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F-Secure's Mikko Hypponen Cancels RSA Talk In Protest 248

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the conferences-in-america-considered-dangerous dept.
An anonymous reader writes "In a letter to RSA executives, F-Secure's Mikko Hypponen says he is canceling his talk at the 2014 RSA Conference, due to the company's deal with the NSA, and how the agency has treated foreigners." From the letter: " I don’t really expect your multibillion dollar company or your multimillion dollar conference to suffer as a result of your deals with the NSA. In fact, I'm not expecting other conference speakers to cancel. Most of your speakers are american anyway — why would they care about surveillance that’s not targeted at them but at non-americans. Surveillance operations from the U.S. intelligence agencies are targeted at foreigners. However I’m a foreigner. And I’m withdrawing my support from your event."
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F-Secure's Mikko Hypponen Cancels RSA Talk In Protest

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  • by Taco Cowboy (5327) on Monday December 23, 2013 @08:48PM (#45771191) Journal

    As an American, I am giving my moral support to Mr. Hyppone for his courage to speak up against the unspeakable and despicable things that NSA has done !

    • Also AS AN AMERICAN i give a big "here-here " for Mr. Hyppone

      more people INCLUDING us citizens should do this !!!!!

    • Do you vote? Did you vote in the last election? If so, then you have already given your moral support to the government, and can not give it to any other cause/entity until the next election. Sorry, citizen, now move along...
      • by savuporo (658486)

        Except that in US two party system you cannot go out and vote for a cause like this, unless it's made an election center topic. In a political system that accomodates smaller parties and relies on political coalitions, its possible.

        US however cannot escape the two party system as its basically mathematical emergent property of the voting system winner-take-all setup. If things were changed to range voting for example, you COULD vote for a cause like this.

  • by rubycodez (864176) on Monday December 23, 2013 @08:50PM (#45771207)

    Hypponnen needs better news sources.

  • As an american... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by g4c (919548) on Monday December 23, 2013 @08:51PM (#45771215)

    Most of your speakers are american anyway â" why would they care about surveillance thatâ(TM)s not targeted at them but at non-americans.

    As an american, I don't believe for one second that it's not targeted at us, too. Mr. Hypponen has my support, as well.

    • by Pav (4298) on Monday December 23, 2013 @10:06PM (#45771791)
      In Mikkos own words it's time to act [youtube.com]. I guess this means he is taking his own advice. I have in my own very small way been pushing up the price of surveilance : https everywhere, disconnect, duckduckgo etc... haven't been motivated enough for Tor yet because I share a slow connection. Still, we can and must act in small ways in our browsing behavior, purchasing decisions, and any other ways we can come up with. We're lucky that others of us are already acting in not so small ways, and we must support them.
  • As an American (Score:5, Insightful)

    by djbckr (673156) on Monday December 23, 2013 @08:53PM (#45771231)
    Let me just say that, by far, most of us Americans *do* care about the surveillance going on in our country. And we're horrified by it.
    • Re:As an American (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 23, 2013 @09:08PM (#45771319)

      Exactly. I keep hearing Europeans going on and on about how we (Americans) are "totally fine with it." It's utter bullshit. There's a difference between liking something and being unable to stop it. The reasoning behind this is that since Americans aren't rioting, apparently we're in full support of it (or something like that; it is never made clear). Strangely enough, I don't see anything like that happening in any other country, either, yet your governments are all doing the same thing as ours.

      It is important to remember that we're all in this together. It is a world problem, not a US problem. It just so happens that the story broke in the US and a major player has been held to light.

      I promise you, we Americans support you withdrawing from dealing with the criminals and their friends.

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by jones_supa (887896)

        The reasoning behind this is that since Americans aren't rioting

        Why are you not rioting then? The image that you are just sitting on your asses and doing nothing is not completely unfounded.

        It is important to remember that we're all in this together. It is a world problem, not a US problem.

        Maybe, but the scale and depth of the NSA surveillance projects are way beyond anything else on this planet. You clearly are the biggest offender.

        • by dAzED1 (33635) <brianlamere&yahoo,com> on Monday December 23, 2013 @09:28PM (#45771483) Homepage Journal
          "Why are you not rioting then?" - several riots were attempted to be formed, but the NSA learned about them through their surveillance programs, and blew up the areas in question with drones, declaring them terrorist attacks. They then used their control over the internet to squash all news about it.
          • Re:As an American (Score:5, Insightful)

            by SlovakWakko (1025878) on Tuesday December 24, 2013 @02:44AM (#45773237)

            "Why are you not rioting then?" - several riots were attempted to be formed, but the NSA learned about them through their surveillance programs, and blew up the areas in question with drones, declaring them terrorist attacks. They then used their control over the internet to squash all news about it.

            Who would mod this "funny"?? It should be "insightful".

        • Re:As an American (Score:5, Insightful)

          by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 23, 2013 @09:33PM (#45771531)

          Why are you not rioting then? The image that you are just sitting on your asses and doing nothing is not completely unfounded.

          For the same reason you aren't. Did you even read what I wrote? Every country is up to the exact same thing. We've got Canada, UK, and others that are making absolutely no push to stop their country's wrong-doings. We've got France that is openly jealous of the NSA and says they want to increase their own amount of surveillance. Then we have the US, where we are slowly making legal process and trying to get this shit shut down in a non-violent matter. And yet, it is non-Americans complaining that we aren't doing anything?

          Seriously. Explain that.

          • Re:As an American (Score:5, Insightful)

            by bargainsale (1038112) on Monday December 23, 2013 @10:07PM (#45771807)
            Man's right.

            The UK is a major offender with GCHQ, but our government has been shamingly successful in closing down debate on the issue compared with what's happening in the US. The main response from our wonderful government has been to threaten the Guardian. This in a country where (happily) you still don't risk life and limb by opposing the government. The sad fact is that people here don't care about their freedom as much as Americans do.

            As I often point out to the pretty numerous people I meet who object to some new lunacy in American politics - you may complain about this, but whatever you think about [whatever], be sure there are Americans who care just as much about [whatever] and are actually trying to do something about it.
        • by sumdumass (711423)

          Why are you not rioting then? The image that you are just sitting on your asses and doing nothing is not completely unfounded.

          lol.. You seriously expect people to rise up in public against the Schutzstaffel or Komitet gosudarstvennoy bezopasnosti and protest them? I mean seriously, you just found out that the government is spying on the citizens and say it is bad because the government can construe it any way they like to damage someone's reputation, jail them, ruin their good name, or any number of other

          • You seriously expect people to rise up in public against the Schutzstaffel or Komitet gosudarstvennoy bezopasnosti and protest them?

            before I order all that, I need to know how much those cost and whether they go better with white or red wine.

        • by murdocj (543661)

          Rioting? Really? That's going to help?

          See, in the USA, unlike most of the world, we have this concept of "rule of law". It's a little slower than rioting, but it generally produces better results.

          • by fisted (2295862)
            Except your current little problem of your own government not giving a fuck about the law
          • lol (Score:2, Insightful)

            by Anonymous Coward

            Dude... seriously? You think the rule of law is going to have any impact on this situation? Admit it... we are all cowards

          • by pepty (1976012)
            In the US, the right kind of riot can be extremely influential and alter the course of national politics overnight. See: Brooks Brothers Riot. The kind of riot where thousands of passionate people make a public stand on issues that don't affect their own salaries? Without being flown in on a corporate jet or being paid to attend? Not so much. That election pretty much predicted how rule of law would stack up against rule of man in the coming years.
          • by AmiMoJo (196126) *

            What do you do when the law no longer applies to the government or its agencies? Unfortunately you have allowed things to get to the point where storming NSA headquarters is looking more and more like a necessary step to getting your rights back.

            I hope that we can fix the internet and stop the spying, but with new tech arriving all the timeI think the only long term solution is to get rid of the criminals doing it.

          • by greenbird (859670)

            See, in the USA, unlike most of the world, we have this concept of "rule of law".

            Dude, you need to wake the fuck up. That country no longer exists.

        • by greenbird (859670)

          Why are you not rioting then?

          What're you stupid? That would be playing right into their hands. "We need more surveillance to stop the subversive terrorist inciting these riots." It would give them more ammunition to further usurp the constitution.

      • Re:As an American (Score:4, Insightful)

        by Opportunist (166417) on Monday December 23, 2013 @09:44PM (#45771609)

        Protests and even riots do happen. But you don't think your news media would cover them, do you?

        Our media learned that they don't even have to lie to skew our view on the world. They just have to select the things they report about carefully. Tell me: How much, and what, have you heard about the protests that border on riots in the Ukraine?

        • Tell me: How much, and what, have you heard about the protests that border on riots in the Ukraine?

          I tried getting close, but those ukraine girls really knocked me out.

      • Strangely enough, I don't see anything like that happening in any other country, either, yet your governments are all doing the same thing as ours.

        No they aren't - we make sure that our elected officials are neither so smart, nor so well funded, as yours are.

    • Yeah, but Americans have rights that make it more difficult for the American government to 'just do it'. This is not the case for foreigners. They have a right to be more upset than Americans do, IMO.
    • Then why is it still going on?
  • by BBF_BBF (812493) on Monday December 23, 2013 @08:57PM (#45771265)
    Good for Mikko for taking a stand. Unfortunately, the NSA was monitoring Americans as well as foreigners, they just had to obfuscate their spying on American Citizens because it's illegal for them to target Americans without secret court permission.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      A secret court in a "free" country is fucking scary.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 23, 2013 @09:02PM (#45771287)

    The bottom line is that the world is no longer confident about software written in the US, and will seek alternatives sourced from Europe, Russia, China and elsewhere to regain the security and privacy which they believe they have lost.

    The NSA will be directly responsible for a shift away from US standards, US software and US protocols ... because without confidence, those standards, software and protocols don't mean a damn thing. RSA, by simply going along with the NSA has damaged its brand name, possibly irreparably.

    • by Opportunist (166417) on Monday December 23, 2013 @09:55PM (#45771687)

      That's pretty much the main danger behind it: The US are going to be seen as worse than China when it comes to security.

      China has a pretty bad rep in that department. Allegedly they pushed malware on some of the electronic gadgets they produce. Or ... did the US just tell us they do so we'd buy their stuff?

      Now, it's pretty hard to get around China when you're buying electronics. Pretty much everything is built over there. OTOH, it's much easier to avoid US goods. Pretty much everything produced in the US is also produced in the EU at similar quality and price.

      • by dbIII (701233)
        I've got malware on US stuff too over the years but put it down to what I suspect has happened with pretty well all of the Chinese stuff - somebody fucked up.
    • by icebike (68054)

      The bottom line is that the world is no longer confident about software written in the US, and will seek alternatives sourced from Europe, Russia, China and elsewhere to regain the security and privacy which they believe they have lost.

      And that is sad, because there is no reason to trust Russia or China any more than any one else. Less, in fact.
      If you have an email account in Russia or China you just naturally assume its fully monitored. By both sides.

      What I do trust is open source, regardless of its country of origin. Much of this still comes from the US, Germany, India, etc, and even Russia.

      And now we are forewarned. Fool us once, shame on you. Fool us twice, shame on us. What ever comes out of this will be better and stronger, and

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      EOL on XP coiniciding with all these revelations and doubts will hopefully inspire the businesses and governments fo the world to turn their eyes to OSS. Of course there are those that can't or at least think they can't but can at least test, examine or add a few lines of code. How many of those that can have customers or partners tied to the same programs as them? How much can be run from XP images in virtual machines?

      Some have already moved to OSS, some are in the process and some are just thinking about

  • Company Value? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 23, 2013 @09:11PM (#45771345)

    How did the stock market react? RSA's mother company is EMC, isn't it? There doesn't seem to be much of an effect, on the contrary, gaining half a percent today? Or am I looking at the wrong data?

    • Apparently the brokers assume (correctly, if you ask me) that managers don't have the foggiest clue what this entails and hence it won't affect sales.

      Just you wait 'til one of those oh so important manager pulp magazines writes about it!

    • You mean the stock market that the NSA controls? If they receive beams of light, they can send them, scramble them, cause packet delays, etc. In a world of super low latency high frequency trades, PRISM rules.

  • Good (non) job (Score:5, Insightful)

    by BringsApples (3418089) on Monday December 23, 2013 @09:13PM (#45771359)
    I support anyone that's willing to hit the breaks these days. Without people, nothing can succeed, nothing at all. If the only card we have to play - in this world of bullshit, lies and damn lies - is non-participation, then we have to play it. To keep going on like "everything is just what it is and there's nothing that we can do to change it" is to play into the continuation of the problem. To see others acting upon this truth is heart-warming and gives hope to others that are doing it.
    • CC: PJ@GrockLaw.net

    • Re:Good (non) job (Score:4, Interesting)

      by ImOuttaHere (2996813) on Tuesday December 24, 2013 @06:37AM (#45774125)

      Noam Chomsky noted in a lecture I heard him give a few years ago that it's only in America that people ask things like "... well, what can we do?" Everywhere else he lectures, he says people come up to him and tell him what they personally are doing to combat inequity and injustice.

      If Americans can personalize the injustices and inequities they face, maybe they can begin to figure out what they can do to fight back. There certainly is no incentive for US government agencies and US corporate interests to do anything but they currently are.

  • by databeast (19718) on Monday December 23, 2013 @09:27PM (#45771475) Homepage

    As symbolic as this is, It's worth pointing out that the RSA Conference and RSA Security are two separate corporate entities (and I worked with both, producing RSA Security's own booth content at RSA Conference 2011). They do however, all funnel back up to EMC (y'know.. the world's largest storage systems corporation).

  • Mr. HyppÃnen hasn't been paying attention if he believes "surveillance thatâ(TM)s not targeted at them but at non-americans". That's the NSAs line, but the Snowden revelations have shown that to be pretty much a lie. They're willing to spy on Americans who are up to three hops from a target, and they're Hoovering up American's call records wholesale.

  • TED (Score:5, Informative)

    by jones_supa (887896) on Monday December 23, 2013 @10:09PM (#45771815)
    BTW here's Mikko's recent TED talk [youtube.com] on the topic if you haven't seen it yet.
  • by Britz (170620) on Tuesday December 24, 2013 @05:34AM (#45773869) Homepage

    I hate to be *that guy*, but everyone needs to understand two significant points:

    1. After a couple month of watching the PRISM scandal unforld I now believe this is a "Hiroshima moment". Never before in human history was it possible to spy on everyone. To have a file on everyone. The secret services (the bad as well as the good) always had to focus on a select few. No more. We are living in 1984.

    2. I firmly believe the main reason why other spy agencies are not doing what the NSA is doing is because of their limited capabilities. Both in less money and resources, but also in reach. Google, Facebook, Apple and Microsoft are US based. Many important internet exchanges as well. This point is especially important, because of the US tradition of transparency and whistleblowing. As American as the NSA may be, Snowden is even more so. I can't imagine a Chinese Snowden. And even if he existed, would they have a broad discussion on that subject in China? How about Russia? Or even the UK? GHCQ has been as bad as the NSA, yet do we see a broad and honest discussion about it in London?

    I hate the constant and ubiquitous surveillance, but the technology advances were the ones that brought them here. The NSA were only the first and foremost ones that took advantage of the new tools. They become cheap fast. Soon every spy agency will have them. This is a very useful and helpful discussion we are having right now. Because we either need to encrypt everything and move everyone onto Tor, or get used to having a file on everyone. There is no "gentlemen's agreement" (no-spy-agreement, UN accord, whatever), because there is no way to enforce it.

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