Hacking Team vs. Jacob Appelbaum

It was quite a show in room 130 at the Moscone Center last Tuesday morning during the RSA Conference panel on state-sponsored surveillance malware. There was a rare appearance by Eric Rabe, an American representative of the Italian company, Hacking Team. HT is a notorious supplier of espionage tools to governments worldwide, including repressive regimes. Human rights activists in Morocco and the UAE report being harmed as a result. Read more in this New York Times blogpost by reporter Nicole Perloth about Hacking Team and Morgan Marquis-Boire’s investigations.

Jacob Appelbaum, a core member of the Tor circumvention project and a frequent target of US law enforcement agencies, demanded answers about HT’s activities. Joining Jacob in asking the hard questions was Kurt Opsahl, senior attorney at the Electronic Frontier Foundation, and Claudio Guarnieri of the Honeynet Project and Rapid7. Bloomberg reporter Michael Riley heroically steered the discussion. Filling out the group was Dale Beauchamp from the Department of Homeland Security, who was badgered by questioners about a host of domestic spying issues.

Unfortunately RSA would not let us film the event.

The panel.

The panel.

Check out these articles just published about the panel. Funny how it has not yet been covered by any U.S. press.

Der Spiegel (German), Tech Week Europe

Mikko Hypponen, one of the characters in our film, and one of the world’s top security analysts, told us this session was the best part of the entire week-long RSA Conference.

Mikko tweets the panel.

Mikko tweets the panel.

Following the formal panel session we repaired to a nearby hotel for more fireworks, which we could film. The next blog post reveals what happened.