2012: planes, sounds and freedom

For security researcher, software hacker and activist Jacob Appelbaum, the equation is clear. Anyone working on surveillance or censorship technology is part of a serious global problem.


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"When someone says that they are in favour of internet filtering, what they're actually saying is that they're in favour of you being ignorant and them having power to be your master. I reject that," he told the 2012 (LCA) conference in Ballarat yesterday.

Appelbaum is one of the key developers of The Tor Project, software that enables its users to communicate anonymously on the internet, and he's represented controversial whistleblower site WikiLeaks.

As a result, he has become a target for US law enforcement agencies, who have detained him a dozen times at border checkpoints and seized his laptop and mobile phones.

In this final of four daily podcasts from LCA, you'll hear Appelbaum discuss the links between the western intelligence agencies such as Australia's Defence Signals Directorate (DSD), security vendors and Middle Eastern governments for which he has little regard.

You'll also hear David Rowe explain Codec 2, audio compression software that can transmit intelligible speech in as little as 1400 bits per second.

Rowe's motivation was to bring telecommunications to people and areas where power was limited. But another potential application is low-power battlefield communication, and that led to Codec 2 being placed in the same category as nuclear technology or the ingredients for chemical weapons.

And Andrew Tridgell, best-known for his role in developing the Samba networking technology, introduces us to his recent work with semi-autonomous unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), including geofencing --- giving the aircraft a geographical boundary within which it must operate.

The hobby is much cheaper than it used to be, and Tridgell suggests contacting the Model Aeronautical Association of Australia, the Canberra Model Aircraft Club and online UAV community DIY Drones.

Running time 46 minutes, 39 seconds

"Metal Free Software Song 2: This Time It's Personal" by Jono Bacon is based on the original "Free Software Song" by Richard Stallman, used under a Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike licence.