Hacks/Hackers Brighton: July meetup

It's time for another get together of hacks (journalists) and hackers (developers). This meetup is for anyone interested in the space where journalism and technology meet.

We have two speakers at the July meetup:

Bobbie Johnson

Bobby will be talking about Matter, a digital project dedicated to in-depth science and technology journalism, which raised $50,000 in 38 hours by crowdfunding via Kickstarter.

Bobbie is also European editor at technology site GigaOM.

Duncan Campbell

Taking on the unseen snoopers

This month, the government launched an obscurely worded Communications Data Bill intended to place every kind of internet communication and web access under official scrutiny.

Investigative journalist Duncan Campbell has spent nearly 40 years reporting on secret national and global structures of electronic surveillance.

In 1976, he published the first article describing the now well known signals intelligence activities carried out by GCHQ Cheltenham. (See The Eavesdroppers.)  In consequence, two American journalists were deported. He and another journalist were arrested.

In 1978, he faced trial at the Old Bailey and up to 30 years imprisonment for carrying out the type of research into government activity that everyone now does on the net, thousands of times every day. (See Ferrets or Skunks.)

In 1987, the BBC and his home and magazine offices were raided after he made a BBC2 programme revealing government plans to launch Britain's first ever intelligence satellite. The BBC Director General was sacked. (See Banned in the UK.)

In 1988, he revealed the existence of the Echelon network of commercial satellite monitoring stations, and the "Dictionary" system for storing and analysing intercepted private messages. (See Somebody's Listening.)

In 2000, he prepared a well-known series of reports on Echelon for the European Parliament. (See Echelon Report.)

Since 2000, Duncan has also worked as an accredited computer forensic expert, and has audited and examined thousands of call records, call recordings and location data files used in criminal cases, as well as dozens of computers seized from terrorism suspects.

He is a member of the Foundation for Information Policy Research Advisory Council, teaches media studies at Bournemouth University, and is currently preparing reports on offshore accounts and on the role of electronic surveillance in the Syrian conflict.

He will lead a discussion on how hacks and hackers can educate an economically battered electorate in the issues of privacy and security that are claimed to underlie the government's plan to open the internet to their unseen snoopers.

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  • bibi van der zee

    Really interesting talks - particularly about the Matter start-up - and great to see other brighton journos and hacks. Gave me lots to think about. Wish I could have stayed longer to chat.

    July 5, 2012

  • Bill Harpley

    Excellent meeting. Very thought provoking. I will certainly try to attend the next one.

    July 4, 2012

  • Heather McKenzie

    A good turnout and interesting discussions. Plenty of questions and interest in the two presentations.

    July 4, 2012

  • Vicki Hughes

    Fantastic talks as always, great crowd. Just very sad I couldn't stay longer.

    July 4, 2012

  • Tim Goodyer

    Both speakers made very interesting listening. Big thanks to them.

    July 4, 2012

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