Politics and the Surveillance State. The story of a young politician's successful efforts to fight surveillance and pass the nation's strongest privacy bills.

Conference:  Defcon 26



Orwell's concept of 1984 has more to do with government misuse of technology than technology itself. New technology allows for more opportunity, but unchecked, it allows for complete government control. Representative Daniel Zolnikov is the nation's leading politician regarding privacy and surveillance and has enacted numerous laws safeguarding fourth amendment rights regarding digital communications and technology. Daniel will walk you down the road of how political misuse of technology can and will turn the Federal Government into an unprecedented nanny state that will lead to a suppressed free flow of information and fear of stepping out of line. His story includes insights on how unique left and right coalitions were formed to pass these laws in his home state of Montana, and how he prevailed against law enforcement groups who opposed implementing warrant requirements. This discussion is aimed at sharing insights no matter your political affiliation. All of Daniel's legislation has passed with overwhelming bi-partisan support through both bodies in Montana's legislature and was signed by the governor of the opposite party. Although most speeches involving politicians tend to lead towards rhetoric, Daniel's goal is to share enough information to be able to understand why change has not taken place yet, and leave you understanding how to remedy that. His story will give you insights into the politics that states and the nation face when reforming these issues, and his down to earth approach will bring the topic down to a level of humor and easy understanding. There is no need for any technical or political insight to be able to appreciate this topic and the work Daniel has done on behalf of the more technologically savvy enthusiasts. The theme of DEF CON 26 would be inconsistent without taking into consideration policy and how it ties in closely with technology. Technology relies on policy, and policy has the implications of dictating the use of technology. The two can go hand in hand, or end up squaring up against each other. You are an important, and lesser heard voice in the world of aged politicians with limited vision. The Orwellian state existed due to a mixture of bad policies and technology. Although the theme focuses on technology used to disrupt the surveillance state, the other half of the battle is ensuring this state does not reach the disastrous conclusions of 1984. Daniel believes we can move forward with technology without living in fear of our government. If you want to have some hope and direction towards the future of policy regarding surveillance and technology, Daniel will leave you with the optimism that there is still a chance that our nation can have a balanced approach that ensures 1984 does not become the norm in the future and will help you understand how to take part in this action.



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