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AM report for Jacob Appelbaum

Jacob Appelbaum is a a perfect match for Debian both in terms of
technical skills and in terms of compatibility with ours spirit and
free software values.

I thus recommend Jacob as a Debian Developer.

1. Identification & Account Data
   First name:      Jacob
   Middle name:     -
   Last name:       Appelbaum
   Account:         ioerror

2. Background

I became aware of Linux in the late 90s. My first install was on a
PowerPC 7200/90; I'd met a very nice hacker named Jason Haas at Linux
world in San Francisco while still in High School. Jason gave me
literally over one hundred Linux PPC install CDs to hand out to people
in my community. He helped me configure X over the telephone from
California to his home in Wisconsin. The very idea that a total
stranger would help another person with their computer or that the same
computer would run on software written by thousands of such people absolutely
blew my mind! To this day, I remember that I felt honored by Jason. His
desire to help me understand Linux was driven by a new trend that has
since appeared in nearly all human societies around the globe. He was
an early example of a Free Software hacker in my life experience.

Free Software as a philosophy was something I'd read about after some
Linux use and I admit that at first, I didn't really understand all of
the wisdom involved in software licensing. I was quite interested in
system administration, computer programming and computer security
while I was in college. Both of those interests led me to take a course that
focused on Linux as a platform. It was perhaps luck or the well
connected nature of the Free Software world that struck me that
year. I had a classmate who introduced me to the real core philosophy behind
the GPL and Free Software as a whole. That year, my classmate brought me
to San Francisco again and I met Richard Stallman. It was an intense
lunch. He personally explained the ideas behind the GPL to me over our
meal. I was surprised that he ate meat but in actuality, not very much beyond
that was surprising to me. His explanations of Free Software moved me
and I realized that it was an important cause; it's a cause that
touches everyone in the information age and it's a cause that helps to empower
everyone. It was a very inspiring moment in my life. This is when
Linux became Gnu/Linux in my mind. I believe at the time, Richard was
planning on becoming a Debian developer himself. At the time I was certainly
not ready to contribute to Debian but my interest in Free Software grew
from that point. It was not simply about computers after that moment - my
life was changed by the people who had shown me a new path. This
change has brought me great joy and it pleases me to work on Free Software
related systems. It is fun to understand the systems that move our
world. It is even more fun to help create them!

I want to continue this trend. I have been using Debian for many years
now and I feel that it important to help the project. It is gratifying
to package software for Debian or to help improve Debian in any way
that I am able. I hope to learn new skills along the way and to learn new
ways to apply those skills to help improve Debian.

As of today, I have packaged four pieces of software for Debian, I've
mentioned those packages above. They're all part of the Debian forensics
subproject. There are many other pieces of upstream software that I
look forward to writing. I specifically have an interest in helping Debian
with Security, Privacy and Anonymity. A primary goal of mine is to
someday become part of the Debian Security team. Another is to help
package security, privacy and anonymity software. Yet another is to
help spread the adoption of Free Software in an effort to supplant non-free
platforms and non-free software programs.

My day/night job focuses on Free Software; I am employed by the Tor
Project as a developer and advocate. I regularly help people to use
Free Software and I author Free Software that I believe enables people to
do so. I am a firm believer in free speech and freedom of expression.

In my private life, I am also a researcher and a founder of a public
non-profit hacklab in San Francisco called Noisebridge.

As a researcher in Noisebridge, I started the Cold Boot Attack project
(which is directly related my packaging efforts). This project won
both a USENIX Security Best Student Paper award (though I am not a student
in the formal academic sense) and a pwnie award at the Black Hat
conference in 2008. More information on this project can be found on our project

In late 2008 myself and a team of researchers helped to break the x509
trust root for nearly every SSL/TLS user on the internet. Our research
served as a practical example of how to attack a real world system
that utilized a broken hash function. Our team was able to create a Rogue
Certificate authority with the help of 200 Play Station 3
machines. Our CA was able to make valid (though intentionally expired) signatures
for any domain on the internet. This research won us best paper at Crypto
2009; sadly, we were disqualified for a pwnie award because one of the
judges was a co-author. More information can be found on the project

In one of many roles as a member of Noisebridge, I help to promote and
advance the use and creation of Free Software. As a group, we also
bridge another divide and encourage people to create, use and embrace
Free Hardware.

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