33C3: Day Two

By The Literate Programmer, Thu 29 December 2016, in category Nerdery

33C3, CCC, Hacking, Society, Tech, Volunteering

First Array

Once more I get up fairly early and walk to the Congress Center but this time I notice the bakery that I walk past, since they just then put up some really tasty looking cakes.

At the CCC I first spend some time working on a fun little project where I make something geeky. I'll need to get back to that today to finish it. I'm slow with manual labor!

Surprisingly, someone else, who's much more experienced calls me on the CCC-internal DECT phone, trying to figure out how to get to a translation booth. It really is early in the morning for most people.

Then I go to the first talk to translate myself, Hacking the World about law enforcement hacking internationally. It's an interesting talk and I think I did a decent job on it.

Then, I go to listen to In Search of Evidence-Based IT Security which is a really good talk and which makes an important point: Almost none of our IT security best practices is scientifically tested or evidence-based. It's all just based on gut feelings and what we think may be best. Which also shows in how people rate AV software. For non-experts, it's the most important thing they can think of, in order to stay safe on the internet, while for experts it doesn't even rank.

Second Array

After lunch, I watch a talk about the language of populists, which is interesting and well-presented, but a bit too purely descriptive and picking on some easy targets, people with no good arguments, for my taste. In the Q&A afterwards, there's too much "just walk away" for my taste. We need to engage with those people more, and not just let things drift ever further apart.

At that point, I meet an American who came to Germany specifically for CCC, who's engaged in various digital rights campaigns and have a short but promising conversation with her. I hope we can meet again today to talk some more, because I think more perspectives will be interesting.

Then, a talk on the NSA committee in the Bundestag, which is interesting, but seems to be preaching to the choir and missing how to communicate to non-geeks. However, they complain about the main witness not being called before the committee and then call him up themselves.

Edward Snowden, live via internet. I was already up and ready to run to the mic to ask a question when they start talking about it and I turn to my friend "are they saying..?" and then there he is! He's a great speaker and an obviously smart guy. Listening to him and his call to action is very inspiring, and since he is directly speaking to us nerds at the CCC, he's not missing his target audience.

The good talks continue, with a talk on stopping law enforcement hacking which actually argues that we can't and shouldn't try, but that we can make it more expensive, so that dragnet surveillance will not be the first tool of choice for the police. In general, it's an incredibly well-presented talk and a different point of view to the CCC mainstream, which is already valuable for that alone. I happen to agree with many of its conclusions, and hope that it'll make us more effective.

Sadly, while the translating goes extremely well, someone fiddled with the tech and we're on the same channel as the French translation for most of the talk, making things unintelligible.

Third Array

Now I have to take a bit of a break and instead go to the Podcasters' table, where I get extremely valuable tips and feedback for creating my own podcast, which I now think is definitely going to happen. It might take some investment, but I definitely wanna try it out.

I hang out, just recharging some more and also experiencing a parameterized speaker, which is a really neat trick. I do this, because it's my longest day here, since I then help with translating two fun, non-serious, late night talks to Swiss-German. It's silly, but a lot of fun.