More speakers drop out of RSA conference

In the news media we talk about an event being a one-day wonder.

The allegation last month that security vendor RSA was paid US$10 million by the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) to help make it easier for the electronic spy agency to get into encrypted data has had more than a one-day effect.

The first reaction was when F-Secure’s Mikko Hypponen refused to speak at RSA’s upcoming annual security conference. But according to Computerworld U.S., seven other speakers have also cancelled talks or panel presentations.

They include Mozilla’s privacy chief Alex Fowler, Google security researchers Adam Langely and Chris Palmer; special counsel at the Electronic Frontier Foundation, Marcia Hofmann and Christopher Soghoian, a senior policy analyst at the American Civil Liberties Union.

RSA is a division of EMC Corp. It’s just one of a number of highly visible American high-tech companies caught up in revelations from documents leaked by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden. News media are now combing  through them and their sources to find more information on the capabilities of Western electronic spy agencies and whether some of the biggest names in IT are helping them get around laws people think protect data from unwarranted government snooping.

So far the Canadian, U.S. and British governments have largely maintained that anything their spy agencies do is authorized by law.

The chair of the RSA Conference is quoted as protesting the speaker withdrawals, arguing that the meeting is separate from the company. However, it may be another sign — along with the meeting last month of IT vendors with U.S. president Barak Obama — that the information technology industry resistance is stiffening.

Read the full story here.

Howard Solomon
Howard Solomon
Currently a freelance writer, I'm the former editor of and Computing Canada. An IT journalist since 1997, I've written for several of ITWC's sister publications including and Computer Dealer News. Before that I was a staff reporter at the Calgary Herald and the Brampton (Ont.) Daily Times. I can be reached at hsolomon [@]

Would you recommend this article?


Thanks for taking the time to let us know what you think of this article!
We'd love to hear your opinion about this or any other story you read in our publication.

Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

Featured Download

ITW in your inbox

Our experienced team of journalists and bloggers bring you engaging in-depth interviews, videos and content targeted to IT professionals and line-of-business executives.

More Best of The Web