Get mirandized for an encrypted world. This talk will cover the legal doctrines and statues our government is perverting to compel individuals into decrypting their data, or conscript technology companies into subverting the security of their own products. We’ll survey the arguments being advanced by prosecutors, the resulting case law, and the ethical dilemmas facing technology companies. The session will cover the rights and civil liberties we’ve already lost, and review the current threats to our collective freedoms. We’ll cover what an individual needs to know if they want to avoid compelled decryption, and keep their data private. We’ll also discuss strategies that third parties (friends, f/oss developers, and technology companies) can use to resist conscription and build trust through transparency. Because knowing your rights, is only half the battle.
Ladar Levison serves as the founder, president, and chief executive of Lavabit, where he has worked the past 12 years. Founded in 2004 (and originally called Nerdshack), Lavabit was created because Mr. Levison believes that privacy is a fundamental, necessary right for a functioning, free and fair democratic society. Presently, Mr. Levison is focused on Lavabit's Dark Mail Initiative, which aims to make end-to-end email encryption automatic and ubiquitous, while continuing to vigorously advocate for the privacy and free speech rights of all. Mr. Levison’s involvement in the internet can be traced to the early days of the world wide web, when he built his first website, in the early nineties for the fledgling Mosiac web browser (from the National Center for Supercomputing Applications).
Prior, Mr. Levison operated a dialup bulletin board service, and worked as a computer technician assembling custom computer systems. With more than 10 years of experience as an independent consultant, Mr. Levison has brought to bear his skills as a project manager, business analyst, systems engineer, software developer, database administrator, systems administrator, and information security specialist.
Mr. Levison’s career has involved working with several dozen multinational companies in the financial, consumer electronics, and retail sectors. The websites Mr. Levison built have drawn millions of visitors, and the software he's written has touched, albeit behind the scenes, the lives of millions more. Over the years, Mr. Levison has written and published numerous technical specifications and authored several editorial pieces. Mr. Levison frequently speaks at a variety of conferences, has appeared as an expert on numerous network television shows, and appeared in several documentaries; including the Oscar winning film, /Citizenfour/.
Mr. Levison has also been involved with several popular free open source software projects. Mr. Levison holds fifteen certifications, with the vast majority from Microsoft and International Business Machines. Mr. Levison received his Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science degrees from Southern Methodist University, where he studied finance, English, political science and computer science. Additionally, Mr. Levison spent a year studying international relations at Georgetown University. A native of San Francisco, California, he currently resides in Dallas, Texas where he lives with his best friend, and principal cheerleader, Princess, the Italian Greyhound he rescued in 2010.