After Reuters reported that the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) had a secret US$10 million contract with RSA, many speakers scheduled to talk at the RSA conference in San Francisco have dropped out.
“As my reaction to this, I’m cancelling my talk at the RSA Conference USA 2014 in San Francisco,” wrote Finnish security expert Mikko Hypponen in an open letter to the chiefs of EMC and RSA.
“Surveillance operations from the US intelligence agencies are targeted at foreigners. However, I’m a foreigner. And I’m withdrawing my support from your event.”
RSA received the NSA money in a deal that set the NSA’s flawed (according to documents leaked by Edward Snowden) formula for generating random numbers as the default method in RSA’s BSAFE software, which effectively created a back door in the encryption product, Reuters reported.
While Hypponen won’t be speaking at the RSA conference, he will be speaking at the Trustworthy Technology Conference, also known as TrustyCon.
“Technology should not only be secure, it should be trustworthy,” according to the conference’s website.
The conference will take place on Feb. 27 at the AMC Metreon Theatre in San Francisco, right down the road from the RSA Conference taking place at the Moscone Center. Tickets are available for $50 and 100% of the proceeds will go to the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF).
Also speaking at the conference is senior Google security researcher Chris Palmer, the American Civil Liberties Union’s principal technologist Christopher Soghoian, Black Hat founder Jeff Moss, and independent privacy attorney Marcia Hofmann.
TrustyCon is a collaboration of iSEC Partners, the EFF and the DEF CON hacker convention, with sponsorships from Microsoft and CloudFlare.