Seth Rosenblatt reports from Trustycon, the conference formed as a protest against, and alternative to the RSA security conference. RSA's event is the flagship event in the security industry, but the news that RSA had accepted $10M from the NSA to sabotage its own products so that spies could break into the systems of RSA customers led high profile speakers like Mikko Hypponen to cancel their appearances at the event.
Trustycon sold out, raised $20,000 for the Electronic Frontier Foundation, and, most importantly, got key members of the security industry to come to grips with the question of improving network security in an age when spy agencies are spending hundreds of millions of dollars every year to undermine it.
"I wasn't expecting anyone else to cancel, wasn't expecting American speakers to cancel," he said, saying at the time that it was an issue of national pride.
To his surprise, he told TrustyCon, "the ones with the balls have canceled."
His TrustyCon speech focused on the simmering international conflict. He pointed out that thanks to Snowden and to the Stuxnet revelations, we've learned that governments were actively writing and delivering malware.
"Ten years ago this would've been science fiction," he said.
He noted that he wasn't against all government spying and said that high-profile political leaders such as Angela Merkel of Germany have a reasonable expectation to be the targets of surveillance.
"The problem," he said, "is listening to the traffic of people on the street. Why is it being collected? Because it's technically possible. We created the monster."
Other speakers also focused on the issue of trust, and of otherwise trustworthy computing systems exploited by governments, including the US.
TrustyCon's RSA Conference rebels promise more to come [Seth Rosenblatt/Cnet]
(Image: Seth Rosenblatt)