Introducing Keynote James Vasile

James Vasile will keynote Tuesday, June 18 at Open Source Bridge. We’re excited to hear about all his projects and the work he’s doing with the Software Freedom Law Center.

James of Hacker Visions directs the Open Internet Tools Project, which supports development of anti-censorship and anti-surveillance tools. He is a partner at Open Tech Strategies, which advises organizations and businesses with their open source platforms. He also has a strategic advisory role on free software projects as a Senior Fellow at the Software Freedom Law Center. James has helped boot up free software organizations, including the FreedomBox FoundationOpen Source Matters, and the Software Freedom Conservancy.


Q: What first got you into open source?
A: In 1997, I met Eben Moglen. He was the first person to say the words “Free Software” to me. He also told me about Linux, lent me the Camel book and suggested I give Emacs a try. It’s hard to overstate how much that one conversation changed my life.

Q: Why did you stay?
A: As technical capability is increasingly intertwined with every aspect of our lives, free software is the key to distributing access to technical advantages widely and evenly to every person on Earth.

Q: How do you think your projects (or open source in general) are changing the way the things have traditionally been done?
A: I’ve been working on building infrastructure for free software communities that is bigger than individual projects.

Q: What are you most passionate about now?
A: I care a lot about iterating on the gains we’ve made in the free software movement. How do we grow the community and share the benefits more widely?
I also care a lot about the general invasion of technology overwhelming existing norms on privacy and security.  New tech enables privacy and security threats that are hard for lay people to conceptualize and account for. And our frameworks for helping people with these issues are not keeping pace.

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