Digital Privacy – low and high hanging fruits, and how to pick them

Track 02: [in]security by Design

The internet is broken and we need to do something about it! Hackers, techies and scientists are working on the different solutions – most of them just fighting the symptoms, instead of curing the roots: Many solutions to protect communication (like email, IM, chats) provide encryption – this protects the actual content of your communication, but the metadata still stays visible (who talks to whom, how much, how often, from which place, etc). Other solutions to protect information- and file sharing (mostly happening through the wold wide web) provide some protection against parties that track you, or obfuscate and hide your presence in the network. All of them work with the current state of the internet that has been designed in the 70-ies.

In this session, we will explain the underlying problems with the current state of the Internet and we want to show how to solve them on the long run: A next generation of decentralised Internet protocols to create a new Internet with end-to-end encryption and anonymisation of data flows. But since this solution will take a while to implement, we will also highlight short-term solutions: For instance, new ways to encrypt your interpersonal communication without much hassle for the user – and give an overview of the various options and ways to hide and obfuscate your presence in the world wide web.

The session will conclude with an interactive mapping exercise in terms of available free/libre and open source tools for people to defend themselves, focusing mostly on the browser extenstions/mobile apps space, and look at the obvious gaps in capabilities that could be filled in the future.

sva, pEp Foundation
Nana Karlstetter, pEp Foundation
Walter van Holst, Vrijschrift