Presenters

Summary – Christopher Allen

There’s a problem with thankless jobs maintaining internet security and infrastructure, which create weak spots at various chokepoints.  Chris has spent the last 6 to 7 years identifying what those spots are, and has helped pioneer the concept of self-sovereign identity.  He authored 10 principles of self-sovereign identity and hosted Rebooting the Web of Trust, a workshop for collaboration to build web tooling.

 

Chris likes to see things beyond just a whitepaper and code, but there have been some huge advances in zero knowledge proofs that could be utterly transformational for the industry.  In particular, there’s a method for collaborative key generation called Frost which seems to be maturing.  It creates a homomorphic key that does not exist on a machine which prevents a single point of failure.

 

These tools are open source, and are supported on Github via donations. 

 

The way law works under property doesn’t work well with the digital world.  Chris has discovered some other principles around law which does not require proof of harm but rather works on violation of authority.  It has been codified under Wyoming law as a definition of digital identity, with a set of duties assigned to self-sovereign status.  Other sovereign entities – such as Indian nations – seem to be interested as well.

Summary – Brian Behlendorf

After briefly apologizing for the creation of ad banners and cookies, Brian declared himself a nerd-diplomat working as CTO at the World Economic Forum and helping create digital public goods. Proof of vaccination seemed like a good testbed for digital identity concepts, but a combination of apathy and anger on the part of the public burned him out on vaccine verification tools. To find places where the market cares about digital identity, Brian moved to the open-source Open Security Foundation.

There are two major risks to security – there are so many open-source projects maintained by a single person, and it’s easy for them to burn out and not pass the baton, and there’s a tremendous amount of pressure to look at open-source contributors nation of origin.

Summary – Alan Karp

Alan has a Ph.D. in astronomy, but he used to do high-performance computing at NASA. In 1989 there was no web and no GitHub and he discovered in order to share files there were a stunning number of steps required. In 1996, Alan was working at HP Labs and implemented some ideas he had about how to connect computers using an enterprise view with a focus on enforcing enterprise policy. For a long time, he felt digital identity was unnecessary and overly complicated, and that access management was more important. He helped develop tools such as Simple Cooperative File Share and Everyware.

One of the most important things Alan has learned is that it doesn’t matter how secure the hardware is if the end-user is vulnerable.