Don’t Let the Terrorists Win – White Supremacy Edition

“Don’t let the terrorists win.”

We said that a lot after 9/11, and have for the last 16 years. As air travel became absurdly cumbersome, as civil liberties were eroded, as people were arbitrarily blacklisted or detained without room for appeal – we said the terrorists were winning, causing us to undermine the underpinnings of our own society, to crack down on the freedoms that are central to the principles of the United States.

Now, I see friends calling for cracking down on freedom of speech, for restricting the First Amendment, taking away its protections from speech they (and I) consider loathsome. I even see friends advocating for physical violence against people because of their speech.

That, my friends, is letting the terrorists win.

I loathe the ideology of white supremacy. But to let fear or anger at it undermine our notions of civil liberties or civil society… that would be letting the terrorists win.

We’re bigger than that. We’re stronger than that. Don’t let the terrorists win.

Can We Beat the Surveillance State? My Keynote at CFP 2014

I was honored to be one of the keynote speakers at the Computers, Freedom, and Privacy 2014 Conference this year.

My talk gave an overview of the surveillance state we’re building today, and then used lessons from the past to show how incredibly dangerous that can be, before launching into the steps we must take – and are taking – to roll back that surveillance state and strike a more reasonable balance.

You can watch it below.

Big thanks to Amie Stepanovich and the other organizers of CFP 2014 for the invitation to speak at the event. It was an honor for me and also incredibly enriching. I learned a lot while I was there and met some incredible people working on the front lines of these issues.

You can see video of all the main-hall talks from CFP 2014 online now:

CFP 2014 Day 1 Talks

CFP 2014 Day 2 Talks

And for those of you who missed my talk at ADA’s Books, that bookstore talk wasn’t recorded, but the talk above is an evolution of it.