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Featured Speakers

Tim O'Reilly | Neal Stephenson | Austin Hill | Duncan Campbell | Jessica Litman | Whitfield Diffie | Steve Talbott |

Tim O’Reilly is the founder and CEO of O’Reilly & Associates, Inc. O’Reilly is the most-respected name in computer book publishing today, but in addition to educating the elite programmers and webmasters who drive technology forward, the company has played a major role in several pivotal transitions in the computer industry. O’Reilly’s Whole Internet User’s Guide and Catalog first brought the web to the attention of the NCSA team who built Mosaic; its GNN (Global Network Navigator) was the first Internet portal (and in fact the web’s first commercial website); O’Reilly’s championship of Open Source technologies such as Linux, Apache and Perl has now once again landed it on the front pages of industry and national publications. In addition to its book publishing operations, O’Reilly also runs a successful series of conferences on leading edge technologies and produces web software. Through the O’Reilly Network, the company manages several important web sites, including and Tim is on the boards of ActiveState Tool Corp, Collab.Net, Invisible Worlds, and EPit. He received Infoworld’s Industry Achievement Award for 1998.

Neal Stephenson is author of Cryptonomicon, the cyberpunk classic Snow Crash, the Hugo Award-winning The Diamond Age, and Zodiac: The Eco Thriller. He has written for Wired and is one of three authors ever to write a fiction piece for Time magazine. Stephenson is one of six visiting fellows at Ernst & Young’s Center for Business Innovation in Cambridge, Massachusetts. He has an almost prophetic vision of the future and a cult following among high-tech thinkers. Growing up in Champaign-Urbana, Illinois and Ames, Iowa, Stephenson decided he never wanted to work in an occupation that forced him to wear hard shoes. In this vein, he began college as physics major at Boston University. Stephenson was lured to study geography because that department had better computers. A capable programmer and acclaimed writer, he finds it hard to work unless he’s listening to music on headphones. Since 1984, he has lived mostly in the Pacific Northwest and has made a living out of writing novels and the occasional magazine article. Currently he makes his home in the Seattle area with his family.

Austin Hill is co-founder and president of Zero-Knowledge Systems, Inc., a leading developer of Internet privacy technologies. A frequent lecturer on privacy and security, he has spoken at international venues including COMDEX, Internet World, ISPCON and the 21st International Conference on Privacy and Personal Data Protection. An authority on privacy-related legislative and policy issues, Mr. Hill recently addressed the Federal Trade Commission on the subject of children’s online privacy. He has been quoted or profiled in leading publications including the Los Angeles Times, the New York Times, USA Today, BusinessWeek, Red Herring, Time and Wired magazine. Mr. Hill has built three Internet companies from the ground up – beginning with his first at age 17. Before co-founding Zero-Knowledge Systems, Inc., Mr. Hill was founder and president of Infobahn Online Services, which merged to form TotalNet, one of Canada’s most successful Internet companies to date. Prior to TotalNet, he created Cyberspace Data Security, an early network security consulting firm.

Duncan Campbell is a freelance investigative journalist and TV producer. In 1976, he revealed the existence and nature of GCHQ (Government Communications Headquarters), the British counterpart of NSA. In 1980, he revealed the existence and nature of the world’s largest electronic spy base at Menwith Hill, Yorkshire, England, as well as the location, existence and capabilities of the British government telephone tapping centre known as Tinkerbell. In 1987, he produced a program revealing the secret plans to construct and launch the first ever British electronic listening satellite, codenamed Zircon. In 1988, he revealed for the first time the ECHELON project, also known as Project P415, for the widespread global automation and enlargement of the spying system on civil international communications. In 1999, as a consultant to the European Parliament, he produced a report containing the first documentary evidence for continued existence of the ECHELON system, and providing an appraisal of its capabilities. 

Jessica Litman is Professor of Law at Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan, where she teaches courses in copyright law, Internet law and trademarks and unfair competition. This semester she is visiting at New York University Law School. She is the author of many articles on intellectual property; her work has been cited by the Supreme Court and reprinted in House hearings. Professor Litman has testified before Congress and before the White House Information Infrastructure Task Force’s Working Group on Intellectual Property.  She is a past trustee of the Copyright Society of the USA and a past Chair of the American Association of Law Schools Section on Intellectual Property. She has served on the program committee for the Telecommunications Policy Research Conference.  She is an Academic Advisor to the American Committee on Interoperable Systems, and a member of the Intellectual Property and Internet Committee of the ACLU and the advisory board of Cyberspace Law Abstracts.

Whitfield Diffie, who is best known for his 1975 discovery of the concept of public key cryptography, has occupied the position of Distinguished Engineer at Sun Microsystems Inc. since 1991. Prior to this, he was Manager of Secure Systems Research at Northern Telecom, a position he had held since 1978. Diffie is a graduate in mathematics of MIT and Dr. techn. sci. (hc) of the ETH in Zurich. Since 1993, Diffie has worked largely on public policy aspects of cryptography.  His position – in opposition to limitations on the business and personal use of cryptography – has been the subject of articles in the New York Times Magazine, Wired, Omni, and Discover and has been the subject of programs on the Discovery Channel, Equinox TV in Britain, and the Japanese TV network NHK. Diffie is the author, jointly with Susan Landau, of the book Privacy on the Line: the Politics of Wiretapping and Encryption.

Steve Talbott is editor of the highly respected online newsletter, NetFuture – Technology and Human Responsibility.  He is also author of The Future Does Not Compute: Transcending the Machines in Our Midst. The library journal, Choice, selected this book for its annual list of the “Outstanding Academic Books” of the year. Unix Review named it one of the “Best Books of 1995.” Talbott is a senior researcher at The Nature Institute in Ghent, New York, where he explores the social, historical, and philosophical foundations of science and technology. In his frequent appearances as a public speaker, he addresses how modern technologies challenge us as individuals and as a society.

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