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Contest to Protect Internet Users

NLnet launches contest for protection Internet users.
User himself to drive non-commercial security effort.

Amsterdam, May 15, 2008

[Contest webpage]
[Dit persbericht in het Nederlands ]
The Netherlands-based not-for-profit organization NLnet is launching a international competition in which participants must bring together tools to protect ordinary end users against cybercrime and privacy leaks. The launch of the contest will take place on Thursday, May 15 during a security conference in Ede, The Netherlands. NLnet manages a large private fund of some tens of millions, from which the foundation annually invests significantly in social initiatives in the area of open standards, open source, privacy and digital civil rights across the globe. The contest is part of a longer running program to increase privacy and security in the ICT field.

"Normal computer users on the information superhighway all too easily fall prey to external abuse," says Michiel Leenaars, Strategy director of the foundation. "The same opportunities that have transformed the Web into a form of social software have at the same time created enormous vulnerabilities. We want to do something about that, in cooperation with the users and professionals themselves". NLnet works from the premise that security and privacy are too important to merely outsource to individual commercial parties.

"We want to gather in a playful way knowledge about the best tools that ordinary Internet users can use to protect themselves," says Leenaars. That means next to security concerns a second emphasis is on usability, because experience has shown that security that gets in the way of user is quickly turned off or circumvented. The foundation is also looking for ideas how to make available professional tools usable for novice users without many technical skills. The main prize is 2,500 euros, there are some other worthwile prices. The foundation intends to process the results from the competition and bring the best tools together to distribute through various channels. Deadline for submission is August 15, 2008 at 12:00 CET. The results are to be announced before September 15, 2008.

All entries are welcome:
Participation is open to all nationalities. Prices are paid in cash, winners are responsible for any due taxes in their country of residence. Winners may also chose to donate to an open source project of their choice tax free.