Esther Payne

Esther Payne is an IT professional with over 20 years of experience and a BSc (Hons) in computer science from Robert Gordon University. She then discovered she preferred people rather than programming. Having worked with all sizes of businesses and across various industries, her interest has always been on how to make computing more accessible to the masses. She believes that no matter what your age, you can use Linux and free software. As a user of Kubuntu for 12 years, she likes the freedom of Ubuntu and all of its variant distributions. She works with hosting and IT support companies, as well as interesting open source projects. Currently Esther is a part of the LibrecastLive team, a project funded by NLnet for the European Union's Next Generation Internet Initiative as a community and privacy advocate. Having been in open source for over a decade, she believes that anyone can contribute to a project, as everyone has a different skill to bring to a project. The more the merrier. Esther is looking forward to the next stage of the Internet and to help bring it back to its decentralized roots.


#RFC 1984 - or Why You Should Start Worrying About Encryption Backdoors and Mass Data Collection

How do we slay the Hydra of mass surveillance?

We live in a time where citizens put data into commercial, health care, and government systems to access services. Some services are only accessible online. From CCTV to Facebook, people have little understanding of why mass collection of data is dangerous. So once we disquiet everyone about this, what do we do next?

In many ways, mass data collection and surveillance devices much like the Lernaean Hydra keep springing back. Public pressure on individuals who championed Google Glass only lasted for so long. We have similar issues with Amazon Ring and to some extent Facebook. How do we get people to consider not buying devices like Amazon Ring? While calling people glassholes was effective, times have changed along with presidents. The world is polarized and we need to reach across the divide to persuade.

How do we engage people outside our tech bubble and encourage them to engage with organizations like the ACLU and help us to put pressure on our elected representatives? How do we cauterize the head of rampant facial recognition technologies and then do the same for the heads of shadow profiles, DNA profiles etc.?

RFC 1984 was explicitly named to reference an Orwellian society that uses mass surveillance. This talk will seek to expand that beyond encryption to the mass collection of data and ask how do we limit this? How do we limit access to this data? How do we stop the nightmare?