3rd Workshop on Obfuscation
Online - May 4 & 7, 2021
The aim of the workshop is to convene participants around the concept and practice of obfuscation in digital societies. We welcome researchers, scientists, policy makers, public-interest developers and coders, journalists, activists, artists and other interested parties to discuss obfuscation in environments and conditions of asymmetrical power and information. The workshop will open with a vernissage on May 4, 2021, where we will welcome all participants and release artworks and media from invited speakers.
Since we began planning the “International Workshop on Obfuscation: Science, Technology, and Theory” a year ago, there have been numerous shifts in the world’s technological, political, and economic landscape, from a US election influenced by email leaks and algorithmically-promoted fake news stories, to the merger of some of the world’s largest telecom and media companies into data-driven advertising behemoths, to data breaches of major entertainment companies, healthcare providers, and voting systems (to name but a few). We define obfuscation as the production of noise modeled on an existing signal in order to make data or information more ambiguous, uncertain, and difficult to exploit—an idea that is particularly salient in the era of big data technologies. In concert with other practices and tools, obfuscation offers a novel and unique means of evading data surveillance, building privacy-respecting platforms without sacrificing utility, and improving security (including through obfuscating code or hardware itself). However, while obfuscation has long been a methodology engaged by researchers and developers in certain subfields of computer science, engineering, and applied technologies, it has only recently been taken up and studied as a broader strategy or set of tactics by humanists, social scientists, policymakers, and artists.
See 2nd Workshop report here.