Hello! Thank you for your professional interest in me. I am interested in roles as a Privacy Director, Privacy Manager, or Principal Privacy Analyst or Engineer. I am passionate about human rights and the development and enforcement of policies and standards. My approach involves thoroughly understanding problems with depth, breadth, and nuance. I strongly advocate for inclusive collaboration and I firmly believe in holding all levels of leadership, legal, architecture, and engineering to the highest principles. Here’s a three-decade synopsis of why I think I'm a good fit for any organization that genuinely cares about privacy.
1992 - Serious death threats were placed on my family by my late mother's ex-partner. We evacuated from Oregon to Washington then joined the state’s Address Confidentiality Program, aka “witness protection”. Since childhood, I’ve been critically thinking about physical location metadata, operational security, and how these things impact people and families.
2010 - First time on my own and fresh out of university, I moved back to Seattle where I had the luxury of my own internet connection. I became part of the international Tor operator’s community by running my first Tor relay from my apartment, attended my first Tor Dev meeting, then started teaching others about the safe use of this privacy enhancing technology. It was around 2010 that I decided to use my experiences as a domestic violence survivor, my talent as a technology educator, and to use my privilege to fight for human rights centered on privacy.
2012 - I joined the Seattle Privacy Coalition (SPC) where I started learning about and advocating for privacy laws and policies to the City of Seattle, voluntarily. SPC abolished aerial drone use by the Seattle Police Department, we got all City departments to adopt Privacy Impact Assessments, and we got the City to create a Chief Privacy Officer role. For SPC, I lead counter-surveillance trainings for activists, domestic-violence survivors, journalists, and lawyers. In 2012 I started voluntarily advising the technology arm of Seattle’s City Council, the Community Technology Advisory Board (CTAB). I eventually became the chairperson for the sub-committee on privacy for CTAB. In 2012 I also, finally, graduated with my Bachelor of Science degree in Information Technology and Administrative Management with a specialization in Network Administration.
2015 - I was hired as a voluntary intern at the ACLU of Washington (ACLU-WA) as an Encryption Evangelist where I consulted on their communication-technology practices. At ACLU-WA I helped deploy SecureDrop for anonymous legal intake, the first of its kind because SecureDrop was originally intended for journalism. Its deployment included publishing on aclu-wa.org a threat model to support a user’s risk analysis. A few months later, I was hired at The Tor Project as their first full-time Grant Writer because of my ability to articulate the work being done by developers to people donating millions of dollars for privacy.
2017 - Alongside my mother and ACLU-WA in the Washington state capitol, we appealed to lawmakers about the dire risks of Automatic License Plate Readers (ALPRs) and their use on the general public. Later in the year, I became a Security Engineer in the healthcare sector on a Platform Security and Data Protection team. There I managed TLS-terminating web proxy infrastructure (AV, DLP, CASB, SASE, Zero Trust). I authored and maintained the company's policies and standards for web access, cryptography, and transmission protocols.
Also 2017 - I founded Emerald Onion, the first 501(c)(3) human rights nonprofit + transit internet service provider (ISP) dedicated to engineering public-use privacy infrastructure. 100% volunteer-run, we have been in the top three of Tor exit operators in the world in terms of Tor exit relay probability and are regularly in the top ten. Privacy engineering takes priority over security engineering at Emerald Onion, not only to protect privacy-vulnerable users but also for organizational liability minimization. I lead fundraising efforts; we raise up to $50,000 a year, 100% in donations. I also lead the efforts to publish our twice-annual Transparency Report where Emerald Onion discloses things like grand jury subpoenas with gag orders for user data, data that we designed ourselves to not have.
2018 - I spoke on a main stage at the largest hacker conference in the United States, DEF CON, about Emerald Onion and the technical and legal challenges and opportunities surrounding the development of internet privacy infrastructure. The focus of the talk was to share our experiences so that others can intelligently, cheaply, and effectively build their own nonprofit privacy infrastructure organizations.
2023 - I founded my first for-profit consulting company focused on data privacy and information security engineering, Stellar Wind LLC, and soon I'll be forming Stellar Wind BV in the Netherlands for consulting in the European Union.
I can be reached via email (yawnbox at disobey dot net) for a full resume. Thank you for your consideration!
Christopher Sheats (yawnbox)