Jos Poortvliet – 2019 Speaker’s Showcase

Jos Poortvliet,
Head of Marketing at NextCoud

We are just 1 day away from launching the 2nd edition of LibertyBits Conference and here are the first last-minute changes due to unforeseen circumstances. But you don’t have to worry – we have an ace in the sleeve and it is kinda “Ace-of-Spades”! Kudos for our next speaker – Jos Poortvliet: a privacy advocate and speaker.

Jos describes himself as a people person, technology enthusiast and all-things-open evangelist. Head of marketing at Nextcloud, previously Community Manager at SUSE, recovering business consultant with decade long involvement in the KDE community.

Take a look at the following lines. This boy fully resonates with our core values and is a perfect fit into our agenda and into our pack of brain squad team of speakers!

Hello Jos! Please tell us briefly who you are! 🙂

I’m Jos! I have been an open source and privacy advocate for a long time, because I believe that when people control their own life, society is better off. Privacy and freedom of speech (you can’t have one without the other) are the foundation of democracy, and open source guarantees people aren’t locked in and controlled by their own devices.

Why did you decide to join the speaker’s lineup of LibertyBits conference?

People need to know what’s wrong with surveillance. What’s wrong with ‘walled gardens’ and fake security. The LibertyBits event teaches about those, and more!

What is your understanding of “liberty” (freedom) and what are the most underestimated threats to our modern society?

Sadly most people aren’t aware of the value of freedom. I’m Dutch, but living in Germany now, and due to the history of this country (in particular, WWII and the communist controlled DDR), Germans are very aware of privacy, security and fascism. More so than the Dutch, I have to say. Despite that, even here neo-fascism is growing. It is a worrying trend, especially as these right wing movements are very good at distracting people from the real problems in society – from climate to unlimited surveillance capitalism as we see in the digital world.

I’m a democratic capitalist, if that’s a thing. I believe government shouldn’t dictate how people live, but create and sustain the environment where everybody has equal opportunities and can be who they want to be. It should not surveil people, block their speech or limit their movements. It should, however, make sure that other, undemocratic forces don’t do those things either: large corporations, criminals or other governments.

In some countries, freedom is limited by an oppressive government. In others, by big businesses, investors, rich people who buy politicians, police and ‘justice’. All of them try to gain control over society using technology.

And if you are worried about technology which exists (you should be) – far worse is coming, with deep learning and quickly rising tensions between countries in the world.

What would you say to everyone who thinks that keeping privacy is irrelevant for them because they have nothing to hide?

Well, I could say that about 100 years ago, Jews in Europe thought they had little to hide, but I suppose few people really feel it matters to them. I’ll address it in my talk – let me just say, if you think you have nothing to hide, you must either be an incredibly boring person, or be very naive.

What is the most easy way to protect our privacy if we are not so tech-savvy people?

Luckily there are lots! Encrypted chat is now default even in Whatsapp, which is a big step forward. Go to a local tech community and learn what else you can do to protect yourself.

What are your expectations from the conference?

I hope people can learn something and share what they learned with others.

Thank you thousand times, Jos! It is a real honor to have you among our speakers and we are pretty sure your talk will be an inspiring one! Like you said it, you can not have freedom of speech without privacy, so we really hope that together we will bring more people to rethink their importance of privacy and maybe even change their habits.

If you care about these topics and you want to be part of these conference, grab your ticket here below and free your next Tuesday for our agenda! You won’t regret it!

LibertyBits 2019 will be held on June 25th, 2019 at Sofia Tech Park in Sofia, Bulgaria.

Take the chance and reserve your seat A.S.A.P. for the second edition of LibertyBits Conference here:

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