Private Sector Exchange and Election Interference Reports

The Matthew Young Pollard Intelligence Authorization Act for Fiscal Years 2018 and 2019 may be the first step in establishing a “voluntary exchange program” between the intelligence community and tech entities in the private sector.

Section 1506 of House Resolution 6237, titled “Report on cyber exchange program,” proposes that the Director of National Intelligence discuss the establishment of an exchange program that would “detail” an intelligence community employee with cybersecurity experience to volunteer at technology companies. The report also details the benefits and challenges that would follow the establishment of this exchange.

Implications and suggestions of this section could coincide with and supplement propositions in H.R 5094, which discusses strengthening national defense against terrorist threats by sharing related information with and training the private sector to respond to suspicions of terrorist activity.

Section 1502 of the Intelligence Authorization Act proposed that the director of National Security provide an “assessment of significant Russian influence campaigns directed at foreign elections and referenda.” The assessment would address the following,

(1) a summary of such significant Russian influence campaigns, including, at a minimum, the specific means by which such campaigns were conducted, are being conducted, or likely will be conducted, as appropriate, and the specific goal of each such campaign;

(2) a summary of any defenses against or responses to such Russian influence campaigns by the foreign state holding the elections or referenda;

(3) a summary of any relevant activities by elements of the intelligence community undertaken for the purpose of assisting the government of such foreign state in defending against or responding to such Russian influence campaigns; and

(4) an assessment of the effectiveness of such defenses and responses described in paragraphs (2) and (3)

The House Resolution passed in the House of Representatives on July 12, 2018 and is awaiting review by the Senate.

EFF-Austin Presents The Cypherpunks Strike Back – Tomorrow’s Tech Activism Today

The Cypherpunks Strike Back – Tomorrow’s Tech Activism Today – Sunday, March 11th, 7:00pm-11:00pm, The High Road on Dawson

The annual EFF-Austin Cyberpunk Party is upon us! Check back at this space for additional details as they are confirmed.

In the ongoing crises of our present moment, it is easy to succumb to apathy. Our personal information stolen and compromised, our rights eroded and our privacy erased, our own technological tools weaponized by state and private actors to sow disinformation and distrust. In the midst of all this paranoid confusion, it is tempting to hunker down and hope this futureshock storm will pass us by. We wonder, what can we do to make a difference, to make sure that our rights are protected in a world in desperate need of great cognitive security.

At EFF-Austin’s beloved annual party, we will meet and engage with a variety of modern activists who are showing us how we can fight for a better world where our technology works for and empowers us. Our keynote speakers are Caroline Old Coyote and Michael Running Wolf, Native American VR/AR activists who are using technology to preserve their cultures and heritage. Additional speakers include EFF Investigative Researcher David Maass discussing police surveillance, government transparency, and legislation in California, former EFF-Austin president Jon Lebkowsky, Carly Rose Jackson with Texans For Voter Choice, and Vikki Goodwin, Democratic candidate for Texas House District 47.

In addition to this inspiring group of activists, musical acts will include Michael Garfield, Pilgrimess, and UBA. There will also be custom video game consoles, lockpicking, and cosplay. Finally, leading up to the party will be the world’s first cyborg pride parade.  As the electronic frontier moves into our bodies, it is important that we cyber-libertarians march as allies alongside the cyborgs among us and the cyborgs we will all someday become. What do we want? cyborg rights! When do we want them? Now!  We hope to see you all there!

7:00pm-7:30pm – Michael Garfield

Michael Garfield writes music for which new words must be invented. Simultaneously tender and apocalyptic, chill and energetic, intensely technical yet vulnerable tunes that re-imagine folk and psychedelic rock alike, updating “solo artist with guitar” to suit our age of planetary renaissance.
7:30pm-7:40pm – Opening remarks from Kevin Welch, Jon Lebkowsky, Owen McNally

Remarks on the passage of John Perry Barlow (1947-2018)
7:40pm-8:10pm – Caroline Old Coyote and Michael Running Wolf

Presentation: “Standing Rock is Everywhere – Protect the Sacred”

Connecting the water protector camps on the Standing Rock Sioux reservation with a movement sweeping the nation and addressing the needs of the world – to protest the exploitation of non-renewable energy sources, to protect our water and environment, and to resist the attacks on our humanity and sovereignty.
8:20pm-8:50pm – Dave Maass

Across the country, battles over free expression and privacy are playing out in statehouses and city council chambers. The Electronic Frontier Foundation–along with local Electronic Frontier Alliance members like EFF Austin–is fighting against police surveillance, overbroad hacking laws, and mandatory porn filters. At the same time, we’re also advancing our rights through transparency ordinances and legislation that would ensure greater access to the Internet. EFF Senior Investigative Researcher will provide an overview of EFF’s activism work, including his quest to file 1,000 public records requests regarding one of the most pernicious forms of police technology, automated license plate readers.
9:00pm-9:30pm – Pilgrimess

Pilgrimess presides over the religious rituals of the future, playing darkwave jams that are equally soothing and menacing while accompanied by her coterie of masked, dancing spirit animals.
9:40pm-10:00pm – Vikki Goodwin and Rob Matney

We will hear from two political campaigns, Vicki Goodwin, Democratic candidate for State House District 47, and Rob Matney speaking on behalf of Steve Kling, Democratic candidate for State Senate District 25.
10:00pm-10:20pm – Carly Rose Jackson

Carly Rose Jackson will be speaking to us on behalf of Texans For Voter Choice, an advocacy group attempting to use technology to allow for more third party participation in the Democratic process.

10:30pm-11:00pm – UBA

UBA (pronounced Ooo Bah) is the electro mind-meld of Mickey Delp (Delptronics) and Ricardo Acevedo (Lost Cat Magnet). This union creates music that throbs of the raw early electronica of Chris and Cosy, Suicide, while blurring the art edge with the cinematic vision of the likes of Tangerine Dream, Brian Eno, and Coil.



EFF-Austin Presents The Cypherpunks Strike Back – Tomorrow’s Tech Activism Today

Sunday, Mar 11, 2018, 7:00 PM

The High Road
700 Dawson Road Austin, TX

48 Activists Went

The annual EFF-Austin Cyberpunk Party is upon us! Check back at this space for additional details as they are confirmed. In the ongoing crises of our present moment, it is easy to succumb to apathy. Our personal information stolen and compromised, our rights eroded and our privacy erased, our own technological tools weaponized by state and private …

Check out this Meetup →


December 11th Meetup – Technology And Ballot Access – The Texas Voter Choice Act

Our speaker this month will be Carly Rose Jackson, State Director of Texans for Voter Choice. TVC is a nonprofit organization dedicated to making sure Texas voters have meaningful choices on the ballot. Carly came to Austin in 2010 to work in Texas politics. She has worked as a legislative aide in the state legislature, as a consultant for candidate campaigns and as a community organizer for nonprofit activist organizations. One of Carly’s goals is to help legislators write laws that are tech-savvy, incorporating the security needs of the public while providing more transparency on how government entities manage the data they collect. We have an opportunity to have those tech-savvy conversations with legislators by advocating for the Texas Voter Choice Act.

The Texas Voter Choice Act provides voters with more meaningful choices on Election Day by dismantling the unnecessary barriers that make it so hard for qualified candidates to appear on the ballot. One of the reforms in the Texas Voter Choice Act would create an online portal for voters to sign nomination petitions for minor party and independent candidates. The online portal would require an initial investment, but TVC believes the investment will add efficiency and transparency to the nomination process. We will look at the fiscal note and have a conversation about the costs estimated by the state. We will also discuss the concerns about fraud and voter privacy raised by legislators. Come learn about voter choice and how modernizing the process can create a fair environment for all Texans.

Join us for the discussion from 7:00PM-9:00PM, followed by drinks and camaraderie from 9:00PM-10:00PM at Firehouse Lounge (605 Brazos St).

Capital Factory is located at 701 Brazos Street, on the 16th floor of the Omni Hotel. Once on the 16th floor, there should be a sign at the front desk directing you to our meetup. If there is no sign, and no one is on duty at the desk, we are usually in the room to the left of the front desk.

Talk will be livestreamed at

Parking for the Omni Garage can be validated at the Capital Factory front desk, reducing the cost from $16 to $5. Details:



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