Defcon Banning Feds? Don’t Worry There Will Be Plenty at Black Hat

defcon 21From the ‘Biting the hand that feeds you’ files:

Apparently, Jeff Moss (aka Dark Tangent) doesn’t want U.S. Federal agents showing up at his Defcon conference this year.

The irony is that at Defcon in 2012, the NSA’s top brass General Keith Alexander was the keynote of the event.

Alexander praised the work that Defcon hackers do through his keynote too. Long story short is that the U.S. **NEEDS** hackers especially as the stakes continue to rise on Nation State (read:China) cyber-attacks and espionage.

Moss wrote:
“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.

The irony of the situation is that Black Hat – the ‘other’ conference that Moss started and sold to UBM Tech a few year back – is very much embracing U.S. Federal agents. In fact the same General Alexander is speaking at Black Hat this year, among numerous other government panels and events.

Do all the same ‘hackers’ go to both Black Hat and Defcon? No, not entirely — but make no mistake about it, there is significant overlap too.

There is little chance in my mind that federal agents will not attend Defcon – it’s just such a target rich environment for recruiting and education that they can’t stay away — but given Moss’ position, the game of ‘spot the fed’ is likely to be more difficult than years past as federal agents take a lower profile.

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist.

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