Snowden shocked the world, but few were surprised. Many were amazed by the scale and complexity of the infrastructure. How could so many people be involved in such a massive system without the secret getting out? Surely something that big didn’t need a whistle blower to come forward for everyone to know! The truth of the matter is, looking back in our modern history books you need not look too far before seeing similar operations of magnitude being undertook. Just as secretive, just as wide reaching, and with the pursuit of ensuring ‘freedoms’ the Manhattan Project showed what can be achieved. Its hard on initial inspection to see the similarities between the pursuit of nuclear weapons and how global interception of communications have anything in common, but they do! By inspecting our past it becomes less surprising and shocking that something of this size can be undertook with few people ever realising it or questioning it.

An inspection of Manhattan Project and the recent disclosures have found many interesting and yet surprising recurrences. It is the speaker’s hope by highlighting these recurrences and drawing parallels from our pasts people can start to see where, why, and who are the catalysts for these systems. As the Russians say; Keep one eye on the past and your blind in one eye, keep both eyes on the future and your blind in both!

Arron “finux” Finnon has been involved in security research for a over 8 years. Arron has discussed a wide range of security related topics at a number of Security/Hacking conferences in both the UK and internationally, as well as producing over 100 security related podcasts. Interviewing countless security professionals as part of the Finux Tech Weekly podcast show.

During Arron’s time at The University of Abertay Dundee he was also awarded the SICSA Student Open Source Award for his Advocacy of Free and Open Source software for his work whilst president of The UAD Linux Society.

Arron now spends his time between consulting as well as research for Alba13 Research Labs, a company which he founded.

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