LINN BJORK BORGSDOTTIR

You know, it’s interesting that you chose me to update your file, but you did mention you looked up to me, so it’s expected. [laughs]

Honestly? It’s a little strange not being in the interviewer’s chair this time around, but I won’t complain too much. Getting to meet all of the fantastic people I’m working with has been an incredible treat.

Getting to meet all of the fantastic people I’m working with has been an incredible treat.

Profile interview by Linn Bjork for

JESPIONNE

I guess a good place to start with the interview would be me asking why you chose for us to meet at such a fancy espresso bar?

I mean, not going to out myself too much here, but there’s something very titillating about being in such a public space where so many people are going about their business on their computers, completely unaware of how exposed they are! People like this…prying into their lives would be such a snap, and I’m itching to dig a bit deeper into these strangers’ business as soon as we’re done with this interview!

So this is pretty much just another exercise in hacking for you, then?

Honestly, I love what I do so much that I can see pretty much anything like a new experience in exploring the digital world through someone else’s eyes. Illegally of course, but that’s just semantics. I really mean it though, when you find something that piques your passions as much as coding and hacking has mine, you really can’t see yourself being separate from it. It’s cliché, but the saying “love what you do, and you’ll never have to work a day in your life” is incredibly accurate, and I find myself living in it.

picture3

It’s interesting that someone with a background as humble as yours is so passionate about technology.

Maybe? I mean, I’m so used to my life and everything I’ve done that it seems really fitting to me. Growing up where I did, there wasn’t a whole lot for a kid to do aside from tinkering with computers and listening to music. Up in northern Iceland, the ‘net’ was spotty at best, and you had to take advantage of that clear signal whenever possible, and that was excellent practice in getting hacking jobs done as fast and neatly as possible. I probably wouldn’t be anywhere near as good at messing with security systems had I not grown up in a place that made time of the essence and put the pressure on to work fast.

Are there any things you really enjoyed doing that DIDN’T involve you being hunched over a computer?

Oh, of course! My family and I would go ice fishing all the time during the “dark” times of the year when things were beautiful, and quiet…those were incredibly fun times, even if it was impossibly cold. [laughs] Mom also was a singer, so she’d often let me listen to the music she was helping get on store shelves way ahead of everyone else. Doing that helped me listen to all kinds of music and introduced me to just how many unique voices that are out there in the world. And just think, not a single person will ever get to hear all of the fantastic music people have to offer. That’s insane!

picture4

For someone as into music as you seem to be, it’s surprising you didn’t choose to go into that instead of hacking and security. What of that?

I know it’s a little odd, but there’s something different than just enjoying something as a hobby and wanting to chase that passion when you grow up. Think of it this way- you can enjoy eating food very much, but you might not want to be a chef. For me, it was the same with music…despite my mother letting me grow up around the art; it didn’t speak the same volumes to me as hacking did. Both she and my father, who helped coach a lot of kids who wanted to participate in sports but might not have had the means, supported me throughout my childhood no matter what I wanted to do, and I’m thankful for that.

What kinds of things helped get you in the mood for…tinkering with computers, as you put it?

Music for one. [laughs] But honestly, I let myself find inspiration in all kinds of things, even today. You have no idea how cathartic it can be to just…put on a playlist of nature sounds, let yourself zone out, and get to work picking apart things that might seem like a drag to others. If possible, I’ll pack up my things and take my work outside…let myself get absorbed in the warm sunlight and sounds of birds. Music also really helps a lot; stuff like jazz and house music help me find some unique kind of mellow. You have no idea how nice it is to spend a rainy afternoon with a cup of coffee in one hand and a pair of studio headphones over your ears and cracking into someone’s email history. Absolutely intoxicating.

picture5

What are some of your favorite things to do in regards to hacking?

Oh god. [laughs] I hope you guys at Jespionne don’t judge me for what I say next.


Linn, we all have dark marks on our lives. [laughs] I highly doubt any of us will judge you for what you say.

Well, there’s something really satisfying about breaking through a government’s security systems and uncovering all kinds of secret documents. One of my proudest moments was getting into the top secret stuff from the British Parliament.

Do you do anything with the material you find? Or do you enjoy having these secrets to yourself?

It really depends on what I’m feeling. Obviously, stuff that could start wars…I don’t bother leaking that for reasons I hope are understandable. But like? Leaking emails, I enjoy doing that just for the hell of it. It’s satisfying to show off people’s stupid little secrets. You don’t know what kinds of things they’ll share over the internet, and I love exposing those embarrassing little factoids to the whole world. However, sometimes, if I uncover something rather…unwholesome, like abuse or pedophilia, nothing ever stops me from dropping that info on the dark web, where the kind folks there go ham on these kinds of twisted criminals.

What do you hope to accomplish with this passion of yours? There has to be just…endless potential out there for stuff like this, these days.

Olivia, you really have no idea. Computer technology, in general, is growing by leaps and bounds, and I’m excited to see where it goes next. Right now, I’m focusing on college…graduate school has been quite the experience for me! But hopefully, I’ll be able to do something good with my passion for coding. As I mentioned, I’ve managed to expose scumbags entirely for the thrill of seeing them owning up to what they’ve done. However, if I had to name one thing, I would love nothing more than to help expose the corruptness of government- as long as someone’s covering my ass –to helping make other peoples’ lives a bit easier. It seems far-fetched but…I’d like to believe I can do a little good with something I just started doing to pass the time back in the day.

I’d like to believe I can do a little good with something I just started doing to pass the time back in the day.

God, that has to be really heavy to deal with sometimes. What kinds of things do you do to take your mind off of that?

It’s kind of a grab bag sometimes. Every so often, you find your run-of-the-mill mother who’s abusing her children that you need to sic the deep web on, but other times, you just need to go ham with some really stupid government secrets. What I’m trying to say…it’s not all bad, but relaxation is key sometimes. [laughs] Maybe it’s unsurprising, but I love studying music theory and musicology to figure out what makes different kinds of music great! You gotta love taste-testing all kinds of genres in your free time as well…I also like watching documentaries about music greats and how they became who we know them as today.

With such an intense hobby as yours, do you like going to any music festivals?

Hell yeah! Sometimes, you just gotta hit the road and spend a few days at a festival with nothing but music and the people who love it. Maybe it’s cliché, but I love Burning Man a lot. The travel sucks sometimes, but it’s just a fun experience to look forward to every year. Really though, all kinds of festivals are fun, regardless of if you’re a huge fan of the genre or not. I’ve gone to metal festivals, jazz festivals, folk music festivals…I’ve even gone to some of those concerts for the KPop groups that are all the rage these days! But yeah, as much as I hate being away from my computer and the software I’m so familiar with, even the best of us need to get away for some good old-fashioned concert experiences.

God, Linn…I have to admit; you’re such a sweet soul to have on our team. I’m excited to work with you.

Hearing that from you is amazing! As I mentioned, I can’t help but look up to you, Olivia!


You’re flattering me. [laughs] It’s just so refreshing to see someone as happy as you on our team. Some of us had a rough upbringing, and you’ll bring a good dynamic to the rest of the girls.

I won’t lie, I’ve had my own struggles, but we can get into that another day.

Being there for people as some kind of help, even if it’s just keeping a good attitude, feels really nice though, and I hope to continue doing that at Jespionne. Alongside my hacking duties, of course. [laughs]


Oh, for sure. Well, thank you so much for your time. I can see your fingers are starting to jitter, so I can let you get down to business.

Thank you! I look forward to working more with you, Olivia! But for now…let’s see what secrets the good folks here could be hiding…

LIVE FEED

PHOTOS

Northern Lights (LQ Breakdown) / Music-mixing tools and software / Code Debugging / The Intel Exchange- Homepage / Bangtan Boys / Burning Man / Kayapo Warriors by Martin Schoeller / Mark International / Promotional BTS / Aaron Huey / National Geographic Photography


TAGS

PeregrineAdventures / WithGomes Productions / BGO Software / Dark Web Hubsites / Korean Music Profiles / National Geographic / Macbook / Coffee / Norway / Northern Lights / Mixing Board / Studio / Coding / Computer Programs / Desk / Music Festivals / Ice Fishing / Interfaces / Hacking / Iceland / Prince / British Parliament / Headphones

March 12 th,2018

INTERVIEWS