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Peter Berghammer died unexpectedly from heart failure. He was an innovator who was the founder of Copernio and served as the Senior Strategist for Public Communications Worldwide.
On September 29, just two days before his death at age 51, Peter Berghammer, the aerospace and defense industry expert, successful entrepreneur, physicist and cryptographer, who was also a frequent speaker on security vulnerability topics, addressed an audience of law enforcement officials and social media aficionados at a conference in Dallas known by its acronym “SMILE,” which stands for “Social Media, Internet and Law Enforcement Conference.” His probing comments touched on many of his favorite themes, such as (just to name a few) the role of user-generated content (UGC), who is committing the worst privacy violations, when does technological cooperation cross the line, and what is the possibility of privacy and security existing side-by-side.
“The answer is almost no,” said Berghammer. “These items are possible only to the degree that users take advance pro-active steps to ensure it. The average user is tagged, tracked, snooped, profiled and categorized ad infinitum on everything they use… and not by law enforcement either.”
“And then you know our friends at Anonymous decided, ‘well you know that’s not quite right, you don’t just round people up, restrain them and then mace them.’ So, they went ahead to this wonderful site, if you know it or don’t, you should and trust me if you don’t lock down your servers you will know this site one day. Which is Pastebin. So they went ahead and said, ‘Hey, based on this guy’s badge, who the hell is this guy?’ So, they went ahead and outed Officer Bologna. Home address, family, relatives, relatives’ addresses and phone numbers, etc, etc. Everything and anything you could want to know about this guy was outed. And his family, and his kids. So, you know things just escalate from there.”
As if to underscore his point, Anonymous then reportedly hacked into the Website of the International Association of Chiefs of Police during their annual conference in Chicago, releasing 600 MB of documents and personal data about IACP members.