its results visible anywhere?
Open Source intelligence is a method for processing public and known information into something useful. Usually this is accomplished by aggregating many sets of freely available data into something that allows for an actionable result.
It's possible to see results from this in fund raising from non-profits (finding the right donors), data mining and de-anonymized datasets (netflix, aol search queries) and even with direct governmental responses from fourth estate groups such as wikileaks.
FN: Give us an example of your work that you are proud of?
I am proud of helping to deploy the Tor Browser Bundle for users: http://torbrowser.torproject.org/
I'm also proud of helping develop other parts of Tor and Tor related utilities.
I am also proud of my role in starting the Cold Boot project: http://citp.princeton.edu/memory/
And with my role (announced two weeks ago) in helping to create the first rogue certificate authority: http://www.win.tue.nl/hashclash/rogue-ca/
FN: What is the main goal of your campaign or work?
My general life goal is to create the very best secure, privacy conscious communications tools.
I strive to attack systems to improve them; from the disk crypto we all know and use, to the real time crypto systems we rely on for our own security.
FN: How do you see your work empowering other campaigners?
I ensure that I only work on Free and Open Source software, I publish all of my results openly. I strive to keep myself free from any corporate interests beyond what is responsible.
FN: What's the biggest challenge you have with handling information?
Actually understanding it to the fullest extent of my abilities. With information houses like Wikileaks, I see things that are very difficult to understand without proper context and sometimes supporting data.
FN: Which are the areas of the globe which seem to use the tools of Info Activism most effectively? And why?
I think that I see Europe and South America has having a very active and relevant Indymedia scene. They seem to not only offer an alternative to the main stream corporate media, they seem to have an audience.
I do think that at the moment, Wikileaks is the absolute most important project on the globe. They seem to be focusing on things that are unbelievable and yet they hold the proof for everyone to see. They don't filter it for content with the exception of protecting the source by removing metadata.
FN: Your previous affiliations are interesting. Which did you find most engaging? Why?
I found Greenpeace to be the most engaging. I'd never met so many diverse people in one group before working with Greenpeace International. The problems were top notch and the people involved were brave effective activists with big hearts.