Technology Empowering U.S. Diplomacy and Development

Mobile Security - Panelist Bios

Privacy and security of information exchanged on mobile devices has become a serious threat to activists, civil society organizations, and ordinary citizens who want to exercise their right of free expression. On mobile devices, every call is recorded, every text message is saved, and every location stored. Especially in countries with repressive governments, most phone operators are willing to share all of this data with the government, putting almost anyone using a mobile device at risk. This panel will discuss mobile security, look at ways that citizens can ensure their privacy, and examine various tools that are available to help citizens protect themselves while using mobile devices.


Jennifer Valentino-DeVries (Moderator) - The Wall Street Journal

Jennifer Valentino-DeVries is a reporter and editor at The Wall Street Journal, working online and in print. Her professional interests include data-driven reporting and behavioral economics. Her current work focuses on technological tracking and surveillance and their impact on business, society and the law.


Derek Halliday - Lookout


Zach Lanier - Accuvant Labs

Zach Lanier is a senior research consultant at Accuvant Labs, specializing in network, mobile, and application security. He has served as a security advisor for numerous clients, including Fortune 500 companies, utilities, mobile carriers and development shops, and higher education institutions. Zach has presented at conferences and events such as ShmooCon, INFILTRATE, and OWASP AppSec USA, as well as local security professionals' groups, on topics such as mobile application and network security, security in virtualized environments, and vulnerability disclosure. Additionally, he has developed and conducted training on network and mobile application penetration testing, and secure mobile application development. Prior to joining Accuvant, Zach served as a security researcher with Veracode, a principal consultant within Intrepidus Group's professional services team, a senior network security analyst at Harvard Business School, and security assessment practice manager at Rapid7.

Ashkan Soltani - Independent Researcher & Consultant

Ashkan Soltani is an independent researcher and consultant specializing in consumer privacy and security on the Internet. He has more than 15 years of experience as a technology consultant and has published three major reports on the extent and means of online tracking: "KnowPrivacy: The Current State of Web Privacy, Data Collection, an..."Flash Cookies and Privacy", and "Flash Cookies and Privacy II" (addendum here). His work highlights the prevalence and practice of tracking online, including the use of specific technologies designed to circumvent consumer privacy choices online. He has served as a staff technologist in the Division of Privacy and Identity Protection at the Federal Trade Commission and also worked as the primary technical consultant on the Wall Street Journal’s What They Know series investigating Internet privacy and online tracking.

Finally, he recently testified as an independent expert in front of the Senate Commerce Committee hearing on "The State of Online Consumer ... and the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on Protecting Mobile Privacy: Yo...

Chris Soghoian - American Civil Liberties Union

Chris Soghoian is the Principal Technologist and a Senior Policy Analyst with the Speech, Privacy and Technology Project at the American Civil Liberties Union. He completed his Ph.D. at Indiana University in 2012, which focused on the role that third party service providers play in facilitating law enforcement surveillance of their customers. Between 2009 and 2010, he was the first ever in-house technologist at the Federal Trade Commission's Division of Privacy and Identity Protection, where he worked on investigations of Facebook, Twitter, MySpace and Netflix. Prior to joining the FTC, he co-created the Do Not Track privacy anti-tracking mechanism now adopted by all of the major web browsers.


Lhadon Tethong - Tibet Action Institute

Lhadon Tethong, Director of the Tibet ACtion Institute, is one of the most influential young leaders and recognizable faces in the Tibetan freedom movement and was awarded the first annual James Lawson Award for Nonviolent Achievement by the International Center on Nonviolent Conflict for her activism for the Tibetan people. A Tibetan born in Canada, she was the Executive Director of Students for a Free Tibet from 2003-2009 and its Program Director from 1999-2003. Lhadon has traveled the world building a powerful non-violent movement for Tibet’s freedom and leading innovative economic and political campaigns against China’s rule in Tibet. A visionary strategist, she led the high-profile global campaign to condemn China’s rule of Tibet in the lead-up to and during the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games. In 2007, she made international headlines as an exile Tibetan who boldly challenged the occupation of Tibet from inside China, posting real-time accounts of her travels through Beijing as it was preparing for the 2008 Olympics on her blog, – one of the first Tibetan blogs in existence. Her presence in Beijing drew the ire of the Chinese authorities and Lhadon was detained and deported from China. A renowned spokesperson on Tibetan issues in the media, Lhadon has also addressed audiences around the world about Tibet’s occupation and the movement for freedom. She has trained and inspired countless students and young people in dozens of countries to become skilled and committed activists for Tibet and for social justice everywhere.

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