September 23rd 10am PST/ 1pm EST

Human rights defenders increasingly rely on the internet and digital technologies to organize and promote democratic values and protect people’s voices. While these tools have empowered vulnerable communities worldwide to connect and advance human rights, they are also actively exploited by authoritarian regimes to target human rights activists. Increasingly, state actors turn to providers of surveillance-for-hire services to compromise human rights defenders and infect them with malware to surveil and silence them. These digital mercenaries offer malicious tools and services to the highest bidder, putting civil society voices at grave risk. This panel will discuss how human rights defenders, open-source researchers, technology platforms, and emerging democracy leaders can help protect activists and counter this new surveillance-for-hire industry.


Nathaniel Gleicher
Nathaniel Gleicher Public Policy Director, Facebook Mr. Nathaniel Gleicher is the Head of Security Policy at Facebook, where he leads our company-wide effort to counter emerging and persistent threats across our platforms, including influence operations, cyber-espionage, and cybersecurity risks. He is an engineer and lawyer and has worked in security for more than fifteen years. He has taught computer science, built and secured computer networks, and prosecuted cybercrime at the U.S. Department of Justice, served as director for cybersecurity policy at the National Security Council (NSC) in the White House, and as head of cybersecurity strategy at Illumio. At the NSC he developed U.S. government policy on key technology and cybersecurity challenges, including encryption, cyber deterrence, internet governance, and network security.
Ronald Kakembo
Ronald Kakembo Frontline Defenders Ronald serves as the digital protection coordinator for sub-Saharan Africa at Front Line Defenders. He carries the responsibility of providing digital protection support to human rights defenders across regions and improving their overall understanding of the field.
John Scott-Railton
John Scott-Railton Senior Researcher, The Citizen Lab John Scott-Railton is a Senior Researcher at The Citizen Lab. His work focuses on technological threats to civil society, including targeted malware operations, cyber militias, and online disinformation. His greatest hits include a collaboration with colleague Bill Marczak that uncovered the systematic use of Pegasus spyware to target civil society in several countries, including Mexico and the UAE. Pegasus is developed by the Israeli cyber warfare company NSO Group and sold exclusively to governments. That investigation also uncovered the first iPhone zero-day and remote jailbreak seen in the wild. Other investigations with Citizen Lab colleagues include the first report of ISIS-led malware operations, China's "Great Cannon," the Government of China's nation-scale DDoS attack, and the 'tainted leaks' disinformation campaigns strongly linked to the Russian Government. These investigations, and others, have served as the basis for criminal investigations and lawsuits. John has also investigated the manipulation of news aggregators such as Google News, and privacy and security issues with fitness trackers. Recently, John was a fellow at Google Ideas and Jigsaw at Alphabet. John has undergraduate degrees from the University of Chicago and a Master's from the University of Michigan. He is completing a Ph.D. at UCLA. Previously he founded The Voices Projects, collaborative information feeds that bypassed internet shutdowns in Libya and Egypt. John's work has been covered by Time Magazine, BBC, CNN, The Washington Post, and the New York Times.
Eva Galperin
Eva Galperin Director of Cybersecurity, Electronic Frontier Foundation Eva Galperin is EFF's Director of Cybersecurity. Prior to 2007, when she came to work for EFF, Eva worked in security and IT in Silicon Valley and earned degrees in Political Science and International Relations from SFSU. Her work is primarily focused on providing privacy and security for vulnerable populations around the world. To that end, she has applied the combination of her political science and technical background to everything from organizing EFF's Tor Relay Challenge, to writing privacy and security training materials (including Surveillance Self Defense and the Digital First Aid Kit), and publishing research on malware in Syria, Vietnam, Kazakhstan. When she is not collecting new and exotic malware, she practices aerial circus arts and learning new languages.

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