As Reuters reported last year, computer security company RSA allegedly struck a secret $10 million deal to give the National Security Agency a “back door” into its encryption products. Time for some jokes!
In addition to organizing a rival conference, TrustyCon, to protest the RSA Conference in San Francisco this week, security and privacy advocates called on many of the speakers to back out, and many did. But comedian Stephen Colbert chose to go forward with his speech on Friday, and got in some good jokes at just about everyone’s expense.
“I looked at the signatures on the online petition, then I looked at the signature — my signature — on the bottom of the contract saying I’d be here today, and my conscience was clear, as long as the check clears,” Colbert said. “Well, it’s not actually a check. They gave me a bitcoin voucher from Mt. Gox, and I’m sure it’s going to be fine.”
He also cheekily dismissed NSA leaker Edward Snowden, one of whose documents was credited with the revelation that the NSA promoted techniques that gave it a “back door” into encryption products.
“We the people voted for the Patriot Act,” Colbert said, per CNET. “We voted for the people who reauthorized it, and re-reauthorized it. The American people have spoken. You don’t change horses in mid-wiretap.”
The full video will likely make its way online eventually, but in the interim, partial compilations of Colbert’s zingers have popped up on YouTube. This one pays particular attention to the comedian’s “news”: The announcement of his own untrustworthy security solution, the ethereally named Cloud Fog. Sign me up!