Q August 31, 2020 9:07 AM

Seny Kamara says: “… like … you know … um … is is is … um … like …”

I think the entire speech could have been delivered in half the time if the unnecessary words were removed. Plus the varying speed of delivery (for the actual informational words) and the varying volume levels (even within the same word) made it very hard to understand what he was saying. One syllable is being shouted at high volume and the next was being whispered barely audible.

Talk at an even pace, with an even volume, and stop with all the “like, um, you know”, and remove the repetition “is is is”.

Sorry to be critical, but when the purpose is to convey a message then please take care to deliver it clearly and concisely. Don’t be afraid of brief periods of silence while you think things through.

attribution August 31, 2020 10:20 AM

Forgot to add another interesting reference to Vula, a successful asynchronous encryption method over public phones by ANC in S Africa in 80s.

echo August 31, 2020 1:14 PM

I think people are a bit quick to dismiss this presentation. The keynote began with a roundtrip of structures and “modes of reasoning” which is actually really really important. It’s very critical to how issues are approached and who benefits. A lot of errors in processes can be laid at the door of mindsets and not paying attention and, yes, does flow into negligence and discrimination.

Another thing to take note of is the scheme used in the mid 1980s. This was before the age of the web and Youtube and social media when everyone can be clever with a single click.

Crypto literature wasn’t the only subject which was dry and obscure and not very heavily expanded upon. Now this doesn’t mean many people look past todays flashy graphics and gee-wizzery and drama today to actually read an article let alone an academic paper but then and now is worlds apart. Other topics no less critical in their respective fields have similarly advanced. It’s easy to take it for granted today but even if the foundation science was laid down around the pre and post WWII eras back then the material we have today simply did not exist.

He asks “should activists and protestors be designing their own systems? Should it be something they should be doing or should we doing?” In my view yes and yes. Innovation and responsibility is not something which should be left to any single silo. Experience across a range of specialities and professions indicates that innovation and education and mutual respect can benefit everyone. There’s no reason either to be snotty about it or hold back.

Abuse of databases is a thing! This is why policies, implementation, and use mustbe accountable. Human rights and data protection law including the right to query and correct bad data is essential.

So quite a good presentation. Not the sharpest and the audio was bad. Otherwise a very good foundation for people new to the subject or technologists without social skills who are unfamiliar with the real world context including the psychology and sociology and policy frameworks and all the rest of the jazz.

The audio was bad. There’s a lot of psychology surrounding audio. People can tolerate bad video but not bad audio.

Andrew Harrison August 31, 2020 5:19 PM

@Wannabetech guy, the term “marginalized communities” would refer to any group of people who aren’t included in the primary or mainstream culture, especially those who are excluded due to active repression or an inherently discriminatory system. A marginalized community could be based on race/ethnicity, religion, economic status, sex/gender or sexual orientation, cognitive/physical ability, age, citizenship, and more — as well as combinations thereof.

When a technological system claims to be for everyone but its design doesn’t address the realities and needs of a marginalized community, that system is effectively reinforcing the belief that “everyone” doesn’t truly include everyone (see “all men are created equal”).

Ismar August 31, 2020 11:10 PM

Very important presentation as it reveals a perspective of marginalized people on the promise of internet and cryptography.

Seny mentioned quite a few groups of society which I can empathize with but it did not quite cover the one group of migrants of Muslim background which I am a part of.

So to add to the presentation I include this link to a second part of a draft of my memoirs which might add some value to the presentation in so far as the additional dynamics of being on a receiving side of unwanted government attention.

Finally, the main obstacle I see to using of the crypto tech when you are a minority migrant group in a society is not the lack of technology but the courage to use it. For example I have had a lot of trouble trying to get people to contact me via Signal simply because they are scared to paint a target on their back by doing so.

PattiM September 1, 2020 7:24 PM

How does this interact with Vox-POL, which appears to be a valid concern? I have to admit that the database idea is transparent in this regard, but secure communications will interact.

Curious September 2, 2020 7:44 AM

Not having listened to this talk yet, I can’t help but think that, like in war, having and maintaining ‘the initiative’ is crucial, for having the upper hand (in theory) and best staying on top of a situation or otherwise being prepared for achiving ones goals, but also being ready for any eventualities.

Curious September 2, 2020 11:44 AM

I am not even an amateur at crypto stuff, but I couldn’t help but wonder if maybe some burst light of data with a laser could maybe be useful for passing on data quickly to say a passing vehicle that you expect that also have a collector or some recording for the purpose of exchanging data via a laser beam, or send such data via laser to anybody nearby that you expect will be receiving the data, or even 1km away or something like that (without being accidentally collected by others in the process), and then I suppose it might be tricky to figure out who collects this if somebody were to be observing you sending this data off to some target 1km away.

Hopefully, detecting such directed laser beams would be hard, but I honestly don’t know anything about such tech, so maybe it would be dangerous of me to make such assumptions.

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