Def Con Asks Feds to Stay Away

By | July 15, 2013

Posted in: Network Security Trends

In further fall-out from the Edward Snowden spying revelations, the organizers of the hacker's convention Def Con this week asked officials of the federal government to stay away from the event.

In a post on the Def Con website, the founder of the event Jeff Moss said: “When it comes to sharing and socializing with feds, recent revelations have made many in the community uncomfortable about this relationship. Therefore, I think it would be best for everyone involved if the feds call a ‘time-out’ and not attend Def Con this year.”

He added: “This will give everybody time to think about how we got here, and what comes next.”

Moss said that the convention had for more than two decades been “an open nexus of hacker culture, a place where seasoned pros, hackers, academics, and feds can meet, share ideas and party on neutral territory. Our community operates in the spirit of openness, verified trust, and mutual respect.”

He did not elaborate, but in a separate interview with Reuters Moss said the decision to tell government officials they were not welcome had been a tough call. “The community is digesting things that the feds have had a decade to understand and come to terms with,” he told Reuters. “A little bit of time and distance can be a healthy thing, especially when emotions are running high.”

More than 15,000 people are expected to attend the event in Las Vegas next month. It immediately follows the Black Hat conference, where NSA director General Keith Alexander is due to deliver the keynote address.

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