Cybersecurity legend John “Paller” Paller dies at 65

Mr. Paller, a British Republican, and an outspoken critic of the government’s stance on security issues, suffered a heart attack just before 5 a.m. at the Trump International Hotel in Washington. He was in…

Cybersecurity legend John “Paller” Paller dies at 65

Mr. Paller, a British Republican, and an outspoken critic of the government’s stance on security issues, suffered a heart attack just before 5 a.m. at the Trump International Hotel in Washington. He was in town for The Red Scorpion Review in D.C., a biennial international cybersecurity conference Mr. Paller co-organized.

He was hospitalized for five days and died Sunday in Georgetown Hospital of a small bleeding ulcer, according to Twitter posts from colleagues and friends of Mr. Paller and a Facebook post by his longtime editor and friend Nicholas B. Rosenfield.

“I’m incredibly sad to hear the news,” said Sherry Bebitch Jeffe, a senior fellow at the University of Southern California’s School of Policy, Planning, and Development. “He was a brilliant mind, a great organizer, and an iron-fisted editor. I will miss his clarity and enthusiasm.”

Alan Peter Q. Paller was born in Witney, England, on September 19, 1939. The grandson of a Prime Minister and a Hungarian prince, Mr. Paller was educated at Balliol College, Oxford University, and started his career as a science reporter at the Daily Telegraph. He also worked for Reuters and the Independent.

He moved to the U.S. after stints at BBC Radio.

Mr. Paller hosted an acclaimed BBC program called Now, Now, Now, in the 1980s. In 2011, he married Sheila Gallagher, a hearing aid producer he met on the show. Their son, Ned, was born in 2013.

In 2004, Mr. Paller spoke before the British Parliament about cybersecurity issues, including Edward Snowden.

The UK Parliament issues your voice to the US Congress

“We, the governments of the United Kingdom and the United States, need to work together to ensure that all human rights are respected,” he said at the time. “Without the existence of a network of allies to whom we can turn for support in these critical times, we will lack the ability to defend ourselves.”

According to his obituary on The Guardian, Mr. Paller feared that U.S. President Donald Trump would target the U.K.’s intelligence services.

“It’s not my place to ask any questions of him,” he said. “But everything I am seeing in the media tells me that they are making a concerted attempt to do that.”

He was co-founder of the Chaos Computer Club, a group of hackers that has organized shows and hackathons, such as “Everyone’s Computer Stole Everything,” “Stand Up to China,” and “The I.T. Decade.”

Mr. Paller served as a chairman of the George W. Bush-named I.T. Council.

In 2010, when Bush was still president, Mr. Paller said he believed Mr. Bush was a moderate on national security issues.

“He was committed to democracy,” Mr. Paller said. “He was not a climate change denier, he supported gay rights and he was very comfortable with using unmanned aerial vehicles.”

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