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  • Age
    30s
  • Title
    Founder
  • Company
    Open Whisper Systems

The self-identified anarchist, sailor, and ex-head of Twitter’s security team captains a crew of coders that has developed what many experts deem to be the best encryption tools on the planet. Marlinspike (yes, his name is a pseudonym), a dreadlocked hacker and founder of the small San Francisco-based non-profit Open Whisper Systems, has devised data-jumbling schemes that secure people’s digital conversations from the prying eyes of hackers and spies—while controversially frustrating law enforcement and intelligence agency investigations. This year WhatsApp, [f500link]Facebook[/f500link] Messenger, and Google’s Allo all baked his crypto protocols into their messaging apps, battening down the communications of more than a billion people worldwide.