back to article Security bods boycott DEF CON over closed door for feds

At least one group of researchers is pulling out of DEF CON in protest at the decision to tell federal agents to stay away from the annual hacking convention. Jeff Moss, the US government security advisor who founded the DEF CON and BlackHat, urged federal agents to stay away from DEF CON in Vegas next month. G-Men were …

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  1. Captain_Aluminium

    Lol

    Is anyone else creasing themselves laughing at Kevin Mitnick suggesting it's all for a bit of exposure?

  2. JohnA 1
    Boffin

    It's kind of like inviting Al Queda to a conference on terrorism.

    Sure, you will gain insights, but so will they.

  3. Matt Bryant Silver badge
    Facepalm

    Hmmm, how empty does he want the event to be?

    I know - why doesn't he also ban grey- and black-hat hackers, then him and the dozen-odd white-hats that aren't Feds can watch the tumbleweeds blow through his convention.

    1. Intractable Potsherd Silver badge

      Re: Hmmm, how empty does he want the event to be?

      Matt, do you seriously think that the majority of white-hats work for government agencies?

      I think you are wrong, since a lot of white-hats think the government agencies are the black-hats.

      1. Robert Helpmann?? Silver badge
        Childcatcher

        Re: Hmmm, how empty does he want the event to be?

        ...a lot of white-hats think the government agencies are the black-hats.

        What could possibly make them think that?

      2. Matt Bryant Silver badge
        Happy

        Re: Pothead Re: Hmmm, how empty does he want the event to be?

        "Matt, do you seriously think that the majority of white-hats work for government agencies?...." It is my experience that there are very few truly "white" white-hats, the majority having at least one dubious if not downright criminal skeleton in their closet. Let he who is innocent cast the first stone and all that.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    How stupid do things get?

    Ban the feds from a security conference? Really? This is just plain stupid. If you have something serious to say to those guys (e.g. "Stop spying on our clients or we'll have to out you") what better place than at this kind of conference? Comparing the alphabet soup agencies to ALQ is not helpful at all, either. Maybe instead of pulling publicity stunts like this organizers could work on ways to engage the government types in a real dialog where they have to explain themselves. Did anyone catch the exchange between the NSA recruiters and some U. Wisc. language grad students? THAT is the kind of thing you could do at one of these conferences in a limited capacity roundtable setting (first come, first serve). "Engage, don't just enrage!"

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: How stupid do things get?

      Comparing the alphabet soup agencies to ALQ is not helpful at all, either.

      I wouldn't say that.

      "ALQ" as you term them, exist because of the "alphabet soup agencies", who provided most of their introduction/induction to asymetric warfare. They're all cast from the same materials. Your "alphabet soup agencies" believe they have the right to use any means available to impose their ideals on the world, just like "ALQ". Simply because in guiding/teaching the forefathers of "ALQ" your "alphabet soup agencies" taught them to believe they were entitled to do so.

      "ALQ" and the "alphabet soup agencies" are two sides of the same coin.

      1. badbeard
        Coat

        Re: How stupid do things get?

        I prefer to think of them as two cheeks of the same arse.

  5. Daniel B.

    They've clarified they aren't banning feds.

    In fact, they were asked about this stance by an actual Fed who mentioned he mostly goes on his dime and not in official status. So the clarification is aimed at these people as well.

    Indeed, the DEFCON conference has usually been a nice neutral ground for hackers and Feds (insert your favorite three-letter agency here), and it will be quite different if absolutely no Feds are there!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      A nice neutral ground for hackers and Feds?

      > the DEFCON conference has usually been a nice neutral ground for hackers and Feds (insert your favorite three-letter agency here), and it will be quite different if absolutely no Feds are there!

      Yea, the FEDs have absolutely no interest in fingering potential future snitches ...

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Don't let the door hit them on the way out.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Oops...

    The B.S. didn't fly too well evidently.

  8. geekyone

    Talk Rescheduled

    The speaker, Kevin Johnson, announced on Twitter the presentation will be given at Derbycon instead.

    https://twitter.com/secureideas/status/355423317269811201

  9. Homer 1
    Black Helicopters

    Obligatory Godfather quote

    "Keep your friends close, but your enemies closer."

    (OK, Sun-tzu beat Michael Corleone by a couple of millennia.)

  10. Amiga500

    Prism-Gate

    Why do journalists think they are being uber clever by adding the word "gate" after the subject.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_scandals_with_%22-gate%22_suffix

    You see it is a tad overused!-gate?

  11. WalterAlter
    Pirate

    Wrong way to turn DEF CON into a whistleblower factory

    This sort of avoid! abort! thinking is the 3-D expression of an indwelling and chronic sense of powerlessness that typifies proletarian thinking at the biological level and which renders it pretty much useless over the long term. Instead the DEF CON demographic should put the pedal to the metal with l'audace and welcome their info overlords, wine and dine them, drop love bombs, tout the hacker underground railway and make assurances of welcome and safety for all the Edward Snowdens in waiting that the intel command structures are pissing their knickers over.

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