[heading]Defcon 0: Intelligence Agencies To Stalk Hackers In Heated Breakup[/heading]
Romantic relationships and business relationships are complex. And, sometimes, a break is the only remedy for tensions. Thus, Defcon has asked the intelligence community to give it some time alone…
Since its inaugural year, 1992, Defcon has been a meeting where anarchists, geeks, and employees of alphabet agencies commiserated. Recently, though, drama has set in, as indiscriminate spying of US citizens and foreigners by the National Security Agency has poisoned the well.
“For over two decades DEF CON has 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,” Jeff Moss, The Dark Tangent, penned in a blog post published Wednesday night. “Our community operates in the spirit of openness, verified trust, and mutual respect.”
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.
This will give everybody time to think about how we got here, and what comes next.
Scheduled for August 1 to 4 this year at Rio has essentially always gone out of its way to welcome federal agents. Each year there is a “spot the Fed” competition. This year that competition could take on ominous proportions.
US Department of Defense Director Jim Christy has attended each year since 1999 in an open campaign to attract top hacker talent to the ranks of military and federal agencies. More agents attend anonymously.
Just last year, National Security Agency Director Keith Alexander gave the Defcon keynote address, marking the highest-level Defcon appearance by a US government official.
“While not new, I feel a mood in the hacker community that has resurged to levels I’ve not seen in years,” Kyle R. Maxwell, a security analyst for one of the telecoms recently implicated in the NSA dragnet, wrote in a blog post. “The Snowden affair really only brought to the fore problems that seemed to worsen during the Bush administration, then got quiet with many people felt that perhaps things will change under President Obama. Clearly, that was not the case by any stretch of the imagination.”
Nonetheless, Defcon won’t fight off the intelligence agencies.
“We are not going on a witch hunt or checking IDs and kicking people out,” Moss wrote.
But, to be sure, one can be sure that the intelligence agencies will likely turn a bit stalkerish.