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While the atmosphere was open and fun, as seen in the hardware hacking area above, a recurring theme was learning from the mistakes of the US and its current NSA debacle.
Featured presenter Igor Nikolic explained current issues weighing on hackers to Serbian press during interviews at BalCCon, notably privacy protection in relation to Internet companies and the intelligence services of some states:
Private data are currently more vulnerable than ever, and I think that it will only get worse. Whether through social networks where we leave our own data, or through oversight, or wrongful taking of data.
What some states are doing currently borders on fascism.
(...) Personal information that is collected through the Internet is certainly not used by ordinary people; it is primarily used for commercial purposes.
Companies use data for profiling and direct marketing. Certain countries (or those in power) do much worse. What is scary is that it does not matter just what I do, but what my friends and their friends do: the fact is that it is now very easy to monitor.
We see this in the current example of the United States, where the government has monitored hundreds of thousands of people over the internet without permission.
Read more about BalCCon in Darknets, wargames and Raspberry Pi at first-ever Balkan hacker conference.