Jacob Appelbaum at the Congress on Privacy & Surveillance (2013) of the École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL).
|Institutions||University of Washington,
|Known for||Computer security
former spokesperson for WikiLeaks
Cult of the Dead Cow
spokesperson and developer for The Tor Project
Jacob Appelbaum is an American independent computer security researcher and hacker. He was employed by the University of Washington, and is a core member of the Tor project, a free software network designed to provide online anonymity. Appelbaum is known for representing WikiLeaks at the 2010 HOPE conference. He has subsequently been repeatedly targeted by US law enforcement agencies, who obtained a court order for his Twitter account data, detained him 12 times at the US border after trips abroad, and seized a laptop and several mobile phones.
On December 28, 2013, at Chaos Communication Congress, he presented documents revealed by Snowden, showing that the NSA can turn iPhones into eavesdropping tools and has developed devices to harvest electronic information from a computer even if not online. The devices are listed in the NSA ANT catalog, published in part by Der Spiegel and in full by LeakSource.
Appelbaum, under the handle "ioerror", has been an active member of the Cult of the Dead Cow hacker collective since 2008, and is the co-founder of the San Francisco hackerspace Noisebridge with Mitch Altman. He has worked for Kink.com, Greenpeace and has volunteered for the Ruckus Society and the Rainforest Action Network. He is also an ambassador for the art group monochrom.
As a trusted confidant of the former NSA contractor Edward Snowden, Appelbaum was among several people who gained access to Snowden's top secret documents that were released during the 2013 global surveillance disclosure.
Early life and education
Appelbaum is a high school dropout. In a wide-ranging interview with Rolling Stone magazine in 2010, Appelbaum revealed that "I come from a family of lunatics... [a]ctual, raving lunatics." He stated that his mother "is a paranoid schizophrenic". He was taken away from his mother by his aunt when he was only 6; he was orphaned to a children's home in Sonoma County a couple of years later; a few years after that "courts" awarded custody of the young boy to his father (described as a cross-dressing actor), who responded to his new self-imposed responsibilities as a parent by becoming a heroin addict and turning the home that he and his son lived in into "a heroin den, subletting every room to fellow addicts." When his father tried to commit suicide, it was young Jake who saved his life, only to have his dad die "under mysterious circumstances" "several years later." Having been introduced to computer programming by a friend's father, Appelbaum said, saved his life. "The Internet is the only reason I'm alive today."
Research and activism
In 2005, Appelbaum gave two talks at the 22nd Chaos Communication Congress, Personal Experiences: Bringing Technology and New Media to Disaster Areas, and A Discussion About Modern Disk Encryption Systems. The former covered his travels to Iraq—crossing the border by foot, the installing of Internet satellites in Kurdistan, and his visit of New Orleans post-Hurricane Katrina. The latter talk discussed the legal and technical aspects of full disk encryption. At the 2006 23rd Chaos Communication Congress, he gave a talk with Ralf-Philipp Weinmann titled Unlocking FileVault: An Analysis of Apple's Encrypted Disk Storage System. The duo subsequently released the VileFault free software program which broke Apple's FileVault security.
He is a contributor to Julian Assange's 2012 book Cypherpunks: Freedom and the Future of the Internet along with Andy Müller-Maguhn and Jérémie Zimmermann.
He regards Tor as a "part of an ecosystem of software that helps people regain and reclaim their autonomy. It helps to enable people to have agency of all kinds; it helps others to help each other and it helps you to help yourself. It runs, it is open and it is supported by a large community spread across all walks of life." 
In August 2013, Appelbaum delivered Edward Snowden's acceptance speech after he was awarded the biannual Whistleblower Prize by a group of NGOs at the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and Humanities.
Appelbaum is also on the Freedom of the Press Foundation Technical Advisory Board.
Detention and investigation
Appelbaum has been detained at airports and had his electronic equipment seized several times. In 2010, the US Department of Justice obtained a court order compelling Twitter to provide data associated with the user accounts of Appelbaum, as well as several other individuals associated with Wikileaks. While the order was originally sealed, Twitter successfully petitioned the court to unseal it, permitting the company to inform its users that their account information had been requested.
Appelbaum is an atheist of Jewish background and identifies himself as bisexual. He also is an anarchist and enjoys photography. He has moved to Berlin, where he has applied for residence authorization, his stated reasons include that he doesn't want to go back to the USA because he doesn't feel safe and that privacy protections are better in Germany than in the US. However, in December 2013, Appelbaum said he suspected the government of breaking into his Berlin apartment.
- NSA ANT catalog
- William Binney (U.S. intelligence official)
- Laura Poitras
- Citizenfour (2014 documentary film)
- "Tor Project: Core People". Tor. Retrieved 11 October 2011.
- "Noisebridge user page". Noisebridge. Retrieved 11 October 2011.
- Rich, Nathaniel (1 December 2010). "Meet the Most Dangerous Man in Cyberspace: The American Face of Wikileaks". Rolling Stone magazine. Retrieved 11 October 2011.
- torproject.org: Tor Project: Core People
- McCullagh, Declan (17 July 2010). "Wikileaks editor skips NYC hacker event". CNET News. Retrieved 3 August 2010.
• McCullagh, Declan (16 July 2010). "Feds look for Wikileaks founder at NYC hacker event". CNET News. Retrieved 3 August 2010.
• Singel, Ryan (19 July 2010). "Wikileaks Reopens for Leakers". Wired. Retrieved 3 August 2010.
- "monochrom". Jacob Appelbaum. Retrieved 28 October 2011.
- SPIEGEL ONLINE: Catálogo Revela os dispositivos de Back Door da NSA - by Jacob Appelbaum- SPIEGEL ONLINE
- SPIEGEL ONLINE: NSA Secret Toolbox: ANT Unit Offers Spy Gadgets for Every Need - SPIEGEL ONLINE
- SPIEGEL ONLINE: Interactive Graphic: The NSA's Spy Catalog - SPIEGEL ONLINE
- Democracy Now!: Parte 2: William Binney, Daniel Ellsberg, Jacob Appelbaum falam sobre WikiLeaks e Vigilância | Democracy Now!
- April 20, 2012 | Democracy Now!
- CBS News: NSA can spy on offline computers wirelessly, says security expert - CBS News
- LeakSource: NSA’s ANT Division Catalog of Exploits for Nearly Every Major Software/Hardware/Firmware | LeakSource
- "Cult of the Dead Cow Membership List, retrieved November 10, 2011". W3.cultdeadcow.com. Retrieved 2013-12-05.
- Hartwell, Lane (10 June 2007). "‘So Who Wants to F**k a Robot?’". Wired.com. Retrieved 9 August 2013.
- Appelbaum, Jacob (22 June 2004). "Geeks Love Trees, Too". Greenpeace – Weblog. Retrieved 26 January 2011.
- Rich, Nathaniel (1 December 2010). "The American Wikileaks Hacker". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 26 January 2011.
- "monochrom". monochrom. Retrieved 11 October 2011.
- "Snowden ally Appelbaum claims his Berlin apartment was invaded". Deutsche Welle. Retrieved 28 December 2013.
- Rich, Nathaniel (1 December 2010). "The American Wikileaks Hacker". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 3 July 2014. "An anarchist street kid raised by a heroin- addict father, he dropped out of high school, taught himself the intricacies of code and developed a healthy paranoia along the way."
- Rich, Nathaniel (1 December 2010). "The American Wikileaks Hacker". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 3 July 2014.
- "22nd Chaos Communication Congress: Jacob Appelbaum". Untrusted connection.
- "Unlocking FileVault: An analysis of Apple's encrypted disk storage system". Retrieved 11 October 2011.
- Jade, Charles (December 2006). "FileVault or VileFault?". Ars Technica. Retrieved 6 August 2010.
- Markoff, John (22 February 2008). "Researchers Find Way to Steal Encrypted Data". The New York Times. Retrieved 3 August 2010.
- J. Alex Halderman, Seth D. Schoen, Captain Sassypants, William Clarkson, William Paul, Joseph A. Calandrino, Ariel J. Feldman, Jacob Appelbaum, and Edward W. Felten (21 February 2008). "Lest We Remember: Cold Boot Attacks on Encryption Keys". Princeton University. Retrieved 22 February 2008.
- Krebs, Brian (30 December 2008). "Researchers Hack Internet Security Infrastructure". The Washington Post. Retrieved 6 August 2010.
- McCullagh, Declan (30 July 2009). "Hackers: We can bypass San Francisco e-parking meters". CNET News. Retrieved 12 January 2011.
- "Assange 'The World Tomorrow' — Ep 8: Cypherpunks Part 1". Digitaljournal.com. 2012-06-05. Retrieved 2013-11-02.
- "Assange Episode 8: Cypherpunks, stumbling block in the way of total surveillance — RT News". Rt.com. 2012-06-05. Retrieved 2013-11-02.
- "Interview uncut: Jacob Appelbaum | The Verge Forums". Theverge.com. 2013-03-11. Retrieved 2013-11-02.
- Detlef Borchers (2013-07-23). "Whistleblower-Preis für Edward Snowden". Heise online. Archived from the original on 2013-07-25. Retrieved 2013-07-25.
- Edward Snowden: Die Wahrheit auszusprechen, hat Whistleblower ihre Freiheit gekostet - the acceptance speech in English and German, Die Zeit, 3. September 2013
- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cu6accTBjfs&feature=youtu.be&t=2h23m1s NSA Hearing European Parliament 5 Sept 2013
- Snowden ally Appelbaum claims his Berlin apartment was invaded, Deutsche Welle, 21 December 2013.
- Mills, Elinor (31 July 2010). "Researcher detained at US border, questioned about Wikileaks". CNET News. Retrieved 3 August 2010.
- Jardin, Xeni (12 January 2011). "Wikileaks volunteer detained and searched (again) by US agents". Boing Boing. Retrieved 12 January 2011.
- Fontain, Paul (27 October 2011). "Jacob Appelbaum Detained At Keflavík Airport". Grapevine. Retrieved 31 October 2011.
- McCullagh, Declan (7 January 2011). "DOJ sends order to Twitter for Wikileaks-related account info". CNET News. Retrieved 12 January 2011.
- "Jacob Appelbaum (Part 1/2) Digital Anti-Repression Workshop - April 26, 2012". Retrieved 28 June 2013. "Like, for me, as an atheist, bisexual, Jew, I'm gonna go on, uh - oh and Emma Goldman is one of my great heroes and I really think that anarchism is a fantastic principle by which to fashion a utopian society even if we can't get there."
- "Jacob Applebaum". The World Justice Project. Retrieved June 6, 2014.
- https://gnunet.org/tor2013tum-video video of a talk at the TU Munich from 24. Juli 2013 (statement at approx. 0:05:00)
- NSA Hearings European Parliament on YouTube
- Which government?
- "Snowden ally Appelbaum claims his Berlin apartment was invaded." Deutsche Welle. 21 December 2013.
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