DEFCON is the place where thousands of hackers from around the globe come together every year and discuss security-related flaws, hacks, tweaks and remedies. Interestingly, feds are usually a part of the audience and even deliver presentations at times. But this year, feds have been asked to take a ‘time out’ and not attend the convention.
DEFCON has conventionally been viewed as an excellent event where hackers, researchers, federal officials and personnel from different companies mix up, discuss security-related problems and come up with new ideas to improve digital security. For instance, last year, NSA’s Chief Keith Alexander was among the people who attended the event.
While the event comprised of 15,000 attendees last year, it is expected that the number may rise even more. However, this year, feds may find it hard to squeeze into the event and attend it. That’s because DEFCON founder, Jess Moss, has written a post titled ‘Feds, we need some time apart.’ In his post, Moss writes,
“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. 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.”
Naturally, the community of hackers is terribly disappointed with the feds, especially because last year when Keith Alexandar was asked about NSA’s surveillance, he explicitly stated that his agency wasn’t spying on the Americans.