Changing techno-optimists by shaking up the bureaucrats

Brenno de Winter

Meet the Netherlands: a nation filled with techno-optimists protecting
our freedom by puting in place restrictions on what you can do, reducing
our privacy and have technology as a solution for anything and
everything. When you make a trip we store your details for two years,
your airplane meal selection from two years earlier is good data to test
with and when migrating the government website we keep the old website
running in an unmaintained state. If you have nothing to hide nothing
can go wrong and there is nothing you can do.

Well not quite. What would happen if you play the system? If you would
take the train and hack the card? What if you were to pick up the
resistance you face and use it in your advantage. No matter what the
costs would carry on? If you would take some data and show the failures?
Not just once but a full month long and call that month Leaktober. What
if you would publicly call the failures with our personal data?
Ultimately you make a difference. You change the law, you changes the
rules of the game and you really can raise the question if storing all
that data is really needed. Ultimately people really start to doubt if
this is the right way to go.

This is a strategic and tactical story on how you can regain some
privacy and data protection. Even though for a journalist this should be
normal work, thanks to some people these things become very personal. It
ends in criminal prosecution, legal threats, insults, a successful
counter hack and ultimately a lot of benefits. But standing up for a
cause does work as long as you focus on the stories you want to bring.
My story is about hacking the system from the inside, overcoming fear
and showing bureaucrats that hackers are people too. The talk is a
lessons learnt how a few people can change a nation with hacker beliefs
if they really want to. A guideline on how to make a difference by
hacking the system you want to change. Where you can even make huge
mistakes, but with some luck you can win a world. How you can make your
critical voice be heard. Zillions of lessons learnt.