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Taking back our freedom: free software for sousveillance

M.C. McGrath

The surveillance state is driven by secrecy. But everything leaves a data trail and the intelligence community itself is no exception -- even the NSA is vulnerable to surveillance. Transparency Toolkit is a free software project that helps anyone investigate surveillance programs.

By making tools to help collect and analyze publicly available data like resumes, job listings, social media, and government contracts, we are using free software and open data to track and expose the surveillance state. This talk discusses some of the interesting things we've found, how Transparency Toolkit's software works, and how people can use our tools to investigate issues they care about.


8 years, 3 months ago

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LibrePlanet 2016 video · LibrePlanet 2016 · LibrePlanet · lp2016 · video

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Taking back our freedom: free software for sousveillance (libreplanet) · LibrePlanet 2016 Videos (libreplanet)




This talk was presented at LibrePlanet.


LibrePlanet is the Free Software Foundation's annual conference. The FSF campaigns for free/libre software, meaning it respects users' freedom and community. We believe that users are entitled to this; all software should be free.


We do not advocate "open source".

That term was coined to reject our views. It refers to similar practices, but usually presented solely as advantageous, without talking of right and wrong.


Richard Stallman launched the free software movement in 1983 by announcing development of the free operating system, GNU. By 1992, GNU was nearly operational; one major essential component was lacking, the kernel.


In 1992, Torvalds freed the kernel Linux, which filled the last gap in GNU. Since then, the combined GNU/Linux system has run in millions of computers. Nowadays you can buy a new computer with a totally free GNU/Linux system preinstalled.


The views of the speaker may not represent the Free Software Foundation. The Foundation supports the free software cause and freedom to share, and basic freedoms in the digital domain, but has no position on other political issues.