Riggs in Berlin, 2020
Jacob Riggs is a British crypto-anarchist, ethical hacker, and security expert, best known as founder and director of Deadswitch, a dead man's switch designed to protect journalists, dissidents, and whistleblowers.
In 2015, Riggs was the Chief Architect of CryptKey, a non-profit mobile application project focused on developing authentication tooling and secure communication channels compatible with implantable RFID technology.
Over the course of 2016, Riggs contracted with various charities such as Age UK, Alzheimer's Society, and The Children's Society to help improve their security posture. In 2016, Riggs also began work on Deadswitch, a cloud based zero-knowledge dead man's switch service designed to protect journalists, dissidents, and whistleblowers.
In 2017, Riggs founded Subject Access, a data privacy web-based platform centred on GDPR law to assist UK/EU citizens with exercising their right of access through the use of interactive user-friendly web forms. In the same year, he joined The Guardian as a security consultant and was quickly promoted to a senior security specialist responsible for managing the security, safety, and operational effectiveness of journalists and sources.
Political and economic views
Riggs claims an array of influences from anti-state and libertarian political thinkers, including leftist market anarchists like the mutualist scholar Pierre-Joseph Proudhon, capitalist libertarians such as the Austrian School scholar Hans-Herman Hoppe, and classical liberals including Frederic Bastiat.
On 21 October 2015, Riggs was credited with saving the life of a stab victim who had collapsed in the street with multiple stab-wounds to his left arm, chest and back.
On 13 November 2019, during the course of his research as an ethical hacker, Riggs successfully identified and responsibly disclosed a critical vulnerability in the central UK Victim & Witness Care Unit database, which provided unrestricted access to data on thousands of vulnerable people. The vulnerability was fixed shortly thereafter by the UK National Cyber Security Centre.
- Franceschi-Bicchierai, Lorenzo (29 October 2018). "How 'Mr. Hashtag' Helped Saudi Arabia Spy on Dissidents". Vice.
- "Major projects report 2019: is the government on the right track to boost military capacity?". Civil Service World.
- "Jacob Riggs, Security Specialist at Guardian News & Media". LinkedIn.
- "Deadswitch: A mechanism that protects your data at all costs". Kickstarter.
- "WikiLeaks 'dead man's switch'? Assange's arrest prompts speculation about possible major data dumps". RT (TV network).
- Hakim, Seema. "Plaistow man rushes to help stabbing victim". Newham Recorder.
- "Jacob Riggs on HackerOne". HackerOne.