Presented by

  • Lizzie O’Shea

    Lizzie O’Shea

    Lizzie O’Shea is a lawyer, broadcaster, and writer. She is a founder and board member of Digital Rights Watch, which advocates for human rights online. Lizzie also sits on the board of the National Justice Project, Blueprint for Free Speech and the Alliance for Gambling Reform. Lizzie’s work has seen her receive the Davis Projects for Peace Prize and she has also been named a Human Rights Hero by Access Now. She believes Open Source rebalances power in favour of the user by prioritising security by design, rather than imposing a requirement of trust in circumstances where users are not empowered.


Technological advancement is not just about intelligent design, clever cryptography or brilliant coding; it’s also a function of power. To make technology work for people, we need to take this power back – and demand that the development of technology involve social, political and ethical considerations. Protecting encryption is about protecting democracy – it is about shifting power away from states and companies and towards people. In late 2018, digital rights activists took on the national security establishment to try to resist attacks on encryption. It was a important and spirited effort but it was ultimately unsuccessful. The AABill passed, despite it being widely-accepted as a serious threat to our digital security. This talk will explain how that occurred, and how the intersection of technology and politics can be a challenging place for people interested in good public policy. If we are going to improve our laws and public policy in relation to technology, we are going to need to fight for it. This requires a broad based alliance. We must take highly technical debates to the mainstream. It means finding ways to discuss these issues with precision but also simplicity, with determination but also compassion. The opportunities are there provided we can organise and make the most of them. Linux Australia: YouTube: