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Hardware Hacker, E-Voting Investigator, and Public Domain Advocate Win Pioneer Awards
San Francisco - The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) is pleased to announce the winners of its 2009 Pioneer Awards: hardware hacker Limor "Ladyada" Fried, e-voting security researcher Harri Hursti, and public domain advocate Carl Malamud.
The award ceremony will be held at 7 p.m., October 22nd, at the Westin San Francisco in conjunction with the Web 2.0 Summit, co-produced by O'Reilly and TechWeb. LinkedIn founder Reid Hoffmann will keynote the event.
Limor "Ladyada" Fried is a pioneer in the field of open-source hardware and software hacking, helping the general public to engineer and adapt consumer electronics to better suit their needs. Her do-it-yourself ethic is founded on the idea that consumer electronics are best modified for use by customers, not corporations. Fried runs her own company, Adafruit Industries, which sells unique and fun do-it-yourself kits to help consumers make gadgets such as backup iPod chargers, green power monitors, and programmable displays for bicycle wheels. She also hosts an Internet video program called "Citizen Engineer" that provides step-by-step instructions to help consumers build and alter their own home devices.
Harri Hursti discovered gaping vulnerabilities in the widely used optical scan voting machines manufactured by Diebold Election Systems in 2005, in collaboration with the Leon County, Florida, Supervisor of Elections and elections watchdog group BBV. The "Hursti Hack," as his breakthrough became known, brought about far-reaching scrutiny of voting machine hardware and software. Research conducted in other states confirmed numerous systematic flaws and led to the decertification of thousands of faulty voting machines. Hursti is currently Chief Technical Officer of the Clear Ballot Group, a Boston company that builds tools to rigorously and transparently verify election results.
Carl Malamud is a technologist, author, and public domain advocate, currently known for his foundation, public.resource.org. As founder of the Internet Multicasting Service, Malamud was responsible for creating the first Internet radio station, for putting the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission's EDGAR database on-line, and for creating the Internet 1996 World Exposition. Malamud is the author of eight books, including "Exploring the Internet" and "A World's Fair." He was a visiting professor at the MIT Media Laboratory and is the former chairman of the Internet Software Consortium.
"The Pioneer Award winners this year have empowered all of us as consumers, voters, and citizens, making sure that advances in technology enhance our lives instead of hemming us in," said EFF Executive Director Shari Steele. "We're proud to honor Limor, Harri, and Carl for the invaluable contributions they have made to our digital world."
Awarded every year since 1992, the Pioneer Awards recognize leaders who are extending freedom and innovation on the electronic frontier. Past honorees include World Wide Web inventor Tim Berners-Lee, Linux creator Linus Torvalds, and the Mozilla Foundation and its chairman Mitchell Baker, among many others.
Each year, candidates are nominated by the public with winners chosen by a panel of judges. This year's panel includes Kim Alexander (President and founder, California Voter Foundation), Cory Doctorow (award-winning author and activist), Mitch Kapor (President, Kapor Enterprises and co-founder and former chairman of EFF), Drazen Pantic (Co-director, Location One), Barbara Simons (IBM Research [Retired] and former president ACM), and James Tyre (Co-founder, The Censorware Project and EFF policy fellow).
Pioneer Awards keynoter Reid Hoffman is Executive Chairman and a co-founder of LinkedIn. Previously, Hoffman was Executive Vice President of PayPal and has also held management roles at Fujitsu Software Corporation and Apple. Hoffman serves on the Board of Directors for SixApart, Kiva.org, and the Mozilla Corporation. Sponsors of the Pioneer Awards ceremony include MetroPCS, eBay, Microsoft, SaurikIT and Facebook.
Tickets to the Pioneer Awards ceremony are $60 through Friday October 16, and $80 afterwards. You can buy your tickets in advance at http://action.eff.org/pioneerfundraiser. Members of the media interested in attending should email firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information about the Pioneer Awards:
Electronic Frontier Foundation
Media Relations Director
Electronic Frontier Foundation