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Portugal: Jacob Appelbaum talks 'political exile' and quantum computers

0 18.11.2019 Инфо

*NO CUTAWAYS AT SOURCE*
SOT, Jacob Appelbaum, internet activist: "I left the United States on a business trip. I actually thought I would be back in the United States just a couple of weeks later but I left in May of 2013 and I actually didn't really think that it would happen but I went with one suitcase, and I went to Europe, and I went to India, and while I was in India the Snowden leaks began. And essentially, because of this, I received not only legal advice but my own gut feeling and some sources in the intelligence community let me know now is not a good time to return to America. And so it's been about six and a half years since that business trip started, this is literally the fucking longest layover you can imagine. And it was essentially the beginning of what I would consider to be political exile."
SOT, Jacob Appelbaum, internet activist: "It's really nerve-racking. You go to, you know, a restaurant or you go to a bar and people sit down after you and when they, you know, take their phone out and put it on the table and you wonder 'they didn't have coverage in this restaurant before? so then they have to set someone there?'."
SOT, Jacob Appelbaum, internet activist: "I went and saw a therapist, and I went to the therapist's office, and I told them I was being followed by people and they'd broken into my house but they didn't steal anything. They've gone through my computer account, you know, and I started talking about what was really happening to me. I get detained at the airport, they take my passport and photocopy it, you know they go through my bags, they tell me how I'll be beaten in prison and people with computers they think they're tough but just wait until you're getting raped buddy, right? And the therapist was taking notes."
SOT, Jacob Appelbaum, internet activist: "Well I come back the next week and the therapist doesn't have the notepad anymore and he asks me to step outside of his office. I step outside of his office and he says 'I don't think it's safe here. I don't think that I can be your therapist."
SOT, Jacob Appelbaum, internet activist: "And I still see actually several [therapists], you know, on a regular basis to talk about it. What's going on, how this affects my emotional state, how I have trouble focusing, how I have trouble sleeping, how when I hear creaks on the floor, like I wonder if this is the moment we're finally going to get raided. This is the moment when someone is finally going to kick down the door and put me in a prison. This is the moment where they're going to try to force me to testify against my friends for acts of journalism, revealing human rights abuses."
SOT, Jacob Appelbaum, internet activist: "In theory, some encryption might be able to help you. We've all heard about end-to-end encryption, like the things that WhatsApp has deployed, you know, and that's going to keep us safe. Well there's a problem and that problem is quantum computers. Quantum computers, when they come, a universal quantum computer will be able to solve the fundamental hard problems that make cryptography difficult for someone who's watching and not participating. And what that means is that the time machine of mass surveillance, which is filled with both unencrypted data which they can immediately act on and encrypted data which they can simply store, they'll be able to act on the stored data. Because they will be able to decipher it, they will be able to understand it. I think that quantum computers are probably just an engineering problem at this point. That is to say that in the very near future, there will be universal quantum computers, [in] maybe five, maybe 10 years, and if this is correct, if there are quantum computers, then all of the cryptography that is deployed today will be broken."
SCRIPT
US computer security activist and journalist Jacob Appelbaum spoke about his "political exile" in Europe and the surveillance he says he is under, as well as the consequences that quantum computers will have on encrypted data during a conference at LEFFEST'19 film festival in Sintra on Saturday.
Appelbaum explained how he left the United States in 2013 for a business trip, during which the Snowden leaks began.
"because of this, I received not only legal advice but my own gut feeling and some sources in the intelligence community let me know now is not a good time to return to America," Appelbaum said, adding "it was essentially the beginning of what I would consider to be political exile."
The internet activist also said he is under surveillance and talked about the impact it has on his mental health.
"I still see actually several [therapists], you know, on a regular basis to talk about it. What's going on, how this affects my emotional state, how I have trouble focusing, how I have trouble sleeping, how when I hear creaks on the floor, like I wonder if this is the moment we're finally going to get raided."
Appelbaum later touched on quantum computers, and explained that when that tool will be available, "all of the cryptography that is deployed today will be broken."
Appelbaum was involved in the journalistic investigations of Wikileaks, the Snowden revelations and the cell phone monitoring of German Chancellor Angela Merkel by the US.
Mandatory credit: Leffest'19