Working on the Frontlines: Privacy and Security with Vulnerable Populations

Note: Presentation times are in Pacific Standard Time (PST).

Tuesday, January 24, 2023 - 11:30 am–12:00 pm

Sarah Aoun


What does it mean to work on the frontlines of privacy and security? Working with vulnerable populations and high-risk individuals on privacy and security is incredibly challenging, and can have real implications for people's safety. More often than not, security and privacy researchers can lack context and understanding of what this looks like in practice. In this talk, we will explore the ways in which journalists and activists around the world are targeted for their work, and what it means to be a public interest technologist working to protect them.

Sarah Aoun

Sarah Aoun is privacy and security researcher. For the past decade, her work has primarily focused on providing privacy and security for vulnerable populations around the world. Most recently, she was the CTO and Vice President of Security at the Open Technology Fund, an organization that funds projects and technology focused on countering censorship and surveillance. She led the organization’s efforts to identify and track emerging threats, and to advance the field of information security for journalists, human rights defenders, and high risk individuals. Sarah has worked as an independent operational security and counter surveillance trainer, and has trained countless activists, journalists, and high-risk individuals. She has served as a cybersecurity consultant for dozens of US and international NGOs, helping them implement strategic and operational oversight for information security management, minimizing risks, and establishing stronger safety norms. She was a Ford-Mozilla Open Web Fellow (2017-2018), an Internet Freedom Fellow (2016-2017), and was a technical advisor for the Internet Freedom Festival, the Human Rights Foundation, Global Journalist Security, and Reset.
@conference {285595,
author = {Sarah Aoun},
title = {Working on the Frontlines: Privacy and Security with Vulnerable Populations},
year = {2023},
address = {Santa Clara, CA},
publisher = {USENIX Association},
month = jan,