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The Digital Assault on Privacy

George Orwell and Thomas Huxley are frequently mentioned in the context of the June, 2013 NSA PRISM and Verizon surveillance leaks. While both feared big government and big controls, they feared it for different reasons. This difference will set the tone for this talk.

We will begin with the history of the U.S. involvement in surveillance, from the early analog days to the latest digital technologies. We'll explain the alleged motivations, technologies and civil libertarian consequences of each surveillance project. We will specifically discuss: Echelon, Carnivore, Naruinsight, Magic Lantern, Trailblazer, Stellar Wind/Ragtime, TAO (Tailored Access Operations), and PRISM. The speaker will also cover corporate surveillance by high tech companies and cyber intelligence mercenaries. Discussion will likely include products like Google Now, Google Glasses, H.B. Gary Federal's FastDump and Magenta, and Gamma Group's FinFIsher. The speaker will conclude with speculation on future directions for government and private surveillance programs the privacy implications that will arise therefrom.

About the Speaker

Hal Berghel is currently Professor of Computer Science at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas where he has previously served as Director of both the School of Computer Science and School of Informatics, and Associate Dean of the College of Engineering. He is also the founding Director of the Identity Theft and Financial Fraud Research and Operations Center and CyberSecurity Research Center. His research interests are wide-ranging within the binary and digital ecosystem, ranging from logic programming and expert systems, relational database design, algorithms for non-resolution based inferencing, approximate string matching, digital watermarking and steganography, and digital security - including both computer and network forensics. Since the mid-1990's he has applied his work in digital security to law enforcement and intelligence gathering, particularly with respect to digital crime, cyberterrorism, information warfare and trusted identities. His research has been supported by both industry and government for over thirty years. His most recent work in secure credentialling technology was funded by the Department of Justice. In addition to his academic positions, Berghel is also a popular columnist, author, frequent, talk show guest, inventor, and keynote speaker. For nearly fifteen years he wrote the popular Digital Village column for the Communications of the ACM, and for the past two years has written the popular Out-of-Band column for IEEE Computer.

Berghel is a Fellow of both the Institute for Electrical and Electronics Engineers and the Association for Computing Machinery, and serves both societies as a Distinguished Visitor and Distinguished Lecturer, respectively. He has received the ACM Outstanding Lecturer of the Year Award four times and was recognized for Lifetime Achievement in 2004. He has also received both the ACM Outstanding Contribution and Distinguished Service awards. He is also the founder and owner of Berghel.Net, a consultancy serving business and industry.