Hacker Conference To Feds: Stay Home

Aliya Sternstein | Nextgov | July 11, 2013

An annual hacker conclave in Las Vegas known as DEF CON in recent years had let the likes of the National Security Administration director mingle with attendees to recruit U.S. cyber warriors -- but not this year.

"FEDS, WE NEED SOME TIME APART," reads the homepage of the global conference to be held Aug. 1-4.  For more than 20 years DEF CON has sought to advance coding and broker trust among cybersecurity professionals, black hat hackers, researchers and authorities, according to organizers. 

But "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," conference founder Jeff Moss, AKA "The Dark Tangent," wrote on the conference's website. Moss himself has been cooperative with the government, co-chairing a Homeland Security Department task force on cyber skills.