Apple has patented a technology that can remotely disable the camera on your cell phone via an infrared signal. Ostensibly created to prevent people from taking pictures and video at concerts and movie theaters, or to prevent students from cheating on tests, it’s only a matter of time before this is used by law enforcement to prevent the lawful recording of their actions or by governments to prevent protestors from documenting retaliation against their assemblies.
EFF-Austin board member Heather Barfield has conceived and directed a new play at The Vortex theater titled Privacy Settings. Based on the ancient Greek play of Prometheus Bound, Privacy Settings imagines Edward Snowden in the titular role of Prometheus, the titan whole stole fire from the gods and gifted it to mankind. The play is inspired by the actions and punishments of contemporary whistle-blowers, advocates for digital privacy rights and perversions of American civil liberties. Privacy Settings offers a “surveillance fun house” with opportunities for unique interactive experiences. Some of these experiences include actionable tips about how you can increase your digital privacy from the moment you walk out of the play later that evening.
EFF-Austin has managed to obtain a special deal for our followers to see the play for the low price of $10 a person on Thursday, June 16th at 8:00pm. On the night of the show you can mention that you’re with EFF-Austin to the Box Office and they will allow you to purchase the discounted tickets, which are being held for our group in our name. EFF-Austin board member Kevin Welch will be your host for the evening and will arrive at 6:30pm to lead a pre-show hour of drinks, socialization, and dinner at the adjacent Butterfly Bar and Patrizi’s Italian food trailer. Following the play, EFF-Austin president Jon Lebkowsky will lead a talkback to discuss the issues raised by the play.
We encourage everyone in the Austin tech community, as well as anyone who wants to learn more about the modern surveillance state and the increasingly large impact it’s going to have on our lives, to attend.
Please RSVP only if you are planning to attend, we are trying to get an accurate headcount.
If you’ve got 90 minutes to spare, this looks like a great discussion with Richard Stallman of GNU and FSF fame about EME, also known as DRM in the HTML5 standard, and why such systems of software control leave us all worse off.