There is HOPE

HOPE steht für Hackers on Planet Earth und ist eine seit 1994 stattfindende Hacker-Konferenz. Dieses Wochenende fand diese in New York zum 10. mal statt, daher der Name HOPE X.

Vergleichbar ist die HOPE am ehesten mit in Europa bekannteren Veranstaltungen wie dem Chaos Communication Congress (und Camp). Wie bei “Hacker-Events” mittlerweile recht üblich deckt das für 3 Tate relativ umfangreiche Programm nicht nur technische Themen ab, sondern widmet sich auch verstärkt den gesellschaftspolitischen Auswirkungen dieser. Nicht zuletzt diese Mischung, und die enorm an Relevanz gewinnende Wechselwirkung zwischen Informationstechnologie, Politik und Gesellschaft, machen die HOPE Sessions und SpeakerInnen für mich sehr interessant.

Das Vortrags-Programm teilte sich in 3 Räume auf und wurde live gestreamt. Die Aufzeichnungen kommen gerade nach und nach auf den Stream-Seiten der jeweiligen (nach Whistleblowern benannten) Räume online: Manning, Serpico und Olson. Hier ein paar meiner Highlights:

Solve the Hard Problem (Video)

“Die drei großen Probleme der Informatik sind Drucker, Beamer, und ob P gleich NP”, lautet ein Spruch, der mich mittlerweile seit einigen Jahren durch’s Informatikstudium verfolgt. Spätestens in den letzten Monaten ist hier ein weiteres Problem dazugekommen, das uns vielleicht noch eine Weile verfolgen wird: Wie schickt man einfach und sicher eine E-Mail?

Gillian (Gus) Andrews beschäftigte sich in ihrer (relativ interaktiven) Session (nicht nur) mit Usability von Sicherheitssoftware, sondern auch mit der Abgehobenheit (und Arroganz?) mit der manche TechnikerInnen, NaturwissenschaftlerInnen (und HackerInnen) gerne mal auf “die Gesellschaft” (und andere Disziplinen) herabschauen.

This talk will be an exhortation for hackers to overcome the traditional biases many of us have in favor of technical projects and against human-factors work. It’s a call for more people to think about usability in open source software, particularly on the privacy and security tools we care so much about. Gus will tease apart the deep-seated socialization we have about what work “smart” people do, what “good” science looks like, and why studies of human social interactions must have different criteria than “hard” sciences in order to be effective.

Fuckhackerfucks (Video)

In einem ähnlichen Eck, wenn auch mit mehr Fokus auf die Hacker-Kultur und einer anderen Perspektive, setzt die Session vom monochromen Johannes Grenzfurthner an.

Johannes of art tech group monochrom will indulge in a public rant about hacker culture and why it has to be saved from itself. Expect strong language, indecency, and valid critique of the status quo of hackdom.

Cyber Security in Humanitarian Projects as a Social Justice Issue (Video)

Without secure code and implementation, humanitarian projects can be used against the very people they are designed to help. This is a basic problem of social justice. If security is only available to people with money, privilege, and the fortune to not be in the midst of a disaster, then there is no security. […] Community building and resource sharing on the Internet is only accomplished when we take part in building social justice by using our skills to improve open source code security and its implementation across the humanitarian ecosystem.

Postprivacy: A New Approach to Thinking

… about Life in the Digital Sphere.

Das Thema Postprivacy beschäftigt mich ja seit einiger Zeit (auch auf diesem Blog), und auch wenn ich Jürgen Geuter bereits aus der Postprivacy-“Szene” im deutschsprachigen Raum kenne, ist es mal ganz interessant, wie der Diskurs in den USA aussieht.

The social construct of privacy is rather new, a result of the civil society. It was supposed to protect people from the state and/or government and its overreach […]. Did it really deliver on that promise? And was that the promise we needed as a society? Privacy isn’t dead as some people might want to tell you, but it has changed significantly in its definition, in its relevance. And it no longer works as the central foundation of our social utopias. […] Under the blanket term #postprivacy, some people have started developing ideas on how to rethink how we can harness not only the power of the Internet but the powers, ideas, and skills of each other. […] This talk will give you a few new ideas.

PRISM-Proof Email: Why Email Is Insecure

… and How We Are Fixing It

We have had the technology to make email secure against criminals and government spies for decades. Microsoft, Netscape, and Apple have all shipped products with built-in encryption for over 15 years, yet almost nobody uses these features. […] But the biggest part of the problem is that any system which requires the user to be thinking about security is too hard to use. This talk will be looking at the history and future of email encryption technology.

(Andere schlagen vor, aus E-Mail gleich dmail zu machen.)

Technology and Jamming of XKEYSCORE

XKEYSCORE is possibly the most “big-brother” tool in the NSA arsenal, eavesdropping on network traffic around the world producing around 100 billion records per month. […] This talk will be in three parts. The first part will be an overview from what we know from public disclosures […]. The second part will walk through the disclosed source code, comparing it to public deep-packet-inspection tools […]. The third part will look at jamming the system […].

(Ein weiterer Vortrag geht zu Teil 3 noch mehr in die Tiefe.)

Social Engineering

The panel will tell stories of the magic of social engineering, predict what may or may not be possible in the future, and make a few live attempts over the phone to gain information they have absolutely no right to possess.

Codesigning Countersurveillance (Video)

We have entered a moment of important dialogue about the surveillance state, the role and ethics of technology companies, the potential harms of mass surveillance to civil liberties and human rights, and the need for interventions involving technology, policy, and social practice. At the same time, the voices of communities that have long been most explicitly targeted by surveillance have been largely excluded from the debate. […] This talk will focus on projects and process from the MIT Civic Media Codesign Studio (, which works with community-based organizations to develop civic media projects that connect to grounded strategies for social transformation.

The Sex Geek as Culture Hacker

Combining nerd enthusiasm and geek know-how with erotic experiences results in writings, DIY toys, citizen science, and other projects which can promote sex-positivity and consent culture. In this talk, Kristen “where did this b!tch get her doctorate” Stubbs shares stories from the sex geek trenches: the awesome, the awkward, and the randomness in between.


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