Computers Freedom & Privacy 2009

by on May 19, 2009 · 11 comments

The Computers Freedom & Privacy conference is consistently one of the most interesting and forward-looking privacy conferences. This year, it’s at George Washington University in Washington, D.C. June 1-4.

I helped organize it this time, though by no means does the event skew libertarian. What it does is bring together people of all ideologies to discuss common concerns about the present and future state of privacy.

I’ll be speaking on a panel called “The Future of Security vs. Privacy” on Tuesday, June 2nd. Here’s the program page. And here’s the registration page if any of this whets your appetite.

  • Brett Glass

    This year's program is a bit worrisome. To begin with, the keynote speaker for the conference is Susan Crawford, an extreme advocate of onerous regulation. (Crawford has said repeatedly that she believes that the Internet should be strictly regulated as a public utility, if not nationalized.) There is also a session on “deep packet inspection” (a misnomer; packets are one-dimensional and have no depth, and no one is “inspecting” them — a machine is gathering general statistics) whose panel is heavily biased in favor of alarmists and proponents of regulation. Also on the agenda is New York Times columnist Saul Hansell, who perceives himself as a consumer crusader and seems to believe that Internet providers, regardless of size, are inescapably evil. There's also a speaker from USPIRG (one of the organizations that petitioned the FCC to regulate the Internet) and two from Google. However, while there are many proponents of Internet regulation on the roster, there is not a single speaker who is actually in the business of providing Internet service. Why such a glaring bias in the slate of speakers?

  • Brett Glass

    This year's program is a bit worrisome. To begin with, the keynote speaker for the conference is Susan Crawford, an extreme advocate of onerous regulation. (Crawford has said repeatedly that she believes that the Internet should be strictly regulated as a public utility, if not nationalized.) There is also a session on “deep packet inspection” (a misnomer; packets are one-dimensional and have no depth, and no one is “inspecting” them — a machine is gathering general statistics) whose panel is heavily biased in favor of alarmists and proponents of regulation. Also on the agenda is New York Times columnist Saul Hansell, who perceives himself as a consumer crusader and seems to believe that Internet providers, regardless of size, are inescapably evil. There's also a speaker from USPIRG (one of the organizations that petitioned the FCC to regulate the Internet) and two from Google. However, while there are many proponents of Internet regulation on the roster, there is not a single speaker who is actually in the business of providing Internet service. Why such a glaring bias in the slate of speakers?

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