Please join a conversation withReutersInvestigative Technology Reporter Joseph Menn, author of the just-published Cult of the Dead Cow: How the Original Hacking Supergroup Might Just Save the World, & Alex Stamos of Stanford University, Chief Security Officer at Facebook during its battle against election disinformation in 2016.Theconversation will be moderated Micah Sifry, co-founder of Civic Hall & of Personal Democracy Media. It is sponsored by Civic Hall & the Stanford Internet Observatory.
Menn's book tells the story of the oldest surviving & most influential group of American white hat hackers, revealing that its early members included presidential candidate Beto O'Rourke. From humble beginnings as teen operators of pre-web electronic bulletin boards in Texas, members of CDC went on to start the modern hacking conference, pioneer coordinated disclosure of software flaws, & popularize the idea of hacktivism, which they defined as security work in service of human rights.
With an extraordinary ensemble of performance artists & activists as well as engineers, the Cult of the Dead Cow won fame in 1998 for tweaking Microsoft over the poor security in early versions of Windows, creating a media circus with theatrical launches of trojan programs that allowed almost anyone to seize control of someone else's machine. They kept evolving as the stakes rose higher, & members ran cybersecurity grants at DARPA, started a billion-dollar company that gave software buyers fresh security insight, & spurred the development of privacy program Tor & the Citizen Lab, which tracks government surveillance.
One of the group's greatest legacies is the work of those it trained, like Alex Stamos. A veteran of the security consultancy @Stake, Stamos fought Chinese espionage against Google & other firms, then called out NSA overreaching after Snowden. He left Yahoo on principle & then joined Facebook, where he exposed Russian disinformation campaigns andwas part of the team contribution to Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation
What can big tech learn from these hacking innovators? Is there a future for critical moral reasoning? Does a hacker have any business running for president?
Join us & find out.
7:00-7:30pm: Registration + Networking7:30-7:40pm: Introduction & Welcome Remarks7:40-8:15pm: Panel Discussion8:15-8:30pm: Audience Q&A8:30-9:00 pm: Networking + Book Signing
Menn's previous books includeFatal System Error: The Hunt for the New Crime Lords Who Are Bringing Down the InternetandAll the Rave: The Rise & Fall of Shawn Fanning's Napster.
Copies ofCult of the Dead Cowwill be available for sale after the event.
Refreshments will be provided, thanks to our sponsorStanford Internet Observatory.
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