Kevin Welch and Chris Boyd of EFF-Austin join Jon and Scoop for a lively discussion of technology past, present, and future. We begin with Jon’s history of EFF-Austin, followed by computer and Internet nostalgia, phone phreaking, encryption, open source software, license plate readers, and location data brokers.
Kevin: One thing we did for the last couple of years was survive Covid, same as everybody else, basically. I think we actually did a lot more than a lot of people because we’re tech savvy and we all live on the Internet.
Jon: Yeah, Zoom meetings.
Kevin: But, yeah, basically we pivoted to doing Zoom virtual meetings for about two years there, keeping our normal monthly meetups going. They’ve now started up again at Capital Factory in person, and they still seem to be attended by people, so we still seem to have a community here in Austin to likes that we exist and appreciates what we do. Probably the biggest political activism we’ve done since then, we’ve been pretty involved in because there’s a big debate going on here in Austin right at this moment, around whether the city should bring back its automated license plate reader program. We’ve been involved pretty heavily with a coalition of other groups here in town trying to defeat that.
EFF-Austin’s Mission Statement
EFF-Austin advocates establishment and protection of digital rights and defense of the wealth of digital information, innovation, and technology. We promote the right of all citizens to communicate and share information without unreasonable constraint. We also advocate the fundamental right to explore, tinker, create, and innovate along the frontier of emerging technologies.