Accessibility: A Creative Challenge to Living without Sight

1700, Friedman
Speaker(s): Shaf Patel
In this presentation, Shaf will be discussing the various methods blind and visually impaired people use to accomplish everyday tasks, with an emphasis on technology, screen reading software, and application design from a blind person's perspective. There will be live demos of screen reading software, OCR apps for smartphones, wearable devices, and mobility aids (time permitting). There will also be a discussion on myths and stigmas relating to blindness, an audience Q&A regarding accommodating those with a visual impairment, and tips and tricks for those who develop applications to include accessibility in their core design.


Censorship, Social Media, and the Presidential Election

1700, Noether
Speaker(s): Elissa Shevinsky
There is increasing interest in the ability of companies like Facebook and Twitter to influence elections. What are the roles and responsibilities of these companies to be fair and impartial? Newspapers express bias and endorse candidates. Facebook employees have even asked if they have a responsibility to (try to) prevent Donald Trump from becoming elected. Twitter has been accused of censoring tweets supporting Donald Trump, while also allegedly censoring posts that were unfavorable to Hillary Clinton. While that is certainly legal, is it acceptable to us as citizens? If not, what can we do about it? And what makes our expectations of bias from Twitter different from our expectations of The New York Times or The Daily News? This talk is an exploration of the ways that social media can influence elections, and what that means for us as citizens.


Crypto War II: Updates from the Trenches

1700, Lamarr
Speaker(s): Matt Blaze, Sandy Clark
For several years, law enforcement has been complaining that legal wiretaps are "going dark" (especially when encryption is used), and has been lobbying lawmakers to mandate "surveillance-friendly" technology that allows the government to break encryption and unlock devices under certain circumstances. At the same time, computer and network security is universally recognized to be in an increasingly dangerous state of peril, and technologists worry that "backdoor" mandates will only make things worse.
We've been here before, not long ago. In the 1990s, after the government proposed the "Clipper Chip" key escrow system, we had a similar debate with similar stakes. It was finally resolved when the government essentially gave up and finally allowed cryptography to proliferate.
This talk will review the current cryptography debate, will examine the risks of the "keys under doormats" that the FBI is asking for, and will explore technical alternatives that could satisfy the needs of law enforcement without making computer security more of a mess than it already is. In particular, Matt and Sandy will examine the viability, and risks, of law enforcement exploitation of existing vulnerabilities in targets' devices to obtain wiretap evidence.