Printed: 2019-08-21

Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies

IEET Link:

Sad News: IEET Affiliate Len Sassaman Has Died

July 05, 2011

Thirty-one years old, Len was an Affiliate Scholar of the IEET since 2010. He was an internationally acclaimed cypherpunk and privacy advocate, a PhD candidate at the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven in Belgium, and a researcher with the COSIC research group. Suffering from depression, Len ended his own life on July 3, 2011.

Len SassamanLen worked on privacy enhancing technologies and anonymous communication systems such as the open source Mixmaster remailer software. He worked for Network Associates on the PGP encryption software, was a member of the Shmoo Group, a contributor to the OpenPGP IETF working group, the GNU Privacy Guard project, and often appeared at technology conferences like DEF CON. He was the cofounder of CodeCon along with Bram Cohen, coauthor of the Zimmermann-Sassaman key-signing protocol, and was an organizer of the protests following the arrest of Dmitry Sklyarov.

Recounting their early work together on crypto-systems, Len’s friend Pablos Holman said that they were “reimagining our world, riddled with cryptosystems that would mathematically enforce the freedoms that we treasured. Anonymous remailers to preserve speech without fear of retribution; onion routers to ensure nobody could censor the internet; digital cash to enable a radically free economy.”

Our condolences to Len’s widow, the computer scientist Meredith Patterson.

More on Len at Wikipedia


Contact: Executive Director, Dr. James J. Hughes,
IEET, 35 Harbor Point Blvd, #404, Boston, MA 02125-3242 USA
phone: 860-428-1837