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Researchers Now Pulling Out of DEF CON In Response To Anti-Fed Position

timothy posted about a year ago | from the at-least-the-tsa-gives-free-massages dept.

Government 204

darthcamaro writes "Earlier today it, Slashdot had a story about DEF CON's position on not allowing U.S. Federal agents to attend the annual hacking conference. We're now starting to see the backlash from the hacker community itself with at least two well respected hackers pulling out of the DEF CON speaking sessions so far: "'The issue we are struggling with, and the basis of our decision, is that we feel strongly that DEF CON has always presented a neutral ground that encouraged open communication among the community, despite the industry background and diversity of motives to attend,' security researcher Kevin Johnson wrote. 'We believe the exclusion of the "feds" this year does the exact opposite at a critical time.'" Meanwhile, Black Hat welcomes Federal attendees; this year's conference will feature as a speaker former NSA head Keith Alexander.

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Fuck 'em (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44256181)

It's time the entire populace stand up and tell the federal government to go fuck itself. If these researchers want to take the wrong side in this fight, let them.

Re:Fuck 'em (0)

techsoldaten (309296) | about a year ago | (#44256305)

Were it not for the fact I don't believe there is any anonymity in the world anymore, I would agree with you and say something even more cavalier. But I don't, and like to be thought of as a nice person.

Re:Fuck 'em (4, Insightful)

CanEHdian (1098955) | about a year ago | (#44257093)

For the NSA, there is no "Anonymous Coward"...

Re:Fuck 'em (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44257225)

Yes there is. They call them "Analysts".

Re:Fuck 'em (5, Insightful)

sabri (584428) | about a year ago | (#44256369)

If these researchers want to take the wrong side in this fight, let them.

Why does everything always have to be a "them against us" when it comes to these types of debates. I am in no way affiliated to any government organization, and I definitely do not like government intrusion in my private life. However, government security is as much in my interest as in theirs. Afterall, if they do legally obtain some of my private information for whatever reason, I'd sleep a lot better knowing that at least it will be safe from some 12 year old Chinese hacker.

Or perhaps it will take an asteroid hurdling towards Earth for you to side with "the feds" and work together on a solution?

Re:Fuck 'em (5, Interesting)

causality (777677) | about a year ago | (#44256543)

Or perhaps it will take an asteroid hurdling towards Earth for you to side with "the feds" and work together on a solution?

It is rather difficult to trust a group of people with a long history of lies, abuses, manipulation, and little or no accountability. This is one of those hard facts that doesn't just go away. It takes a long time and a lot of effort to restore broken trust, especially when it has been repeatedly broken with little or no consequence to the perpetrators.

Right now our government doesn't seem interested in regaining the trust and confidence of the citizens. They'd rather watch every move and outright spy on the people, becoming more and more intrusive, in order to justify this paranoia of theirs that more of their misdeeds might become known. It never seems to occur to them to look in the mirror if they want to find the source of the problem. They don't seem to think that maybe, just maybe, actual respect for the lives, privacy, and freedom of the citizens they're supposed to be serving is a better solution.

If some doomsday asteroid were coming our way, these people would likely retreat to some kind of well-stocked underground "continuity of government" bunker than lift a finger to help us.

Re:Fuck 'em (0)

adolf (21054) | about a year ago | (#44256665)

It is rather difficult to trust a group of people with a long history of lies, abuses, manipulation, and little or no accountability.

As any person who has been married for any significant length of time can tell you:

Yes, it can be difficult. It can also be worthwhile.

Re: Fuck 'em (4, Insightful)

DigiShaman (671371) | about a year ago | (#44256793)

So can a divorce.

Re: Fuck 'em (1, Troll)

adolf (21054) | about a year ago | (#44256889)

So can solitude.

But I like roads, bridges, and military protection.

Re: Fuck 'em (0, Troll)

Khyber (864651) | about a year ago | (#44257699)

"But I like Roads"

So build your own. It's not that hard. Even my crippled ass can lay some concrete and asphalt.

"bridges"

Well, guess what? If you passed basic geometry and maybe took a little wood/metal shop class, building one shouldn't be an issue at all. But you like solitude so why would you build one, since that just invites people?

'Military Protection'

Son, if you don't have your own arsenal and at least a few home-rigged explosives, you're not worth your user name or worth being called American.

Re: Fuck 'em (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44257723)

Replace roads, bridges, and military protection with chains, whips, and ball gags. I suppose it all depends on who is using what against whom. Do the people control the government, or does the government control the people?

Re:Fuck 'em (0)

Darinbob (1142669) | about a year ago | (#44257071)

Hillary, is that you?

Re:Fuck 'em (0)

adolf (21054) | about a year ago | (#44257111)

Yes.

Re:Fuck 'em (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44256671)

It is rather difficult to trust a group of people with a long history of lies, abuses, manipulation, and little or no accountability.

So, hackers? ...

Re:Fuck 'em (5, Insightful)

nobodyknowsimageek (218815) | about a year ago | (#44256957)

It is rather difficult to trust a group of people with a long history of lies, abuses, manipulation, and little or no accountability.

That also explains why I don't trust much coming out of the "hacker" community, either. :)

See what happens when you make sweeping generalizations about a community based on the wrongdoings of some members of that community?

Re:Fuck 'em (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44257383)

You can always trust a hacker to do one thing: break stuff and show off how to do it. That is all that they do. That is the purpose they have given themselves. How can you believe that a community of showoffs will hide things from you?

Re:Fuck 'em (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44257055)

If some doomsday asteroid were coming our way, these people would likely retreat to some kind of well-stocked underground "continuity of government" bunker than lift a finger to help us.

These are precisely the sort that have burned their humanity membership card

--
Another fine opinion from The Fucking Psychopath®.

Re:Fuck 'em (4, Interesting)

Darinbob (1142669) | about a year ago | (#44257063)

And yet last year everyone who attended DEF CON already knew the NSA was spying, they just didn't have any proof of it. There were ok with having feds last year though. So the only thing that really changed is that this spying is now front page news.

Re:Fuck 'em (4, Insightful)

spire3661 (1038968) | about a year ago | (#44257593)

We ALL knew they were spying. What has changed is that they are no longer even bothering to hide it.

Re:Fuck 'em (4, Insightful)

phantomfive (622387) | about a year ago | (#44257609)

There was proof even before. About the only thing that was revealed by Snowden was the exact names of the companies that were helping the NSA (and a few more similar details).

I don't know why suddenly it's become such a big issue when it wasn't before. Maybe everyone was distracted by gay marriage or abortion or banks or spying on the press or something. The number of scandals going on is rather ridiculous.

I'd still rather have it be a big issue than not.

Re:Fuck 'em (1)

VortexCortex (1117377) | about a year ago | (#44257275)

They don't seem to think that maybe, just maybe, actual respect for the lives, privacy, and freedom of the citizens they're supposed to be serving is a better solution.

Perhaps you define better different than they do? IE: Unchecked Power and Unlimited Funds. Tell me citizen, what powers may you grant us, that we may not take our selves? What benefit can you give us, that turning knowledge into stock can not?

Re:Fuck 'em (1)

thoth (7907) | about a year ago | (#44257371)

It is rather difficult to trust a group of people with a long history of lies, abuses, manipulation, and little or no accountability. This is one of those hard facts that doesn't just go away. It takes a long time and a lot of effort to restore broken trust, especially when it has been repeatedly broken with little or no consequence to the perpetrators.

So the thing to do is to boot all gov't employees? I think there is a fallacy here, that 100% of feds are working on surveillance technology. NSA implemented SELinux - what if those types of security researchers want to go? Just screw 'em?

Re:Fuck 'em (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44256545)

I'd sleep a lot better knowing that at least it will be safe from some 12 year old Chinese hacker.

It's not a 12 y/o Chinese hacker that most US citizens need to fear. It is the unrestrained overreaching of the US government as they push aside our privacy, our rights, our Constitution and our history.

Re:Fuck 'em (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44256613)

The reason its us against them is because they have repeatedly broken the law, in spirit if not in fact, by their current activities. The only possible reason for them to be doing so is to gather more and more power to those who enable them. The purpose of such power is always to control, to enforce their will upon those who would otherwise prefer to live a life of freedom instead of a life of enslavement.

Those concepts aside, it becomes more of an us against them atmosphere when hackers, people who skirt legalities to do what they do in a lot of circumstances, are in the same room with law enforcement who are known to be gathering information on ALL communications in the US. Keep in mind that those communications may be discussing illegal activities whose purpose is to research weaknesses in security methods. While this could technically be illegal their purpose is to educate and repair problems - and the unfortunate wording and enforcement of the law makes their activities illegal. So bearing all of that in mind, the NSA walks into the room and starts getting names of people in attendance, then goes back and digs into PRISM and finds what those people are doing. And then, ultimately, either uses it for their own agenda or passes the information on to someone who will.

is that really in the best interest of anyone who wants to retain not only their freedom but their civil liberties?

Just like misusing antibiotics (1)

ulatekh (775985) | about a year ago | (#44257259)

the NSA walks into the room and starts getting names of people in attendance, then goes back and digs into PRISM and finds what those people are doing. And then, ultimately, either uses it for their own agenda or passes the information on to someone who will. is that really in the best interest of anyone who wants to retain not only their freedom but their civil liberties?

It's certainly not in the NSA's interest. The hackers they catch this way would not be the best and the brightest. It would also tip off the best and brightest that the NSA is doing something underhanded like this. That would cause them to strengthen their defenses and anonymity.

It's like misusing antibiotics; if you don't get all of them, the remaining ones will only become stronger.

Re:Fuck 'em (5, Insightful)

jcr (53032) | about a year ago | (#44256745)

Afterall, if they do legally obtain some of my private information for whatever reason, I'd sleep a lot better knowing that at least it will be safe from some 12 year old Chinese hacker.

I'd trust a random 12 year-old Chinese hacker before I'd trust an organization that's currently torturing and keeping people locked up illegally.

-jcr

Re:Fuck 'em (1)

VortexCortex (1117377) | about a year ago | (#44257303)

I'd trust a random 12 year-old Chinese hacker before I'd trust an organization that's currently torturing and keeping people locked up illegally.

This is what's known as a false dichotomy. We at your local Federal Government will be here for you to trust mere moments after you have trusted the Cheenager.

Re:Fuck 'em (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44257451)

I'd trust a random 12 year-old Chinese hacker before I'd trust an organization that's currently torturing and keeping people locked up illegally.

This is what's known as a false dichotomy. We at your local Federal Government will be here for you to trust mere moments after you have trusted the Cheenager.

Err.. no.... The GP didn't say that he or anyone couldn't trust both, just that he would sooner trust the hacker.

Re:Fuck 'em (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44256813)

Earning my trust is pretty easy.

1. Don't lie
2. Don't cheat
3. Don't steal

Depending on how you view the way our taxes are spent, the feds are getting somewhere between 0/3 and 1/3 of that formula correct.

Re:Fuck 'em (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44256963)

Or perhaps it will take an asteroid hurdling towards Earth for you to side with "the feds" and work together on a solution?

Even the approach of said asteroid cannot suspend human nature as expressed through those entities charged with the legitimate monopoly on violence.

All this deference to government comes from one source--post secondary non-vocational education. It's those crusty, smelly, bearded Marxist professors again.

--
Another fine opinion from The Fucking Psychopath®.

Re:Fuck 'em (1)

godel_56 (1287256) | about a year ago | (#44257115)

If these researchers want to take the wrong side in this fight, let them.

Why does everything always have to be a "them against us" when it comes to these types of debates. I am in no way affiliated to any government organization, and I definitely do not like government intrusion in my private life. However, government security is as much in my interest as in theirs. Afterall, if they do legally obtain some of my private information for whatever reason, I'd sleep a lot better knowing that at least it will be safe from some 12 year old Chinese hacker.

Your logic, if we can call it that, escapes me. There's no reason that the government AND some twelve year-old Chinese hacker can't BOTH have copies of your information. Anyway, where'd you get the notion that your information was obtained legally?

Perhaps it's legal by the distorted forms of of reasoning the Feds use to justify their acts, but not by the common sense ways most people would understand the laws.

Re:Fuck 'em (4, Insightful)

ShanghaiBill (739463) | about a year ago | (#44256401)

It's time the entire populace stand up and tell the federal government to go fuck itself.

Polls show that most people think Snowden was a criminal, and that the NSA is keeping us safe. Excluding and isolating your opponents is often a good strategy when you are winning. But privacy advocates are not winning. They are losing. In this battle for hearts and minds, engagement may be a better strategy.

If these researchers want to take the wrong side in this fight, let them.

They are not taking a side. They are disagreeing on means, not ends.

Re: Fuck 'em (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44256453)

Hahahahahahahahaha. You must be checking those government polls...

Re: Fuck 'em (1)

Anonymous Psychopath (18031) | about a year ago | (#44256741)

Hahahahahahahahaha. You must be checking those government polls...

If the polls are wrong, where's the outrage? Most of the taxpaying, voting citizens in my little slice of the world agree with those polls. They've never heard of /. and would think Reddit is the same thing as 4chan, except they've never heard of them, either. The cold, hard truth is the vast, silent majority of Americans are apathetic about personal privacy.

Re: Fuck 'em (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44256789)

The cold, hard truth is the vast, silent majority of Americans are apathetic about personal privacy.

Actually, the cold hard truth is that the vast majority of Americans are idiots, and you are included.

Re: Fuck 'em (1)

Anonymous Psychopath (18031) | about a year ago | (#44256823)

The cold, hard truth is the vast, silent majority of Americans are apathetic about personal privacy.

Actually, the cold hard truth is that the vast majority of Americans are idiots, and you are included.

I didn't say they were right, or that I agreed with them in the slightest. Just that they don't care.

Re: Fuck 'em (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44256883)

I didn't say they were right, or that I agreed with them in the slightest. Just that they don't care.

But they DO care.

And claiming otherwise is either the action of a fool or a stooge.
Maybe you are being paid to make the erroneous claims you have made ...

Re: Fuck 'em (1)

Anonymous Psychopath (18031) | about a year ago | (#44256977)

I didn't say they were right, or that I agreed with them in the slightest. Just that they don't care.

But they DO care.

And claiming otherwise is either the action of a fool or a stooge.
Maybe you are being paid to make the erroneous claims you have made ...

Yeah, you got me. I've been a paid government shill here on /. for more well over a decade. I don't know why I even bother replying to ACs.

Re: Fuck 'em (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44256921)

don't care?

The vast majority of Americans likely don't understand what legal repurcussions and violations are being propagated against them in the name of 'fighting terrorism' and 'security'.

The truly sad part is they end up supporting it out of social pressure, lest they be thought of by their peers as I patriotic. It's a self-fulfilling cycle of idiocy.

Re: Fuck 'em (2)

Anonymous Psychopath (18031) | about a year ago | (#44257001)

don't care?

The vast majority of Americans likely don't understand what legal repurcussions and violations are being propagated against them in the name of 'fighting terrorism' and 'security'.

The truly sad part is they end up supporting it out of social pressure, lest they be thought of by their peers as I patriotic. It's a self-fulfilling cycle of idiocy.

Completely agree with this, except I don't think there's a lot of social pressure. I think they are mostly just happy not to think about it too much. It's terrifying to think how little a splash something like Watergate would have today.

They're not apathetic, they're cynical (1)

ulatekh (775985) | about a year ago | (#44257277)

The cold, hard truth is the vast, silent majority of Americans are apathetic about personal privacy.

From what I can tell (discussing this issue with my non-technically-minded family members), they're not apathetic, they're cynical. The best response was from my mom -- "if they know everything about everybody, why can't they stop these damn telemarketers from calling me?"

Wrong (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44256541)

http://rt.com/usa/snowden-americans-majority-poll-906/

Re:Fuck 'em (2)

causality (777677) | about a year ago | (#44256573)

Polls show that most people think Snowden was a criminal, and that the NSA is keeping us safe.

It's all too easy to manipulate polling results. There are plenty of subtle ways of doing it. I would rather think something like that is going on and apply all the usual "qui bono?" scrutiny to who conducted the polls and who paid for it and what the methodology was. I would rather think that because if so many Americans really are that naive, then the nation is forfeit and it's only a matter of time before it becomes a totalitarian state of some kind.

Re:Fuck 'em (1)

amicusNYCL (1538833) | about a year ago | (#44256759)

Polls show that most people think Snowden was a criminal

No they don't, they show that a majority of the people who have an opinion now think that what he did was wrong (earlier, the majority supported him). However, almost 30% of respondents had no opinion. Apathy is killing this country, no one gives a shit about their rights until they experience a very direct and negative impact on themselves personally. Even if people think the government is spying on them, almost a third don't give a shit until they have to deal with actual consequences.

Re:Fuck 'em (2)

MightyMartian (840721) | about a year ago | (#44256405)

Because the first step in solving any dilemma is to grab the nearest sharp knife and cut off our noses despite our faces.

Re:Fuck 'em (2)

Iniamyen (2440798) | about a year ago | (#44256495)

Wouldn't it be difficult to even have a nose to cut off, if you didn't have a face?

Re:Fuck 'em (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44256623)

Despite your wit I believe you were too subtle. Perhaps you should have quoted MightyMartian's post and bolded the word in question.

Re:Fuck 'em (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44256497)

Drama queen? Those not going were only putting themselves in the shop window. Fuck them, and fuck you.

Re:Fuck 'em (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44256563)

Because the first step in solving any dilemma is to grab the nearest sharp knife and cut off our noses to spite our faces.

There. FTFY.
--Your friendly neighborhood competent English speaker

Re:Fuck 'em (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44256929)

These people have financial obligations (i.e. student loans, mortgages, car loans, credit cards, etc.) and retirements to plan. Taking the wrong side has severe life-disrupting consequences. Did I mention toys?

--
  Another fine opinion from The Fucking Psychopath®.

Re:Fuck 'em (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44257361)

Well said.

Fine, whatever (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44256197)

The Nazi dicks from the alphabet agencies can go circle-jerk themselves in their cubicles, the hardcore crackers will do as always surrepticiously, and the only losers will be event promoters and self-promoters. Sounds fair enough.

in other words, the NSA is full of criminals (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44256221)

lets not beat around the bush here. "security research" has two applications - stealing people's shit and stopping people who want to steal other people's shit.

considering the close relationship of the government to all of this in the past few years, i mean, what the fuck?

the guy who runs the Cyber Insider Threat program, which is the biggest pile of intellectual conformist bizarro-world thinking in recent memory, is a former dude from l0pht.

back when i was a kid, 'hacking' meant you, you know, built cool demos, and cracked game protection.

it didnt mean you learned how to fucking infilitrate the data networks of the planet so you can get payed $120 grand a year to some spook agency to ruin peoples lives and act like a fucking dictatorship.

if this is what 'hacking' and 'security research' has become, then fuck it. and fuck these people and fuck their cons.

The poet John Cougar Mellencamp said it best (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44256247)

Some people ain't no damn good
You can't trust 'em you can't love 'em
No good deed goes unpunished
And I don't mind bein' their whippin' boy
I've had that pleasure for years and years
No no I never was a sinner--tell me what else can I do
Second best is what you get 'til you learn to bend the rules
And time respects no person--what you lift up must fall
They're waiting outside to claim my tumblin' walls

Saw my picture in the paper
Read the news around my face
And now some pepole don't want to treat me the same

When the walls come tumblin' down
When the walls come crumblin' crumblin'
When the walls come tumblin' tumblin' down

Good luck (1, Insightful)

Intrepid imaginaut (1970940) | about a year ago | (#44256261)

Door, arse, etc.

no security is better than a false sense... not (1)

FriendlyLurker (50431) | about a year ago | (#44256757)

These are probably the same researchers that have been crying "no security is better than a false sense of security" for years now in a devious (and successful) attempt to keep our communications channels completely unencrypted, by default. Lucky OTR (Off the Record) didnt to listen to such mal-aligned researcher advice so now we have a widely deployed chat encryption method...

Neutral vs. naive (4, Insightful)

MrEricSir (398214) | about a year ago | (#44256263)

It's one thing to be neutral towards those who are vaguely threatening, but it's simply naive to be neutral towards those who are actively undermining you.

Re:Neutral vs. naive (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44256301)

It's naive to think that banning feds will keep them away.

Re:Neutral vs. naive (5, Insightful)

Somebody Is Using My (985418) | about a year ago | (#44256469)

I don't think the DEFCON organizers expect that /no/ government officials will make an appearance. Rather, they are making a statement that - because of recent revelations - they will no longer be offering an open hand to those officials. Furthermore, it might be unsafe (electronically, not physically) for agents to openly make an appearance because they will be more of a target for malicious hacking than usual.

It's more along the lines of "We don't like what you are doing and therefore aren't being as welcoming to - and thus in complicit agreement with - you or your goals. Also, if you do come it's on your own head if bad things happen because you've managed to piss off all our other guests and many will consider you /persona non grata/ and take it upon themselves to make those feelings clear."

Government agents will be at this year's DEFCon; it's just that they will be even less likely to announce their affiliation than usual.

Re:Neutral vs. naive (1)

b4dc0d3r (1268512) | about a year ago | (#44257021)

Rather, they are making a statement that - because of recent revelations - they will no longer be offering an open hand to those officials.

Wait, were you reading the same thing I was?

Therefore, I think it would be best for everyone involved if the feds call a âtime-outâ(TM) and not attend DEF CON this year.

That got the slashdot headline "DEF CON Advises Feds Not To Attend Conference", which got translated to "not allowing U.S. Federal agents to attend".

That's a hell of a lot of drift. Your final sentence was the only remotely supported statement, and that's just because we know they are going to send at least one mole, and probably multiple moles in case one gets outed.

Re:Neutral vs. naive (1)

VortexCortex (1117377) | about a year ago | (#44257357)

Is it really non obvious?
Government official paints Hackers as dangerous in the public eye, cites Feds may want to stay away from the uncontrollable trouble makers attending Defcon.
Distracts threat of global surveillance state by pointing at a few computer nerds who can hack your Facebook until some bug is patched.

Film at 11.

Protip. Jeff Moss is a government agent. [techcrunch.com] His past deeds mean nothing. They know where he and his loved ones live.

Re:Neutral vs. naive (1)

Khyber (864651) | about a year ago | (#44257721)

If they even think about announcing their affiliation, you can guarantee they'll be 6 feet under, or worse.

Half of those attendees are borderline as-is. Recent revelations will have been the tipping point for them.

Re:Neutral vs. naive (2)

causality (777677) | about a year ago | (#44256593)

It's naive to think that banning feds will keep them away.

I don't believe the point is to keep them away. I think the point is to publically send them a message. It's a political statement more than an effective way to ban anyone.

Re:Neutral vs. naive (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44256481)

It's one thing to be neutral towards those who are vaguely threatening, but it's simply naive to be neutral towards those who are actively undermining you.

Uh, couldn't the law enforcement and intelligence communities have said that every year about a lot of hackers at DEF CON?

Re:Neutral vs. naive (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44256709)

It's one thing to be neutral towards those who are vaguely threatening, but it's simply naive to be neutral towards those who are actively undermining you.

Uh, couldn't the law enforcement and intelligence communities have said that every year about a lot of hackers at DEF CON?

Yes, but not without being hypocrites, unless one party was wearing a name tag reading "Pot" and the other party a name tag reading "Kettle". And they were both wearing black.

Re:Neutral vs. naive (1)

Darinbob (1142669) | about a year ago | (#44257087)

However, "Feds" covers a lot of ground. The spying is from the NSA. What about the FBI who have legitimate interest in cyber security as well as information to give?

Re:Neutral vs. naive (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44257483)

The vileness has been disclosed as a "team-sport."

This sort of thing happens (5, Insightful)

techsoldaten (309296) | about a year ago | (#44256283)

I can't speak for the people who have chosen not to participate or their reasons for doing so.

I am sure it will be a loss for the event, but not as much as the one that comes from the lack of a public dialogue about the government's actions and activities tracking internet traffic.

Saying that Defcon fosters an open community where there are no sides is a little misleading. The government has it's own reasons for showing up and they are not all related to sharing ideas, learning and having a good time. It's just the other people who really lack an agenda.

I know people who are not going to Blackhat because the NSA is giving the keynote. What kind of strange alternate future is it we live in where this even happens?

Re:This sort of thing happens (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44256867)

Nobody lacks an agenda....

So two feds excuse themselves from attendance? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44256295)

>> "we feel strongly that DEF CON has always presented a neutral ground that encouraged open communication among the community,"

Whoever thinks the feds will at any time play fair is a fool. Those who actively violate the rights of the people should not be welcome anywhere.

Slaves (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44256345)

And why in the fucking world would a sane person want to share security secrets with the Feds, knowing what kind of trash these people really are? If some hackers want to pull out of DEF CON, then GOOD....let them go find some other place to lick Federal boots.

Nobody "Excluded" Anybody (5, Informative)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | about a year ago | (#44256357)

They didn't "exclude" the Feds. They simply warned them that given the current atmosphere, it might not be wise for them to attend.

There's a pretty damned big difference.

Re:Nobody "Excluded" Anybody (1)

bsDaemon (87307) | about a year ago | (#44256391)

It's not like they could really enforce a "ban" on feds anyway. Any jackass with $100 can get a badge if they want to stand in line long enough, and not every "legit" hacker has tattoos, piercings and a techno fetish, otherwise 'spot the fed' wouldn't be any fun anyway.

Re:Nobody "Excluded" Anybody (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44256465)

How do I get fame in the gov't security community? Don't attend Defcon and post it to Slashdot.

Besides, he probably didn't feel like preparing his talk...

Re:Nobody "Excluded" Anybody (-1, Troll)

causality (777677) | about a year ago | (#44256653)

They didn't "exclude" the Feds. They simply warned them that given the current atmosphere, it might not be wise for them to attend. There's a pretty damned big difference.

Then they really don't understand how police and federal agents think.

These aren't people who intend to prevent a confrontation or back down from one for the sake of getting along. These are people who want a confrontation because they want an excuse to use force, look good before their bosses, and justify their existence and performance to the media. Confrontation is what they train for and overwhelming force that cannot be resisted is their method (but they'll happily charge someone for trying - if they survive).

Asking these people not to show up under these circumstances is absurd. It only makes them more interesting in attending. Racking up arrests and filing charges is how these people show their bosses that they are doing their jobs. That can be done by finding criminals and it can also be done by making criminals.

BFD (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44256359)

I wouldn't be at all surprised if these two were contractors for the fed.

They can get bent if this is their attitude toward willful violation of my civil rights. I'm not interested in the opinions of people who lend ANY support to the ingrates who knowingly and willfully violate our rights for a day job.

Um wording. (1)

arbiter1 (1204146) | about a year ago | (#44256367)

I read this story on a site yesturday, it wasn't that they weren't allowed to, they were Asked not attend this year which they still could, due to the whole NSA spying issue that came up recently.

just got going (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44256387)

Pulling out of conferences, pulling out of US clouds, mail services, pulling out of US based everything.

you wanted an enemy, looks like you got one, everyone !

i can guess the next steps are infiltrate and sabotage, no more malware, no full disclosure, no more simple infection removals and 2 hours of inconvenience for a junior techie.

but you can expect much, much more nasty rootkits, polymorphic file infectors, seek&destroy engines, logic bombs, back doors, unrecoverable deletion except this time its not mischievous eastern European kids but by hardened state sponsored professionals.

not really an ideal situation, but make no mistake unless justice is done to the people involved in this whole creepy spying crap and its shut down, bad guys will do it for you and they are ruthless and dont care who they hurt as long as they american.

the US gov, ruining the tech industry one leak at a time

This just in... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44256425)

Under cover agents pull out of DEF CON because they have been banned.

Sociopathic hackers welcome NSA recruiters (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44256439)

Let's get this clear. The ONLY reason these scumbags want the 'Feds' present is because these events are actually recruitment fairs for some of the most psychopathic personality types in the IT industry. The idea that 'hackers' in the public eye are ever 'good guys' is just plain laughable. When such people seek publicity, and the appreciation of their 'peers', they are demonstrating personality traits that are the most disturbing possible.

Some hackers that choose to stay in the shadows, and work with tight-knit groups of friends can certainly have normal personalities, and be working on projects that may serve the greater good. But those that need to flaunt their egos in a public setting can be clearly designated as the types who will be happy to serve ANY master.

Where has reading comprehension gone? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44256447)

I cannot understand what has happened to reading comprehension today. When did "Advised not to attend" become "forbidden to attend"?

Safety issue! (4, Insightful)

Omega Hacker (6676) | about a year ago | (#44256463)

I honestly think there's a significant aspect to the move to "ban" Feds that people are overlooking: safety and liability. DEFCON gets a bit rowdy at the best of time, in the current climate re: PRISM, Snowden, etc. I seriously think the move will save a few bloody noses, possibly broken bones, and likely lawsuits and criminal charges stemming from the same. The conference also shields itself from the associated liability. A lot of people, especially in the hacker/DEFCON community, are *seriously* pissed at the US gov't right now, and that's gonna cause a lot more friction than normal.

It Just Occurred to me (1)

techsoldaten (309296) | about a year ago | (#44256619)

It just occurred to me, one of the researchers pulling out was slated to give a presentation on how to hack sharepoint.

While it would be an enormous loss for the community not to have the opportunity to learn more about the specific ways this guy attacks M$'s premium CMS ... ... how much effort would it really take for a bunch of Defcon attendees to put together a session with equally useful information about hacking sharepoint to replace it?

Good ! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44256645)

they were probably on the payroll of feds anyway !

Ask them (1)

klapaucjusz (1167407) | about a year ago | (#44256647)

While registering to the conference, have attendees fill in a form with the two questions "Are you a government employee, and if so in what quality" and "Are you a journalist, and if so, in what newspaper(s) do you publish?" The people that you want to attend will be happy to have a name tag saying "Government employee, University of so and so". The people who feel the need to hide their affiliation are probably the ones you want to be escorted by security.

Re:Ask them (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44257339)

Defcon's registration process goes a little something like "$200 CASH please" at the reg booth. It's a conference about security. Paying cash at the door is how they keep it from turning into a fishing expedition.

Not the obvious motivation? (1)

Bugler412 (2610815) | about a year ago | (#44256733)

Perhaps the organizer wish to avoid apolitical and protest maelstrom that could appear? Preferring to keep the conference at least somewhat apolitical?

It is amusing that they think Feds will not attend (1)

LeifOfLiberty (2812101) | about a year ago | (#44256927)

It is amusing that they think that Feds will not attend because they are "not allowed". It is foolish to be divisive in this way. The "Feds" likely make a useful contribution to the conference.

Re:It is amusing that they think Feds will not att (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44257355)

Not really. They don't really contribute a ton to the conference. The thing I find funny is there are random people in the Defcon org who work for different parts of the three letter organizations, and not new people. Some who have been there almost from the start.

Kevin Johnson's reasoning is very suspect (5, Interesting)

bdwebb (985489) | about a year ago | (#44256987)

We do not want to make this a "political" move, and we do not make this decision based on their motivations. The issue we are struggling with, and the basis of our decision, is that we feel strongly that DEF CON has always presented a neutral ground that encouraged open communication among the community, despite the industry background and diversity of motives to attend. We believe the exclusion of the "feds" this year does the exact opposite at a critical time.

James and I do not feel that this should be about anti/pro government, but rather a continuation of openness that this event has always encouraged. We both have much respect for DEF CON and the entire organization and security community.

The specific inclusion of the federal government was never the intent of DefCon. The intent was to provide a neutral ground for people working in the security industry or on the fringes of the industry to be able to come together and discuss ideas, problems, and solutions. The Feds began coming, not to participate in the DefCon community but hoping to catch hackers or to recruit them. Obviously there may be some federal employees who attend for the same reasons we do, but DefCon prizes anonymity and those who would legitimately be attending obviously could not and would not be excluded.

For your team to purposely pull your talk from DefCon because they have asked that the feds not attend this year is absolutely silly. If your purpose is openness and community, it seems rather fishy that the organizers simply asking that the 'Feds' don't attend (i.e. the guys trying to track hackers) would incite you to pull your talk. I think it is completely disingenuous to say that this is not a political move because the community will still be there - you just aren't targeting the community anymore with your talks and your target audience may not be present...at least that's the way you make it seem.

Re:Kevin Johnson's reasoning is very suspect (1)

RedLeg (22564) | about a year ago | (#44257191)

For your team to purposely pull your talk from DefCon because they have asked that the feds not attend this year is absolutely silly. If your purpose is openness and community, it seems rather fishy that the organizers simply asking that the 'Feds' don't attend (i.e. the guys trying to track hackers) would incite you to pull your talk. I think it is completely disingenuous to say that this is not a political move because the community will still be there - you just aren't targeting the community anymore with your talks and your target audience may not be present...at least that's the way you make it seem.

Seems to me that their motivation is pretty much the same as Moss's *the Dark Tangent" in "uninviting" the feds in the first place.

Publicity.

Looks to me like it's working.

Here's a reality check: Most feds don't come to DEFCON, they come to BlackHat, and stay through (part of) the weekend for the con because:

  • It used to be included in the BH cost (now just discounted) and
  • You get cheaper airfare if you stay over a Saturday, so you save your agency / employer $$ on airfare.

Now let's kick in a little reality: Sequestration has hit the feds a LOT harder than most people realize, with furloughs, draconian travel restrictions including forbidding weekend travel, attending conferences, etc. The feds that DT uninvited were probably not going to be there anyway, and my guess is he's trying to stir up some shit and boost non-fed attendance.

The feds that will be there are either the ones who are genuinely interested in the community, coming back to see old friends, attending more than likely on their own dime, or, those on a mission.

Neither class of fed is going to pay attention to the un-invitation.

Just my 2% of $monetary_unit. I don't know shit, I've only been going to the con for 13 years.

-Red

Re:Kevin Johnson's reasoning is very suspect (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44257555)

Sequestration has hit the feds a LOT harder than most people realize

Thanks for the laugh. NSA wiretapping $80 Billion, Sequestration this year $80 Billion.

Problem solved easily enough with almost no notice. The ONLY reason it is causing ANY problem is because Obama is demanding it cause problems because he made it a political issue. If you don't want the DNC voted and Obama supported Sequestration to take effect and punishing as many people as possible stop voting for the DNC.

In other news, student loan rates doubled this month because of a party line vote where DNC passed it without a single GOP vote (was in Obamacare bill). I don't hear you crying about how much students are being hurt, who are paying for things themselves, but you are crying for Fed budgets paid by other people.

This crap makes me sick.

Re:Kevin Johnson's reasoning is very suspect (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44257441)

umm, actually feds were invited to the first defcon, and have always been a part of the community. They didn't just start coming at some point to catch or recruit hackers. regardless of anyone's motivation, DT's post is a pretty big change.

et tu? (5, Insightful)

PopeRatzo (965947) | about a year ago | (#44257017)

This is how you find out who's snitching to the feds.

I can well understand why anyone in the non-corporate, civilian security community would have absolutely lost any shred of trust they had in the feds.

Those guys in DEFCON know who Aaron Schwartz is. They probably know people like Edward Snowden. They know that the federal government could bring their whole world crashing down in a heartbeat, without anything like constitutional rights.

I bet there are some feds who are sad about missing the parties, and about missing all the intel. But seriously, if any of them were decent people, they'd be blowing whistles, too.

Anybody who's working for the federal government in cybersecurity needs to make a decision about their future. Are they OK with being part of a police state? I know jobs are scarce, but if the day ever comes where push comes to shove, understanding of why they chose to continue to be part of this American StaziTM is going to be even more scarce.

Re:et tu? (1)

phantomfive (622387) | about a year ago | (#44257639)

The only ones who backed out of the conference (as far as I can tell) were going to talk about hacking Sharepoint. While I'm sure that's useful in some situations, it sounds like an extremely boring talk.

Maybe the real reason they backed out is because no one was going to their talk anyway.

This is a non issue. (1)

Zapotek (1032314) | about a year ago | (#44257139)

It's just 2 people from the same company who decided they didn't like DEF CON's stance this year and wrote a blog post saying they wouldn't attend. This means nothing. If me and a buddy decide we don't like Coke anymore that doesn't warrant a headline saying "People now giving up on Coke in response to [whatever]".

Enter at your own risk (1)

tanawts (786512) | about a year ago | (#44257157)

The way that I read Jeff's comment was not so much as a ban of the Feds but he seemed to be politically cautioning the attendance of Feds on potential hostilities from attendees who aren't particularly thrilled with the recent disclosures. We can all argue the maturity level of the conference but in the immortal words of Friedrich Nietzsche: "Madness is rare in individuals, but in groups, parties, nations and ages, it is the rule" Surely there would be severe consequences on both sides were there to be pranks or aggressions on Feds in attendance. Of my many years of attendance, I have never considered Defcon to be a completely open environment free from danger, but rather a Hackers Mos Eisley where you can interact with all walks of life, but that you had better be aware of those who do not like you.

give back the name! (3, Interesting)

stenvar (2789879) | about a year ago | (#44257165)

The people making up DEF CON hijacked the term "hacker" for their security-related work. Give it back to the people who actually deserve it: smart, clever engineering types.

Spot the fed! (1)

Charliemopps (1157495) | about a year ago | (#44257525)

I claim the first "Spot the fed" siting. i.e. Kevin Johnson

Enjoy your security contracts. Your grandchildren will thank you for the police state you helped create.

Good, stay away (1)

Khyber (864651) | about a year ago | (#44257533)

We don't want people like yourself at this convention anyways. DEF CON has always been Anti-Fed one way or another. That you fail to realize that is your own short-sightedness.

Now pardon me while I nail your blog with my new 97% accurate OCR-based captcha breaker, since you've still failed to stop it two years in a row.

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