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F-Secure won't speak at imperialist lackey RSA's 2014 conference

Research head Mikko Hypponen picks up his bat and ball and goes home

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

Fallout from the allegation that RSA helped the NSA undermine crytpography standards is spreading, with Finnish security vendor F-Secure uninviting itself from the 2014 edition of RSA's eponymous conference.

The reason, says F-Secure's chief research officer Mikko Hypponen, is that RSA is an imperialist running dog. His strongly-worded missive addressed to EMC's Joe Tucci and RSA's Art Coviello says he won't show at RSA and won't deliver his planned speech titled "Governments as Malware Authors" at RSA 2014.

His reasoning for the cancellation is as follows:

“I don’t really expect your multibillion dollar company or your multimillion dollar conference to suffer as a result of your deals with the NSA. In fact, I'm not expecting other conference speakers to cancel. Most of your speakers are american anyway – why would they care about surveillance that’s not targeted at them but at non-americans. Surveillance operations from the US intelligence agencies are targeted at foreigners. However I’m a foreigner. And I’m withdrawing my support from your event.”

Hypponen's being a little disingenuous, because while RSA appears to have done something at the NSA's behest, the wider Snowden-derived scandal reveals that the USA has surveilled its own citizens as well as foreigners. If RSA has indeed fiddled crypto, as is alleged, that effort would have helped domestic and global scrying.

But Hyponnen's not alone in thinking a boycott of US technology concerns is apt: our own Trevor Pott made just such a call back in June. ®

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