Hacker Cultures: The Conference Podcast

Episode 8: Sylvain Besençon - Securing by hacking: maintenance regimes around an end-to-end encryption standard

September 02, 2020 Paula Bialski & Mace Ojala
Hacker Cultures: The Conference Podcast
Episode 8: Sylvain Besençon - Securing by hacking: maintenance regimes around an end-to-end encryption standard
Chapters
Hacker Cultures: The Conference Podcast
Episode 8: Sylvain Besençon - Securing by hacking: maintenance regimes around an end-to-end encryption standard
Sep 02, 2020
Paula Bialski & Mace Ojala

In this session, we interview Sylvain Besençon a PhD student in anthropology at the University of Fribourg. 

In his presentation, he talks about internet standards, which are elementary and powerful bricks of the Internet infrastructure: they define how the Internet should work and help developers to code their pieces of software accordingly. However, regularly, there are some voices or hacks that destabilize them and open the door to radical uncertainties about the reliability of the software we use, especially when crucial information is at stake. Based on digital ethnography as well as interviews and observations at international conferences, his paper takes as departure point the disclosure process of a series of vulnerabilities that affects an end-to-end email encryption standard called OpenPGP, used mostly by computer engineers, activists and journalists. 

Show Notes

In this session, we interview Sylvain Besençon a PhD student in anthropology at the University of Fribourg. 

In his presentation, he talks about internet standards, which are elementary and powerful bricks of the Internet infrastructure: they define how the Internet should work and help developers to code their pieces of software accordingly. However, regularly, there are some voices or hacks that destabilize them and open the door to radical uncertainties about the reliability of the software we use, especially when crucial information is at stake. Based on digital ethnography as well as interviews and observations at international conferences, his paper takes as departure point the disclosure process of a series of vulnerabilities that affects an end-to-end email encryption standard called OpenPGP, used mostly by computer engineers, activists and journalists.