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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 !

  • 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.

  • 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.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 23, 2013 @08:55PM (#45771253)

    Americans don't have that key on our keyboards.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • by LordLimecat (1103839) on Monday December 23, 2013 @09:10PM (#45771335)

    Hes protesting against surveillance of non-americans: exactly the opposite of what we should be protesting. Everyone spies, and its sort of the NSA's job. Whats not their job is to spy on Americans while bypassing the 4th amendment.

  • 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.
  • Re:As an American (Score:2, Insightful)

    by jones_supa (887896) on Monday December 23, 2013 @09:15PM (#45771375)

    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 pla (258480) on Monday December 23, 2013 @09:17PM (#45771389) Journal
    RSA has categorically denied that they cut a deal with the NSA. But Mr. Hypponen and the rest of the internet has declared them guilty based on unseen evidence. How is that fair?

    You can expect that to become a trend. The NSA has well and truly fucked over the entire American IT security industry. Even ultra-low-end "security" products like home broadband routers have become suspect, thanks to their interference.

    Fair? No. Obvious consequence of the NSA's actions? Absolutely. People haven't trusted them for decades - Anyone remember Tempest? Or the improved S-Boxes that made DES more resistant to an attack that wouldn't exist for another 25 years? But in the back of our minds, we always told ourselves they might count as completely scary bastards, but at least they counted as our completely scary bastards. Now we know better - They have zero regard for US law and work for no one but themselves.

    On a positive note, I'd still rather see the TSA disbanded first. But at this point, they both need to go.

    Then again, this just follows a loooong history of ineffective, illegal, self-serving "intelligence" agencies in the US, from Hoover's FBI to Bush-the-elder's CIA to our current situation, you'd think we'd eventually learn and say "no more". Sadly, most people don't even have a clue we have a problem, or worse, outright support giving up our freedoms if it will protect us from the evil brown people across the sea.

    Pathetic, the whole lot of us.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 23, 2013 @09:24PM (#45771443)

    You haven't done your research.

    It has been known for years that the RSA pushed an unsecure algorithm by default, and suspected it was intended as a backdoor. What wasn't known was their motivation behind it. We recently have been given information that the NSA gave them money in exchange for their service. Sure, you can claim it was all made up, but everything else given to us by Snowdown to date has been accurate. Meanwhile, those that would be negatively impacted by these revelations (such as the NSA, the president, various large tech companies, etc.) have been caught lying non-stop about it. I wouldn't exactly say it is hard to imagine that the RSA is going to claim they weren't involved in an attempt to save themselves.

    RSA has categorically denied that they cut a deal with the NSA.

    Not quite. They have done no such thing. The RSA has not denied working with the NSA, accepting money, nor weakening encryption. They simply said they did not create a contract with the NSA. It was nothing but deflection using weasel words.

    No matter how you want to spin in, the RSA are not the victims here. Citizens across the globe are. That is what is not fair.

  • 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: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?

  • 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.

  • 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.
  • lol (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 23, 2013 @10:17PM (#45771859)

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

  • by Smauler (915644) on Monday December 23, 2013 @10:36PM (#45771999)

    No... it's not normal. Governments spy on governments generally, not on citizens.

    If you consider it normal for the NSA to spy on EU citizens, then you must consider it normal for GCHQ, MI6, and all the other European agencies to spy on US citizens. Most of the western agencies share a lot of their intelligence, so most of the stuff MI6 knows about you goes straight back to the NSA and other agencies anyway, without them having to spy on you.

    Do you consider it normal and acceptable for European agencies to be spying on American citizens? Really?

  • by cheekyjohnson (1873388) on Tuesday December 24, 2013 @12:02AM (#45772511)

    Spying on citizens of other countries is normal.

    What's normal or not normal is irrelevant to me.

    ALL countries do it, throughout history.

    Even if true, that's utterly irrelevant.

    Having the NSA spy on Americans is what citizens of the USA should be protesting.

    I'm protesting both.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 24, 2013 @02:13AM (#45773125)

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

  • 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".

  • 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.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 24, 2013 @05:53AM (#45773933)

    Wow... by that logic, I shouldn't get mad at murderers for trying to murder me, or at rapists for trying to rape people. I mean it's right there in the job description.

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