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Tom Maddox's
Commentary,
Reporting,
& All That

An Incomplete Archive

COMMENTARY & EXCURSIONS FROM PRIVACY PLACE

PrivacyPlace

PrivacyPlace was a website that presented news and commentary about privacy issues. It flourished for a brief but lovely time back, during the dot-com bubble, supported by Lumeria, Inc. in Berkeley, California, one of several companies who wanted to secure personal privacy and make money. Well, they had a pretty good start on one of the two.

At any rate, I was senior editor, and in that capacity I wrote commentary on the daily news, attended conferences, and engaged in a few ventures in fictional commentary. I'm including samples here.

Code, the Net, the Regulators, and Mr. Lessig

Lawrence Lessig, Code

Lawrence Lessig published a book in 1999 titled Code. It turned out to be enormously influential in both legal and technological circles. He's now at Stanford Law School, from where he expends his apparently infinite energies on projects such as Creative Commons—the source of the copyright notice you'll find at the bottom of all the pages on this website—and a host of activities urging a sane copyright regime. This essay examines the ideas found in Code.

Click here to read it.

More recently, in my role as writer and editor at Opinity, Inc., I did a podcast with Lessig about his current ideas and efforts, circa April, 2006. Click here for a podcast with Lessig.

CFP 2000

Computers, Freedom, & Privacy Conference 2000
Toronto, Ontario

I have a distinct soft spot in my heart, and probably my head, for these conferences. They began as get togethers of hackers and the law, and they've evolved into a mix of pretty much everyone concerned with civil liberties in cyberspace. Over the years, I've attended, wandered the hallways, even given one of the closing keynote speeches.

Here's the most complete report of one that I've done in writing, in my capacity as editor of PrivacyPlace. Do note that this was written on the run in my hotel room, sometimes a process that went into very late at night, and was further complicated by my (stupidly) clicking on that "I Love You" message that immediately screwed up a whole bunch of things on the company laptop.

So it all has a certain timeliness about it as well as a gotta get this in on deadline urgency.

Click here to read it.

The Spam Summit

Another report in the line of duty, this time it involved a trip to Washington, DC to see what the spam fighters were up to.
Click here to read it.

Paranoid Paul Reports

Paranoid Paul

Ah, Paranoid Paul—I remember him with great fondness though he didn't exactly exist. Here are three of his assessments of the privacy environment as of the late '90s.

Click on the titles to read them.

Oh, Right, Echelon

The Real Y2K Problem

Zero Knowledge Freedom Software

A User's Guide to Privacy & Security

This was written as a citizen's and user's guide to fundamental issues in privacy and security and was included with the Freedom software from Zero-Knowledge Systems, Inc.

For MS Windows users, I'm providing a link to the Microsoft Help file version of the guide.

Click here to download the file.

Cobra, She Said

Originally published in Fantasy Review, This is one of the first articles on William Gibson's work—which at the time consisted of Neuromancer, Count Zero, and some short stories.
Click here to read it.

Maddox on Gibson

This is a short introduction to Gibson, written for a 'zine named Virus 23.
Click here to read it.