Eleanor Saitta

My bio:

Eleanor Saitta is a hacker, designer, artist, writer, and barbarian. She makes a living and a vocation of understanding how complex systems and stories operate and redesigning them to work, or at least fail, better. Her work is transdisciplinary, using everything from electronics, software, and paint to social rules and words as media with which to explore and shape our interactions with the world. Her focuses include the integration of technology into the lived experience, the humanity of objects and the built environment, and systemic resilience and conviviality.

Eleanor is a member of the advisory boards at the International Modern Media Institute, the Freedom of the Press Foundation, Geeks Without Bounds (GWoB), the IFTF Governance Futures Lab, and the Calyx Institute, is part of the Trike and Briar/Bramble software projects, and works as a freelance security architecture and strategy consultant to news organizations, NGOs, and software teams like Mailpile and Commotion.

Prior to this, she was Principal Security Engineer at the Open Internet Tools Project (OpenITP), directing the OpenITP Peer Review Board for open source software and working on adversary modeling, and had a long career in the commercial security consulting space. She also previously co-founded the Constitutional Analysis Support Team (CAST) and the Seattle-based Public N3rd Area hacker space.

* IMMI (http://immi.is) is an organization which works toward rethinking media and ITC regulation for the digital age.

* The Freedom of the Press Foundation (https://pressfreedomfoundation.org) is a non-profit organization dedicated to helping support and defend public-interest journalism focused on exposing mismanagement, corruption, and law-breaking in government.

* GWoB (http://gwob.org) is an accelerator for humanitarian tech projects.

* The Institute for the Future's Governance Futures Lab (http://www.iftf.org/govfutures/) brings social inventors and futures thinking to the challenge of designing better systems of governance.

* The Calyx Institute (https://calyxinstitute.org) is a research, education and legal support group devoted to researching and implementing privacy technology and tools to promote free speech, free expression, civic engagement and privacy rights on the Internet.

* Trike (http://octotrike.org) is an open source threat modeling methodology and tool which partially automates the art of security analysis.

* Briar (http://briarproject.org) is a transport-agnostic, decentralized, latency-tolerant, message-oriented data transfer protocol supporting forward secrecy, persistent pseudonyms, and multiple devices.

* CAST (http://const.is) works with national constitutional assemblies to improve the quality of the documents they create and ensure they correctly represent the stated intention.

* OpenITP (http://openitp.org/) supports and incubates a collection of free and open source projects that enable anonymous, secure, reliable, and unrestricted communication on the Internet.

Eleanor is a regular speaker at conferences, universities, and other institutions including the The Conference, the CCC Congress, Hack in the Box, Transmediale, the Creative Time Summit, ToorCon, Knutepunk, Arse Electronic, Harvard, Yale, and the London ICA. She is nomadic, living mostly in airports and occasionally in New York, London, Stockholm, and Berlin. She can be found at http://dymaxion.org and on Twitter as @dymaxion.

Examples of previous talks:

  • No Neutral Ground in a Burning World

    The news of the past few years is one small ripple in what is a great wave of culture and history, a generational clash of civilizations. If you want to understand why governments are acting and reacting the way they are, and as importantly, how to shift their course, you need to understand what they're reacting to, how they see and fail to see the world, and how power, money, and idea of rule of law actually interact.
    Our relationships with work and property and with the notion of national identity are changing rapidly. We're becoming more polarized in our political opinions, and even in what we consider to be existential threats. This terrain determines our world, even as we
    deal with our more individual relationships with authority, the ethics
    imposed by our positions in the world, and the psychological impact of learning that our paranoia was real. The idea of the Internet and the politics it brings with it have changed the world, but that change is neither unopposed nor detatched from larger currents. From the battles over global surveillance and the culture of government secrecy to the Arab Spring and the winter of its discontent, these things are part of this moment's tapestry and they tell us about the futures we can choose. The world is on fire, and there is nowhere to hide and no way to stay neutral.

    Speaker: Quinn Norton Eleanor Saitta
    Event: 30th Chaos Communication Congress [30c3] by the Chaos Computer Club [CCC]

  • How To End Online Harassment

    http://videos.theconference.se/eleanor-saitta-how-to-end-online

    Eleanor Saitta is a hacker, designer, artist, writer, and barbarian. She makes a living and a vocation of understanding how complex, transdisciplinary systems and stories fail and redesigning them to fail better. In this talk Eleanor speaks about online harassment from a practical systems design perspective -- harassment isn't the same everywhere online and that means we can build systems that let people help themselves.

  • Threat Modeling and Security Test Planning [Audio Only]

    http://x.hope.net/audio/high/threatmode-128.mp3

    How do I figure out if the application I've designed is secure? What do I need to test? When do I need to start thinking about security? How does what an application is designed to do affect how it's tested? How do high-level security goals relate to protocol bugs? How do I know when I need specialist review? How do I figure out if my users will be able to use my application securely? If you've found yourself asking questions like these or if you're just realizing that maybe you should be asking them, this talk will give you tools to work with. The work that a security analyst does can be opaque, but understanding it will save you time and help you build a more secure application. This talk will cover threat modeling (both on its own and as a driver of high-level test planning), when and which kinds of low-level tests you should be including, with special attention paid to parser/protocol bugs. Examples will be shown from both the commercial space and the world of software designed for high-risk users, with specific focus on some of the particular challenges of the latter arena. Speakers: Eleanor Saitta

  • Internet Politics at the Electron Workshop

    Hacker, designer, artist, and writer, Eleanor Saitta speaks at The Privacy Workshop, Federation Square, in Melbourne, Australia, October 17th, 2014. Details at https://privacy.electronworkshop.com.au

  • Wizards, Mystics, Gods & Monsters

    Hacker, designer and artist Eleanor Saitta looks at the role of power and intent in innovation and design, and where the lore associated to chaos magick can help us interpret it. Finding where these analogies enable us to understand where exclusion lies, Eleanor shows us how this summons incomplete versions of the world we inhabit.

    A mini-conference inside FutureEverything 2015, hosted and guest curated by artist and designer Tobias Revell, and FutureEverything’s Natalie Kane, Haunted Machines reflected on the narratives of magic and hauntings pervading our relationship with technology and began to analyse why these narratives exist, what they mean and what they do.

  • Long Live the Protocoletariat!

    "We're winning! The future looks like network politics!

    Wait, what the hell are network politics and how do they work? Is that like the Pirate Party, or the IETF, or Anonymous?

    In this talk, We'll try to answer this question, or at least confuse the issue in an enlightening manner. We'll speak about the International Modern Media Institute, the work we did with the Constitutional Analysis Support Team in Iceland last year, what happens when Liquid Feedback meets pogroms, how a do-ocracy decides to not do something, how not to be governed (which turns out to be quite like how not to be seen), why incomplete politics are useless, what a protocoletariat is, and other topics for our emerging post-democratic future."
    Speakers: Eleanor Saitta, Smári McCarthy

    Recorded at 29c3 Chaos Communication Congress, 2012-12-29

  • Larp and...

    Nordic larp and tools we've developed to design and understand games provide a unique toolkit for understanding the cultural and emotional impact of systems that bridge the social and the technical, infrastructural, or political worlds. The 21st century will be defined more than anything by the social impact of infrastructural systems, so let's look at how larp can interact with other disciplines.

    From Nordic Larp Talks Copenhagen 2015.

  • Aesthetics as a Proper Superset of Evaluatory Modes

    Hacker, designer, artist, writer and barbarian Eleanor Saitta presents on 'Aesthetics as a Proper Superset of Evaluatory Modes' on 30 May 2015..

    Chaired by Berlin artist and theorist Hito Steyerl, FOMO was a three-day event that brought together leading international theorists, academics, social thinkers and artists to discuss postdigital anxieties and the social condition.

  • Networks and Nation States

    Moving from a centralized, institution-driven culture to a network structure would imply massive disruption even without the simultaneous failure of neoliberalized capital and onrushing climactic and resource catastrophe. As we understand of our current position, we must expect an unprecedented degree of societal disruption. The shape of that disruption is determined in part by the nature of institution to network transition. If we want to understand this disruption, we have to start here.

    In this talk, we’re going to look at a couple of specific, concrete projects that point to that shape, namely the Constitutional Analysis Support Team and our work in conducting a threat model of the Icelandic constitution and the Sukey project in London, a crowd-sourced, distributed, real-time activist counterintelligence system. With these projects, we’ll paint a picture of the structures of institutional failure and reconstitution and what a hollow institution looks like in practice. We’ll close with discussion of the problems of institutional discretion and the jurisprudence of networks.