F-Secure researcher Mikko Hypponen cancels his RSA conference speech
Esteemed security researcher Mikko Hypponen has confirmed that he has canceled a speech at the upcoming RSA Conference USA 2014 as part of his protest against news that the RSA facilitated National Security Agency's (NSA's) controversial surveillance program.
Former NSA contractor Edward Snowden recently leaked a secret document showing an agreement between cyber security leader RSA and the government agency NSA. As per the leaked document, the NSA hit a $10 million agreement with RSA for placing a flawed formula within encryption software/BSAFE crypto tool.
The flawed formula in encryption software reportedly provided the NSA with a "back door," allowing the federal agency to access targeted businesses' and individuals' confidential data.
In protest, Hypponen - the chief research officer at Finnish security vendor F-Secure - cancelled his planned speech and alleged that the NSA had particularly been targeting foreigners.
Announcing his decision, he said, "Surveillance operations from the US intelligence agencies are targeted at foreigners. However I'm a foreigner. And I'm withdrawing my support from your event."
He added that he neither expected RSA or its conference to suffer as a consequence of the security giant secret deal with the NSA; nor he really expected other speakers to cancel their speeches. He tried to put weight to his point of view saying most of the speakers are Americans, who would not care about any NSA surveillance at non-Americans.
Meanwhile, RSA has categorically denied the allegation, claiming that it never kept a secret relationship with the NSA.