Favourite talks of 31c3 (with a special focus on talks by women)

4 January 2015

There are so many talks up online from the Chaos Communication Congress that it can be a little hard to know where to start watching. Here are some of the favourite talks that I had the pleasure of watching, and some others recommended by kind people on Twitter - in the spirit of bringing attention to the great talks held by women, I have prioritised those talks in this list. Included below the embedded videos is a list of all of the other talks that were also recommended.

Information Control + Strategic Violence: How governments use censorship and surveillance as part of their violent repressive tactics

#### by Anita Gohdes

Anita talked about her fascinating research together with the Human Rights Data Analysis Group into internet access and types of violence - ie. targeted, or untargeted - by the Syrian government during the conflict. It was an engaging talk, both in style and substance; despite the tragic topic, it was good to hear real life applications of people’s work, in contrast to many of the slightly abstract topics covered at the Congress.

The Only Thing We Know About Cyberspace Is That Its 640x480: One Terabyte of Kilobyte Age

#### by Olia Lialina

This is a really entertaining talk about Olia’s work on early web culture, ranging from animated GIFs, and focusing on Geocities - hence the name, ‘One Terabyte’ as all of the archived Geocities sites, it turns out, make up a terabyte. The accompanying Tumblr is also fascinating to browse through, which posts a screenshot every 20 minutes of an archived Geocities home page.

Jugend hackt [de]

#### by Maria Reimer, Fiona Krakenbürger, Philipp Kalweit, Max Nagy, Lukas and Nico

I suspect this might have been the only talk that included kids on stage, and it was wonderful to hear from them! This was a talk about the code literacy initiative Jugend hackt, organised by my colleagues over at Open Knowledge Foundation Germany - I can testify that it was a wonderful event, and I’m really glad that they got a chance here to share what they’ve been doing with a wider audience. The kids were also impressively engaging and calm as presenters!

#### by Julia Reda

This was by far the most recommended talk by the twittersphere, when I was asking for best talks especially those by women: Julia Reda is an MEP for the Pirate Party here in Germany, talking about copyright reform.

Let’s build our own personalized open textile production line

#### by Hong Phuc Dang

Recommended by David Dchtoo, this talk included “Great project selection, and presence”

Mit Kunst die Gesellschaft hacken: Das Zentrum für politische Schönheit [de]

#### by Stefan Pelzer and Philipp Ruch

I’ve only included talks by women so far - but this comes with such great reviews from everyone that I had to include it. It’s in German, by the group that did the controversial action of removing white crosses which formed part of a Berlin Wall memorial, to other borders in the south of Europe in protest against “Europe’s hypocrisy in fortifying its borders in the south border”.

Deine Rechte sind in diesen Freihandelsabkommen nicht verfügbar: Der Protest gegen TTIP und CETA [de]

#### by Katharina Nocun

Another German talk - this time, about TTIP.

Die Krise der Bilder ist die Krise der Politik, Die Krise der Politik ist die Krise der Bilder [de]

#### by Mareike Foecking

This comes recommended by Sam Muirhead, whose artistic taste I trust! Mareike talks here about photography and political imagery. [de]

Doing right by sources, done right

#### by Sarah Harrison and gracefire

On protection of sources - not just the technical aspects of getting the information journalists need from them, but the potential issues that might arise afterwards. It was a little ‘lecture’-y in terms of style, but interesting to hear Sarah’s perspective on how the Guardian left Snowden effectively stranded in Hong Kong after he had given them the information they needed.

Damn Vulnerable Chemical Process: Exploitation in a new media

#### by Marmusha

Talk description: “Come to the lecture and learn what it takes to exploit a physical process: how to find vulnerabilities and how to exploit them with minimal cost and maximum impact. Get astonished about the gazillion of uncertainties you will have to face on your way to disruptive goal and realize that the TIME is ONLY what matters while designing your attack”

Reconstruction narratives: transparency in the service of justice

#### by Jacob Appelbaum and Laura Poitras

These two had a few appearances during the Congress; I didn’t get to see this particular talk myself, but heard good things about it afterwards.

ECCHacks: a gentle introduction to elliptic-curve cryptography

#### by Tanja Lange and Daniel J. Bernstein

For me, this was an entirely new topic, and on a much more technical topic than the other talks I went to. I love the way in which this was presented - really clear slides (set out so that you can always see the previous slide on the screen as well as the current one) - and really explaining elliptic-curve cryptography from very first principles. They explained this really clearly and thoroughly, and in an engaging presentation style.


You might also like: