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Hello, everyone. This is Chaat with Will and I have a couple of guests today, Chris Snook and Jocelyn Woolbright.
We're working through a little bit of technical stuff to figure out when Chris can join.
But as always, what we do in this show is I interview people from around the world who generally work behind the scenes.
Hey, there you go, Chris.
And what I want to do is usually just get a sense for what are people at Cloudflare doing and where did they come from?
And, you know, get to know a little bit of the people behind the scenes.
So, hi, Jocelyn. Hi, Chris. How are you guys doing?
Great. How are you doing? All right. Chris, do we have you live yet?
Kind of. Yeah, I'm here. Okay, great. Great. So, I guess, why don't I just keep going?
Great. I'm just going to go back and forth between you two, if that's okay.
But, Chris, I know, you know, if you have to hop off, that's all good at any time.
But let me start with you, Chris. The reason why I reached out to you is you are an SRE, site reliability engineer.
Is that right? Did I get that right?
And a big guy. Still not getting audio from you. Yeah, okay, there we go. All right.
And... It's basically... Go ahead. So, I was wondering, because, you know...
I'm sorry. They're not here. The...
My connection's dropping out. Ah, okay. Well, Chris, if we're having some technical problems, I'm happy to...
We could do this again, you know, on my next show, if your schedule permits.
So, why don't we give it another minute? I'm going to transition to Jocelyn for a second now.
Now, Jocelyn, you're in our Washington, D .C.
office. Is that right? And you're also on mute. No, you're not. Yeah, so I'm usually in our D.C.
office, but I am here in Florida. I'm originally from Florida. So, I thought I would come down and stay at my mom's house instead of staying in my studio apartment in D.C.
So, at least here, I could go to the beach on the weekends and spend some time working outside, which is definitely nice.
Uh-huh. And it looks like we may lose Chris because of some of the reception and technical issues right now.
So, talking to you again.
So, thanks for making the time for me, though. I appreciate it.
Now, Jocelyn, you're, yeah, it is interesting because we're all, we're dialing in from wherever we are, right?
I mean, it's a remote environment. And the Washington, D.C.
office already isn't all that large. How many people are over there?
So, we have the public policy team in the D.C. office. And we have around five people on the policy team in the U.S.
And then we also have a European policy team.
We have Petra, who works on that side. But we've slowly been growing our D .C.
office. So, we have a couple salespeople in there, a couple other people from the legal team.
So, whenever we actually stopped going into the office in March, we had very few people that were actually in the office.
But now, since we've hired many people, it's going to be very different coming back to the D.C.
We're going to have a lot more. Are we in a WeWork space over there, or do we have a bona fide office?
No, we have a bona fide office. We have two conference rooms.
We have a great space in D.C. Whereabouts in D.C. is it? So, it's at, I think, 14th and K.
I can't even remember because it's been so long. But it's close to the metro.
It's pretty centrally located downtown. So, it's a really great space.
I know the area. My former company had an office in Washington, D.C. on K Street also.
So, yeah, I was working in policy-oriented communications before moving into the tech space bona fide.
And one of the reasons why I had, let's see here.
Hold on a second. We went offline here. Oh, no. I have to get back on live streaming here.
No worries. Okay.
So, let's see. I think we're live again. Apologies to everybody. We're in a whole new world.
I'm going to blame the Mars environment in California. I'm in San Francisco.
I'm actually in Oakland right now. And yesterday, as many people have seen, we were living through Blade Runner.
The skies were red and orange. And I don't know if it affected, you know, anything else than mood.
But it was definitely an eerie time, an eerie place.
But the ‑‑ where was I now? This is such an odd show, right?
I'm going to blame the environment. It's just totally an odd time. But I was saying that the ‑‑ you, I invited you because you're on the Athenian project team.
And this is a really cool project. And I wanted you to introduce Athenian and how it ‑‑ did it spin off of Galileo?
And can you speak to both of them? Yeah. So happy to talk about the projects I work on every day.
So I'm on the public policy team, and we work on a range of projects from engaging with government, policymakers, to external stakeholders.
And one of the projects that we manage is all of our corporate social responsibility programs.
So we have Project Galileo, the Athenian Project, and Cloudflare for Campaigns.
And really with that, under Project Galileo, we started it in 2014.
What we do is we provide free business -level services to vulnerable groups on the Internet.
So groups that have a higher chance of getting a cyber attack because of the work that they do.
So primarily, we see organizations like human rights organizations.
We see news and journalism groups.
We have a lot of nonprofits on it. And we currently protect more than, I think it's about 1,200 organizations under Project Galileo.
And the way that we do that is we actually partner with large civil society organizations.
So we have about 37 partners that we work with.
And many of our partners work in the digital rights space.
So they work in promoting democracy abroad, providing key sets of services and expertise to many different smaller organizations that need that need assistance.
So for Project Galileo, Cloudflare isn't making the decision on what type of organizations should receive these free services because we're an Internet infrastructure company.
We are not experts in human rights organizations or necessarily have the network to be able to decide which organizations need protection.
So we work with these partners who they ultimately decide who should be protected under Galileo.
And we've had that project since 2014. And we've actually seen during that time that we have a lot of election voting related organizations under Galileo.
And as we saw with the 2016 elections, we saw a lot of all 50 states board of election sites, we saw SQL injection scannings for all of them.
And ultimately, the Illinois State Board of Election site was infiltrated. So we thought as Cloudflare, we can provide services, we have the expertise and the global network to be able to help in some way.
So we started the Athenian project in 2017, where we provide our free enterprise level services to state and local governments in the US that run websites related to elections.
So we currently have about 245 domains under the project in 29 states.
So as elections are getting closer, we're really preparing our participants to make sure that they have all the resources that they need to stay online during elections.
And then from there, we started Cloudflare for campaigns.
So in January 2020, we actually partnered with an organization called Defending Digital Campaigns, who received approval from the Federal Elections Commission to provide free services to political campaigns.
So we partnered with them and many other tech companies also are working with Defending Digital Campaigns to provide this free set of services to campaigns.
So we definitely have a lot of really interesting... That is a lot to unpack there.
So let me just do a little recap here. So now everybody knows Cloudflare, we're an infrastructure company.
We keep... Our goal is basically make sure everyone has a voice and can exist online.
And I like that. I think a lot of people join Cloudflare because we are a mission-based organization to help build a better Internet.
And we want everybody to benefit from that. And I think Project Galileo is a great way to give back to voices under threat, if you will.
Now with Athenian, is it geared specifically... So I understand Galileo, that is about making sure voices aren't squashed.
Like let's say, sensitive media in oppressive government environments.
Now Athenian, is it specifically election -oriented or is it policy-oriented or what is it?
Because then you have campaigns. So how do you distinguish campaigns versus Athenian?
So for Athenian, if you think about the broader landscape of election security, there's so many different parts of it.
There's making sure that the voter registration databases and the IT systems associated with that are protected.
You're trying to make sure that the voting... If you have electronic voting, making sure that the actual polling station is secure.
You have to worry about storage facilities for elections and that voting system infrastructure.
You have to worry about polling places. So including early voting locations.
So there's so many different aspects of election security. And at Cloudflare, what we focus on is making sure that their websites stay online and are secure.
So under Athenian, what we provide, we only provide our services to state and local government election sites.
So for example, I'm in Florida. I'm in St. Augustine.
So my county is St. John's County. And on election day, I'm going to go...
I early voted, but on election day, let's say... You voted already? I'm already getting it all done.
I was debating whether or not to do that. I always like going to the polling place and getting my sticker and putting that...
Just something about that motion feels really good to me.
And I've always taken my son with me.
Now this year, it's a totally different year. In no small part because of just COVID making it...
I don't want to be around touching screens with everybody else.
It's interesting because let's say outside of COVID and even inside of COVID, you...
People want to go and vote at their polling stations.
They're going to go to their county website and sign onto it to see where the exact location is, what time are they open till.
We have a lot of counties that have databases that you can track how many people are online.
So if you want to get there early, you can get in really quickly.
But let's say that county website isn't online whenever you want to access it.
Nowadays, you're automatically going to assume, oh no, somebody took down...
It was a cyber attack.
Somebody took down the website or you're not able to access it. So it might make you not go vote.
A billion people want to know the results. And so everybody's rushing to get to the results.
And so it essentially feels like a DDoS attack, but it's not.
And we don't want to undermine the confidence in our electoral processes.
So enter Cloudflare, at least we'll keep you up and running. Yeah, exactly.
And the thing with what I see a lot with our participants, whenever I talk to them, I'm like, oh, how did you...
What are you most worried about on election night?
And they're like, oh, of course we're worried about malicious types of DDoS attacks, but we're also worried about these high spikes in traffic.
And we're not sure...
They're all legitimate traffic of people trying to access their county board of elections.
So we at Cloudflare help with those high spikes in traffic that are legitimate.
We protect against the malicious DDoS attacks. So for Athenian, we provide those services specifically for government websites.
So under Cloudflare for campaigns, we also saw this need to provide some types of services to help protect campaign websites.
So if you have a representative that's running, making sure that their website that has all of their policies on it, have people donating money to that campaign, that's a great...
A lot of people have been targeting campaigns recently because- I actually saw some headline today that there's more hacking activity to both parties.
So Jocelyn, in terms of your actual role, what do you do for Athenian or all of the above, all of these entities that you support?
So I think I have a very interesting position here at Cloudflare because I'm on the policy team, but I don't really work on many of the projects that our policy team focuses on.
So I work a lot with policy. I work a lot with marketing.
I work a lot with sales. Sometimes I work a lot with our solutions engineers, but what I do- You work a lot with me.
What are you working on?
What do you do? So for example, I manage many of these projects. So for Athenian, I help with onboarding.
I help write blog posts. I help write case studies, working with our partners under Galileo, so kind of cultivating that relationship, onboarding new partners into Galileo.
I help onboard Galileo organizations.
It really, every day is different for me. So it really- Yeah, it's really, it's definitely fun.
It's been a great learning experience and getting to see all of these different pieces in motion is definitely one of my favorite parts about working at Cloudflare.
So what did you do before Cloudflare? Yeah, so before I worked at Cloudflare, I was actually, I worked for a really small non -profit in Mozambique.
So I worked for a non-profit that specialized in emergency medicine.
So I was the program coordinator for the non-profit and the non-profit really focused on making sure that in the emergency hospital in Maputo, which is the capital of Mozambique- So you were actually there on site in Mozambique?
Yeah, in Mozambique.
So what I did is that we were working in one of the public hospitals.
So what I was doing a lot is a lot of data entries. So we were trying to figure out, we have this whole triage system of in the US when you go to the hospital, you go and depending on what state you're in, if you go to the ER, they're going to triage you into like, oh, they need to see a doctor right now, or they just have a cold, they can wait for 10, 30 minutes.
In this hospital in Mozambique, there was no type of triage system.
And unfortunately, that reflected as you had people in the waiting rooms that were passing out or unfortunately they were dying.
So I worked with a non -profit that was training emergency medicine doctors in Mozambique.
And I was basically manning the triage system. So taking in data entries of being like, oh, every hour we have this many patients that are waiting.
I would sit a lot in with the ER residents that were doing a lot of these face-to-face interactions with patients, timing exactly like how long we were able to diagnose.
So that was one part of it. And then I also worked a lot on, we had a lot of volunteers from the US.
So ER physicians in the US that were coming to Mozambique to train many of the doctors in the hospital.
So I was working with them on making sure that they had places to stay, helping them figure out what exactly we should be helping the ER residents.
So help me map how you got from there to Cloudflare.
How did that happen? Yeah, so it's interesting. I graduated from college.
I went to Florida International University. It was about two years ago that I graduated.
And I had studied international relations. I had minored in national security studies with a focus in cybersecurity.
And I had always been interested in a job where I could help people, but I could also learn about technology.
So when I was in Mozambique, I got the opportunity to work with a non -profit on the ground and understand what it is like to live in another country.
And Mozambique has so much, I really wish I could go back to Mozambique.
But I was trying to find a job where I could work in helping people, but also be able to learn more about technology and its impact.
So I had found this job at Cloudflare and I applied for it.
And I was like, this is the perfect position for me. I love helping people and I really want to learn more about technology and how it can impact people's lives and help.
So it just seemed like the right fit at the right time for me.
So is that what brought you to DC then, to Cloudflare? Yeah, so I had been in DC on and off for internships.
I had actually interned for a think tank that is one of our partners under Galileo.
So New America, where I was studying a lot of cybersecurity issues.
So this debate about the open Internet. So the multi -stakeholder model of the Internet versus the more authoritarian approach to the Internet.
So that's where my Internet knowledge kind of came into shape. And then I had gone to Mozambique after and spent about eight months there working.
So it just seemed like the right fit for me at the right time.
Yeah, when I first, so I'm originally from the East Coast.
When I moved to California, I worked in politics and policy and campaigns for a while.
And then I did, eventually made my way into tech policy.
So I was working on, but it was more like permitting issues in California, like you want to- It's still important.
Pardon me? Still important. Yeah, totally important stuff.
And, but it's a little dry, but that was kind of my introduction to technology via tech infrastructure, telecom infrastructure specifically.
And then when I decided I wanted to do something a little bit more dynamic and interesting, here came Cloudflare and I felt very lucky to be able to join the team.
So now what was your fun facts? This is always one of my favorite questions to ask people.
Maybe we already heard it, but what was it? So I started at Cloudflare almost, it's been a year and a couple of months.
And I think whenever, my fun fact was that I had recently, I recently got dive certified.
Oh, like paddling?
Yeah. Yeah. Like scuba diving certified. And I grew up in Florida my whole life, never seemed to get scuba certified.
And then finally my whole family, like me, my mom, brother, cousins, we all got certified at the same time.
And now it's one of my, it's one of my favorite, my favorite things to do.
So I had just gotten certified.
So I was like- Where did you get the certification then? I got it done.
I got it done here in Florida, but my first dive was actually in the Galapagos, which if you don't, if you don't know anything about the Galapagos, it's very, their diving is more, is way advanced for somebody who had never even been in the ocean diving.
Cause we did it in a spring when I got certified. In Florida, I always think of shallow beaches, honestly.
I was like, where are you going to dive?
You'll go like three feet deep and you're like- Yeah, exactly. But yeah, so I got dive, I got, my first dive was in the Galapagos, which was terrifying, but like one of the coolest experiences.
So, you know, I got certified diving.
Yeah. And I haven't- You haven't been? I haven't been diving since, but I dove, I got my certification in Fiji.
I was, that was super fun. That'd be a good fun fact.
If I had to come another one, come up with another one, that would be a good one.
But I was in Fiji for a wedding, a friend's wedding. And we were there, they had basically rented out a resort Island and they had the whole Island for like, it was my, our friends and their whole, their family and friends.
So we had like probably about 60 people or so.
And you're there for a week. And so about six or seven of us decided like, this is the place to get certified.
And the diving in Fiji is, it's unbelievable.
Like there's walls of coral where you're just like, you're on top of probably like five feet of water and corals underneath you.
And then it just drops off into a straight wall of coral.
And you can just see like all these things coming in and out and stuff.
But that was, I'd love to do it again, but.
It's just like riding a bike. Like if you haven't dived, that's what I've realized.
Like if you haven't dived in a long time, like I get, I get really nervous before, but then once I'm in the water, I'm like, I remember how to breathe.
Yeah, like this is totally fine. Yeah, that's fine. That's good. So now we started talking a little bit about the Washington DC office and where you're located.
And it sounds like the team's multiplied in size since all this, since we all got dispersed.
But when we go back to normal, what is it that you miss most or that you're looking forward to most about being either in DC or in the office or all of the above?
I think for me specifically, I love being in the office and getting to work with my fellow policy team members.
As somebody who is just, is starting off in their career, I think being in an office really makes a difference on how you learn.
And I love being able to hear my very, very, very smart colleagues talk about issues that I had never even thought about.
Or just being able to get that interaction and that type of professional development, I think is really important for somebody that's starting off in their career.
So I definitely miss those types of interactions and just being able to learn about what everybody's doing on a day-to -day basis.
Yeah, it's much harder to do in a remote environment.
There's not, the osmosis opportunities aren't as easy, right?
Yeah. So it's definitely been, it's been difficult on that point. But I think one of the things that we on the policy team specifically do, we have every morning, we have a 30 minute call talking about what we're working on, what's happening in our lives.
So that's been a great way to have that interaction during this time.
Well, here's a question I actually haven't asked any of my guests since the whole remote working environment.
What do you like about the remote working environment? So I love cooking.
So I think being able, specifically for lunch, being able to go into my kitchen and be like, I'm going to cook, you know, a delicious meal and not like have to heat something up in the microwave that I would do at the office.
So for me, I've been, I love cooking.
So it's been, it's been a real treat for me to be able to do that every day.
Well, I'm gonna make a pitch to you. I have another Cloudflare show called Cooking with Cloudflare.
And in that show, I recruit other CloudFlarians to teach me a dish.
And we basically hop on a Zoom like this. I dropped the background though, so you can see the kitchen.
But we basically figure out something we'll cook together.
Let's cook some dinner sometime. What do you say?
I'm totally down. The thing is my kitchen is probably like four by four feet in DC.
But we'll make it work. When do you leave Florida? When are you going back? I'm headed back on Saturday.
Oh, as in like in two days? Yes. So for me, I love, I love Florida.
I love being with my family. But I also miss the city a lot, even though the city is very different nowadays.
So I'm gonna head back for a little bit.
Well, it'll be an interesting time to go back to DC. You know, I mean, there's, you know, recess is over, and it's full on campaign season, there's going to be a lot of, a lot of energy that's happening in DC.
And I understand that they're, they're, they are, is it true that they're building a wall?
Honestly, I don't even know nowadays.
Right? I know. It's a, it's a, every, you know, things change every day.
It's definitely in DC, it's definitely interesting. On that front. But yeah, and, you know, I, I wondered, how is it that, like, legislating in this environment must be difficult.
Now, I never worked on the hill or in Sacramento, I did work in in San Francisco, for the Assembly Majority Leader, for a year, I worked on as a scheduler, and both campaign and, and basically managed this whole calendar.
And it was a challenging job, let's say, but at any rate, I never had to work out of Sacramento, but I had some exposure to that environment.
I'm just trying to imagine dealing with those challenges, you know, legislating, you know, when you want to be in a, you know, you do have, so much happens face to face.
And in a collaborative environment, that legislation requires, that's really challenging for DC.
Yeah, and I think what you mentioned specifically, like on the campaign side, we're seeing that so many of these campaign operations are moving online, but they're not a lot of campaigns aren't necessarily aware of the types of risks that are associated with moving on online.
So our partners defending digital campaigns have done a really great job of like, trying to reach out to campaigns to let them know like these free cybersecurity services that Cloudflare offers that many other types of security companies are offering, like they're free for federal federal candidates.
So one of the things that we've been trying to work on is getting more campaigns to be aware of the cybersecurity risks.
Well, that's a good way to close the loop, because we're at the top of the hour.
Jocelyn, I want to thank you so much again for joining me today.
Yeah, of course. Well, we'll cook next time.
Okay, sounds good. This is chat for cooking with Cloudflare with we are Cloudflare.
Thank you for joining. Until next time.