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Paul Roberts & Panel: Brazil Redux: Short Circuiting Tech-Enabled Dystopia with The Right to Repair

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  • Paul Roberts & Panel: Brazil Redux: Short Circuiting Tech-Enabled Dystopia with The Right to Repair

    Paul Roberts & Panel: Brazil Redux: Short Circuiting Tech-Enabled Dystopia with The Right to Repair

    Paul Roberts, Founder,, Editor in Chief, The Security Ledger, He/Him
    Kyle Wiens, CEO, iFixit, He/Him
    Corynne McSherry, Legal Director, Electronic Frontier Foundation, She/Her
    Joe Grand (aka Kingpin), Founder and CEO, Grand Idea Studios,He/Him
    Louis Rossmann, Founder, He/Him

    Presentation Title:
    Brazil Redux: Short Circuiting Tech-Enabled Dystopia with The Right to Repair
    Length of presentation: 75 mins

    Terry Gilliam’s 1985 cult film Brazil posits a polluted, hyper-consumerist and totalitarian dystopia in which a renegade heating engineer, Archibald Tuttle, takes great risks to conduct repairs outside of the stifling and inefficient bureaucracy of “Central Services.” When Tuttle’s rogue repairs are detected, Central Services workers demolish and seize repaired systems under the pretext of “fixing” them. It’s dark. It's also not so far off from our present reality in which device makers use always-on Internet connections, DRM and expansive copyright and IP claims to sustain “Central Services”-like monopolies on the service and repair of appliances, agricultural and medical equipment, personal electronics and more. The net effect of this is a less- not more secure ecosystem of connected things that burdens consumers, businesses and the planet. Our panel of repair and cybersecurity experts will delve into how OEMs’ anti-repair arguments trumpet cybersecurity risks, while strangling independent repair and dissembling about the abysmal state of embedded device security. We’ll also examine how the emergent “right to repair” movement aims to dismantle this emerging “Brazil” style dystopia and lay the foundation for a “circular” economy that reduces waste while also ensuring better security and privacy protections for technology users.

    Paul Roberts (Moderator)
    Paul Roberts is the publisher and Editor in Chief of The Security Ledger (, and the founder of, an organization of more than 200 information security professionals who support a right to repair.

    Twitter: @paulfroberts | @securepairs | @securityledger
    Web: | |

    Kyle Wiens (Panelist)
    Kyle Wiens is the cofounder and CEO of iFixit, an online repair community and parts retailer internationally renowned for its open source repair manuals and product teardowns.

    Twitter: @kwiens | @ifixit

    Corynne McSherry (Panelist)
    Corynne McSherry is the Legal Director at EFF, specializing in intellectual property, open access, and free speech issues.

    Twitter: @cmcsherr

    Joe Grand (Panelist)
    Joe Grand is a product designer, hardware hacker, and the founder of Grand Idea Studio, Inc. He specializes in creating, exploring, manipulating, and teaching about electronic devices.

    Twitter: @joegrand

    Louis Rossmann (Panelist)
    Louis Rossmann is the owner of Rossmann Repair Group, a computer repair shop established in 2007 that specializes in repair of MacBooks, iPhones and other electronic devices. Louis’s YouTube channel, with more than 1.7 million subscribers, documents repairs as and dispenses advice and opinions on the right to repair.

    Twitter: @rossmannsupply

    The End of Ownership: Personal Property in the Digital Economy (MIT Press)
    The Right to Repair (Cambridge University Press)
    Study of Firmware finds no security gains in 15 years (Security Ledger)
    Circular Economy Action Plan (European Commission)
    Nebraska Right to Repair Bill Unlikely to see Vote (Agfax)
    Medical device manufacturers press Congress to eliminate competition in repair market (US PIRG)
    I agreed to what? The surprising rights companies claim in Terms of Service (Consumer Reports)
    Explaining the Mac Studio’s removable SSDs, and why you can’t simply swap them out (Ars Technica)
    Repair Off: 10 Month Old Fitness Tracker vs. 55 Year Old Radio (Fight to Repair)
    Combatting Planned Obsolescence with 3D Printing: Who Owns Your Things? (
    Enemybot: a new Mirai, Gafgyt hybrid botnet joins the scene (ZDNet)