34c3 Retrospective

I gave a lightning talk about NeoPG at the 34c3 and talked to some people in the community.


The CCC conference at the end of the year is always something special. The previous years it was in Hamburg, 2017 it happened in Leipzig. I have visited the Congress Center Leipzig before, but not at night:

Reportedly there were 15,000 people at the event. Thanks to the CCC for hosting us!

Lightning talk

I gave a spontaneous lightning talk with seu at the 32c3 about “Die Bundesposcht”, a proof-of-concept app “circumventing” German lawful interception by tunneling IP through SMTP. It was a humoristic comment on new legislation at the time and well received.

This time I planned ahead and applied for a lightning talk on NeoPG in the week before christmas. This was almost last minute, because during the holidays the lightning talks were fully booked! It’s great that participation at the 34c3 is so high. It seems spontaneous talks now have to be given elsewhere, for example at the Chaos West stage, which was just as professional (with video recordings and screen projections) as the official ones.

momo gave me advice to limit the content of the talk to 4 (four!) minutes. I aimed at 4m 40s and had to skip the last slide, so I should have listened to him! He also reminded me to focus on my main message. Several other people gave me advice while I rewrote the talk several times at the conference.

The lightning talk was in front of several hundred people, and I was a bit nervous. I didn’t bring a water bottle with me, and quickly got a dry mouth. Also, I couldn’t see the clock very well from where I stood, and had to rely on the color changes for timing. In any case, it was over quickly, and the applause was very nice!

Discussion and Feedback

Immediately following the talk a devops guy approached me and thanked me for the effort. He has to read and evaluate the security of software at his job, and was happy to hear that NeoPG focusses on source code quality. He asked me if there is any connection to the libressl project, and suggested I get in touch with them. At least I could report that I have some contacts into the FreeBSD community, and that the new code in NeoPG is BSD-licensed.

I also had some discussions with valodim from Autocrypt and OpenKeychain, and with somebody from Schleuder. They provided me with invaluable feedback. Both agreed that there is need for an OpenPGP library that allows custom key management and storage. Thank you for sharing your thoughts on OpenPGP with me!

Slides and Video

You can find the presentation and a link to the video in the new Slides section of the website!

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