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Ashkan Soltani
Attended UCSD, UC Berkeley
Lived in Los Angeles, CA
1,035 followers|44,429 views
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Ashkan Soltani

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My first official @TechFTC selfie 
#geeks&whiteboards
Ashkan Soltani is about a month into his latest in a long line of data privacy and tech consulting gigs as the new tech chief of the FTC.
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Ashkan Soltani

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Announcing Floodwatch - a new browser extension lets you see how advertisers see you.  (My latest collaboration with +Jer Thorp )
I’m a 26 year-old from Montreal, a 27 year-old in Vegas, and a retiree with a penchant for photography. Mostly I’m unemp…
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This is awesome

(Donnie Darko remade in 8bit)
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Excited to announce my ‪#PLSC‬ 'Cost of Surveillance' paper w/ Kevin Bankston was published in the The Yale Law Journal today. 

Key takeaways: GPS tracking is ~28x less expensive than traditional covert pursuit. Cellular based tracking is ~53x cheaper.

Direct link: http://www.yalelawjournal.org/the-yale-law-journal-pocket-part/constitutional-law/tiny-constables-and-the-cost-of-surveillance:-making-cents-out-of-united-states-v.-jones

(‪#‎YLJO‬ not to be confused to ‪#‎YOLO‬)
The Yale Law Journal Online (YLJO) just published an article that I co-authored with Kevin Bankston (first workshopped at the Privacy Law Scholars Conference last year) entitled "Tiny Constables an...
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My latest story: NSA leveraging commercial web tracking by Google and mobile apps to target users.
How the NSA piggybacks onto the tracking behaviors of commercial companies to enable exploitation and surveillance.
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I worked on this > NJ AG announces $1M settlement w/ ESEA for illegally using customer's computers to mine bitcoins
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Ashkan Soltani

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Ashkan Soltani

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I finally found a letter that that I had written to Robin Williams in 2002 on an old hard drive.  I wasn't in the habit of writing letters to random stars but for some reason, I became inspired enough and somehow managed to find his email address through old-fashioned internet stalking (yes even then).  

He was probably my favorite comedian, not only because of his wit, but because of the way he would challenge you to keep up/pay attention in order to find the pattern between his seemingly disparate streams of thought (and yes, there was almost always a link).  I met him in person a few years later at macworld, standing around cracking jokes about the how everyone gawking at the then-first-announced iPhone behind glass resembled the opening ape scene in Kubrick's 2001 and even then, I was more in awe of him and the phone.

Here's the note from 27 year old me to him, after seeing him on Charlie Rose's 'The Hour' (mind the grammar mistakes):

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Robin,

I saw you on charlie rose.  all complements aside... I just wanted to respond to a thing you said about 'not having the talent to direct'.

I had this math teacher in middle school.  As a sort of a competition in class, he we would call through a list numbers, much like an auctioneer calling a bid.  He'd go through longer and longer strings '4 * 10 / 5 * 14 + 1 ....' -- sometimes sequences of 30 or more.   They were amazingly engaging... everyone tried to keep up and solve the answers in their heads... just to solve the challenge.  But the gift wasn't in the teacher's ability to recite numbers, or his ability to solve the answer in his head --  it was the ability to captivate and maintain the entire class.  He was always so very good at maintaining a pace where people could keep up.. inching along at just the right amounts as to not lose anyone too quickly, but fast enough as not to bore.  so amazing.

I think you have a similar gift.  Why not direct a movie?  Maybe do it under a different name... or via a different medium. In the same way that you take an audience for a tangential ride through ideas, impressions, comments, trying to keep up and understand the references... to do in film.  I think it'd be a treat, and a mental challenge.  The ability to maintain a narrative is overrated since it means that the narrative must maintain some predictability, which in turn means it has to relate to something we've experienced before.  The key would be to introduce new ideas, to push the envelope in just the right amount.  You have a sense for it as a person working the room... how about as a writer on another medium?

just a fan
-a

----
I think the world is measurably a sadder place because of this loss.
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Eco-friendly alternative to the walking/treadmill desks?
It's being used to power laptops, grind grain for beer, and churn butter.
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Demo video showing that Macbook iSight camera LED can be turned off while recording: http://wapo.st/1eoJP9v

Full story below.
Your laptop's Webcam has a light that's supposed to turn on any time the camera does. But research shows it's possible for hackers to disable the light.
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Guilt by (physical) association: "co-traveler analytics" map real-world relationships by correlating people's movement w/ suspected targets worldwide

My latest story w/ +Barton Gellman 
Snowden documents show agency is collecting billions of records on whereabouts of mobile devices.
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Awesome -- Google engineers +Mike Hearn and +Brandon Downey  confirm our analysis...  and have issued a statement:

"f*ck these guys"
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Thank you Mike. 
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Work
Occupation
Researcher/Consultant
Employment
  • Privacy Researcher, present
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Map of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has lived
Previously
Los Angeles, CA - San Francisco, CA - Lake Tahoe, CA - San Diego, CA - Vancouver, Canada - Washington, DC - New York, NY - Tokyo, JP - Hong Kong S.A.R - Berlin, Germany - London, UK - Paris, France - Wanaka, New Zealand - Sydney, Australia - Tehran, Iran -
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I am an independent researcher and consultant focused on privacy, security, and behavioral economics.
Education
  • UCSD, UC Berkeley
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