Right to Repair and Securepairs on the Agenda at DEF CON 27!

Securepairs will take part in this year’s DEF CON 27 as part of a panel discussion at DEF CON’s Ethics Village that explores the security implications of the right to repair. Check out our all-star panel on Saturday, August 10th!

For three centuries a right to repair, grounded in Common Law, has been central to economic growth and development. In the modern era, tinkering and “modding” propelled the growth of the high-tech industry in Silicon Valley, Route 128, Redmond and elsewhere.

In 21st Century America, however, this fundamental right is under attack. Emboldened by laws like the DMCA and empowered by the steady expansion of software-driven “things,” corporations like Apple, Microsoft -even John Deere are pursuing what some have dubbed “the end of ownership”: the imposition of onerous licensing agreements (aka “EULAs”) that severely restrict how the rightful owners of devices can use, re-use, modify and repair them after they are sold.

Right to repair laws proposed in 20 states in 2019 are an effort to counter this trend: empowering consumers with a legally mandated right to repair the electronic devices they own. No surprise: Big Tech is fighting back with lobbyists and (very) well funded industry groups. They are casting repair as a cybersecurity risk. Access to service manuals, schematics, firmware, and diagnostic software, they argue, is a gift to hackers and cyber criminals.  

But is it? Securepairs will take part in a panel discussion as part of this year’s DEF CON 27 conference in Las Vegas. We’ve invited leading information security professionals, makers and repair advocates to DEF CON’s Ethics Village to talk about the role of repair in a future with tens of billions of connected “things.”

Our panel is entitled Void if Removed: Securing our Right to Repair and will feature an amazing collection of experts and repair advocates including:

Joe Grand – Joe (aka “Kingpin”) is a product designer and the founder of Grand Idea Studio, Inc. Best known as the creator of DEF CON’s iconic badges, Joe specializes in the invention and licensing of consumer devices and modules for electronics hobbyists. He is a former member of the legendary hacker collective L0pht Heavy Industries, where he helped raise awareness of computer security vulnerability research and disclosure. He is a sought after speaker for his work on reverse engineering and hacking embedded systems.

Nathan Proctor – Nathan is the director of U.S. PIRG’s Right to Repair campaign. He works nationally to pass legislation that will prevent companies from blocking consumers’ ability to fix their own electronics.

Paul Roberts – Paul is the Editor in Chief and Publisher of The Security Ledger and the founder of Securepairs.org, a group representing information security professionals who support the right to repair. Paul is a seasoned reporter, editor and industry analyst with more than 15 years’ experience covering the information technology security space. His writing about cyber security has appeared in publications including The Christian Science Monitor, MIT Technology Review, The Economist Intelligence Unit, CIO Magazine, ZDNet and Fortune Small Business. He has appeared on NPR’s Marketplace Tech Report, KPCC AirTalk, Fox News Tech Take, Al Jazeera and The Oprah Show.

Tarah Wheeler – Tarah is a Cybersecurity Policy Fellow at New America, an inaugural contributing cybersecurity expert for the Washington Post and a Foreign Policy contributor on cyber warfare.

Kyle Wiens – Kyle is the co-founder and CEO of iFixit.com, an online repair community and parts retailer internationally renowned for their open source repair manuals and product teardowns. Launched out of Kyle’s Cal Poly college dorm room in 2003, iFixit has empowered upwards of 15 million people to repair their broken stuff.

If you’re going to be in Las Vegas next week, come check us out Saturday, August 10 at 10 AM PT.