• Schedule

    • 6pm - 7pm Doors Open and Networking/Dinner
    • 7pm - 8:30pm Panel Discussion
    • 8:30pm - 10pm Party and Networking

About The Panel

Do You Have the Right to Privacy? The Backdoor Encryption Debate

An encryption battle has been going on around the world, as governments and justice department officials push for backdoors into consumers' encrypted communications. These officials believe that end-to-end encryption technology, and specifically the technology built into mobile devices, hinders their law enforcement efforts.

On the other side of this debate are tech companies and consumers, who are strongly opposed to creating backdoors into encrypted communications. They argue that backdoors present a significant threat to security for all Internet users, and are a violation of the right to privacy. They also argue that backdoors present a barrier to technological innovation and threaten the technology community at large.

Our panel will examine arguments being made both for and against encryption backdoors, in attempt to answer the question “do you have a right to privacy?” By examining the encryption debate from a variety of angles, our panelists will explore how encryption fits into law-making and policy, the importance of protecting consumer privacy and technological implications of backdoors. Our panel will provide insight into the encryption debate, and explore ways in which we can both meet the needs of government and safeguard privacy and innovation.

Congressman Will Hurd spoke at our 2016 SXSW panel.

Congressman Will Hurd

23rd District of Texas

Will Hurd was born and raised in San Antonio, Texas. Will served as an undercover officer in the CIA in the Middle East and South Asia for nearly a decade, collecting intelligence that influenced the National Security agenda. Upon leaving the CIA, he became a Senior Advisor with a cybersecurity firm, covering a wide range of complex challenges faced by manufacturers, financial institutions, retailers, and critical infrastructure owners. He was also a partner with a strategic advisory firm helping businesses expand into international markets. In 2015, Will was elected to the 114th Congress and currently serves on the Committee of Oversight and Government Reform and chairs the Information Technology Subcommittee. He also sits on the Committee on Homeland Security and is the Vice Chair of the Border and Maritime Security Subcommittee.

Nuala O'Connor spoke at our 2016 SXSW panel.

Nuala O'Connor

President & CEO of the Center for Democracy & Technology

Nuala O'Connor is the President & CEO of the Center for Democracy & Technology. She is an expert in Internet and technology policy with a passion for the ways in which technology and the Internet can be instruments of global free expression and individual freedom. Nuala has worked at organizations such as General Electric, Amazon.com, and the Department of Commerce. She became the first statutorily appointed Chief Privacy Officer in federal service when she was named Chief Privacy Officer at the Department of Homeland Security.

Our Co-CTO Phil Molter spoke at our 2016 SXSW panel.

Philip Molter

Co-CTO of Golden Frog

As Co-CTO of Golden Frog, Philip Molter oversees development and growth of Golden Frog's worldwide network infrastructure. He is responsible for scaling Golden Frog's products and services, and helps design and implement new technologies, including VyprVPN's proprietary Chameleon technology. In his nearly 20 years experience working with Internet services companies, Philip has developed infrastructure and software for everything from dial-up Internet access to worldwide Usenet distribution.

Alan Fairless spoke at our 2016 SXSW panel.

Alan Fairless

Co-Founder & CEO of SpiderOak

Alan believes working online should be as private as meeting in person. A veteran systems developer with 15 years of experience building robust and scalable distributed systems, he started SpiderOak in 2007. Most recently, he's been working on the world's first Zero Knowledge private collaboration tool for teams and businesses: Semaphor.

Adam Schuman spoke at our 2016 SXSW panel.

Daniel Schuman

Policy Director of Demand Progress

Daniel Schuman has long worked at the intersection of law, policy and technology. Currently the policy director of Demand Progress—a national grassroots group that fights for basic rights and freedoms needed for a modern democracy—Daniel has also served as policy director for Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW), and prior to that as policy counsel with the Sunlight Foundation. In a prior life he was a legislative attorney with the Congressional Research Service. Daniel chairs the Congressional Data Coalition's steering committee and founded the Advisory Committee on Transparency.

Moderated By

Jim Cardle spoke at our 2016 SXSW panel.

Jim Cardle

Publisher & CEO of TexasInsider.org

Jim Cardle is the Founding Publisher & CEO of the online Texas political newsletter TexasInsider.org. He is also the Founder & Chairman of the Austin Economic Club. A 1980 graduate of Texas Christian University, where he earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Economics, he has worked in the banking industry, served as a Congressional Chief of Staff, and for various "think tanks" since returning from Washington, D.C in 1991. He and his wife of 27 years, Elizabeth, have two children.


sponsored by

  • Golden Frog
  • Data Foundry
  • Giganews
  • Spider Oak
  • Anonabox
  • Texas.net

The party and panel discussion are free, but require an RSVP.