Fed’s Asked to Avoid Def Con

In a rather hilarious turn of events Dark Tangent, the organizer of the Def Con security conference, has kindly asked the Feds to avoid the event:

The request was posted to the main Def Con webpage by Jeff Moss, the founder of the hacking conference.

In the past, he said, the convention had been an “open nexus” where government security staffers and law enforcement agents could freely mix and share ideas with the other hackers, researchers and security professionals that attended.

“Our community operates in the spirit of openness, verified trust, and mutual respect,” he said, a state of affairs that had led to an exchange of information that had seemed mutually beneficial.

However, wrote Mr Moss, many people now questioned that free exchange of ideas in the wake of ongoing disclosures about the US National Security Agency’s Prism programme, which, since 2007, has been scooping up huge amounts of data about people’s online activity.

As a result, “it would be best for everyone involved if the feds call a ‘timeout’ and not attend Def Con this year,” he wrote.

I guess this year’s Spot the Fed contest will be far more exciting than in years past. It also stands to reason that any employee of a federal agency will receive extra special attention from any black hat hackers at the event. Hackers, in general, don’t appreciate being spied on and have a tendency to return the favor. Since the federal government has been spying on everybody it wouldn’t surprise me if the attendees at Def Con decided to spy on federal employees or attempt to compromise any electronic devices they bring along (after all, this is the same conference where a team demonstrated how easy it is to intercept Global System for Mobile (GSM) phone calls).