James Jardine and I were accepted to present at DEF CON 21 in Las Vegas this year on attacking SharePoint. For 21 years DEF CON has been a very respected organization and the opportunity to present is only given to a small number of people. We were honored to be chosen to speak there again and hope to be able to in the future.
Just recently, it was posted on the DEF CON website (https://www.defcon.org/) that they are requesting that the “feds” do not attend this year’s event. Although there is no concrete indication as to the reason for this request, it has made us reconsider our opportunity to present at the event.
We do not want to make this a “political” move, and we do not make this decision based on their motivations. The issue we are struggling with, and the basis of our decision, is that we feel strongly that DEF CON has always presented a neutral ground that encouraged open communication among the community, despite the industry background and diversity of motives to attend. We believe the exclusion of the “feds” this year does the exact opposite at a critical time.
James and I do not feel that this should be about anti/pro government, but rather a continuation of openness that this event has always encouraged. We both have much respect for DEF CON and the entire organization and security community. It is with this respect that we are pulling our talk from the DEF CON 21 lineup. We understand that this may cause unfortunate change of plans for some, but feel we have to support our beliefs of cooperative collaboration to improve the state of information security technology.