NPR : News

Def Con Hacking Conference Puts Feds In 'Time-Out'

As one of the world's largest gatherings of hackers, the Def Con conference has long welcomed experts from the security industry and the U.S. government, along with academics and hackers. But this year, Def Con's leader is asking federal workers to skip the event, due to recent revelations about U.S. electronic surveillance.

The request was announced Wednesday in a message titled, "Feds, we need some time apart," which was posted at the Def Con site. It reads:

"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.

"This will give everybody time to think about how we got here, and what comes next."

The note was written by Jeff Moss, the founder of both the Def Con and the Black Hat hackers' conferences, who was writing under his hacker name, The Dark Tangent.

This year marks the 21st Def Con meeting, held annually in Las Vegas. The conference is set to begin in early August.

The U.S. government and large Internet companies have struggled to cope with the fallout of leaks by former National Security Agency contract worker Edward Snowden, which exposed broad spying abilities.

As we reported Wednesday, more than 50 percent of Americans who answered a question about Snowden in a national survey said they see him as a whistle-blower, not as a traitor.

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

NPR

Once Outlaws, Young Lords Find A Museum Home For Radical Roots

Inspired by the Black Panthers, the Young Lords were formed in New York City by a group of Puerto Rican youth in 1969. Their history is now on display in a new exhibition.
NPR

Europe's Taste For Caviar Is Putting Pressure On A Great Lakes Fish

Scientists say lake herring, a key fish in Lake Superior's food web, is suffering because of mild winters and Europe's appetite for roe. Some say the species may be at risk of "collapse."
WAMU 88.5

A Congressional Attempt To Speed The Development Of Lifesaving Treatments

Earlier this month, the House of Representatives passed the 21st Century Cures Act in a rare bi-partisan effort. The bill is meant to speed the development of lifesaving treatments, but critics warn it may also allow ineffective or even harmful drugs onto the market.

NPR

Google Brings Internet Service To Sri Lanka Through, Balloons?

Google has successfully launched its "Project Loon" in Sri Lanka. The goal of the program is to use a series of high-altitude balloons to bring 3G service to underserved areas.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.