Panel on privacy and security

By EDRi · November 21, 2005

The US digital rights organisation EPIC organised a panel with a preview
of their annual privacy and human rights report, with 7 panellists from
all continents, from China to Argentina, and from Israel to the Arab Human
Rights Watch. Speaker Alberto Escudero-Pascual from Sweden/Spain focussed
on the RFID badges given to every participant. Some participants were
given badges in which the mini-chip was included, others were given a
cheaper add-on RFID-sticker on their badge. Escudero-Pascual briefly
explained the results of his earlier research into the RFID badges handed
out to participants in Geneva in 2003.

Though he said the mini-chip could probably not be read at any significant
distance and the tags were probably only used at the entrance where
everybody had to hold their tag against a reader to match the picture on
their badge with the picture of the computer screen, he strongly objected
to the fact that nobody was told about the badges. He also protested
against the fact that the WSIS organisation failed to produce any privacy
statement, in spite of repeated requests from civil society.

Free source software champion Richard Stallman did not let the RFID badge
go by unnoticed. He demonstratively foiled the badge in tin foil,
preventing any secret scanning, but alerting an immense crowd of security
employees to his odd behaviour.

Public Voice Symposium (18.11.2005)

Highlights from the Privacy & Human Rights 2005

Research: the physical access security to WSIS: a privacy threat for the
participants (December 2003)

Richard Stallman Gets in Trouble with UN Security for Wearing a Tin-Foil
Hat (18.11.2005)