Thursday, August 1, 2013


DefCon 20, 2012
DefCon 21, one of the world's largest annual hacker/computer security conventions, is currently held in Rio Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada from August 1 to August 4, 2013. The first DefCon took place in June 1993. The postcard, sent to Taiwan last year, shows the logo of DefCon 20, July 26-29, 2012.

Attendees to DefCon include computer security professionals, journalists, lawyers, security researchers, and of course, hackers. However, the trend has been shifted from "hacking" in early days to "computer security" in recent years. For me, it's a great place to learn the impact of advance of technology to the civil liberties and privacy. ACLU will present a panel discussion: "NSA Surveillance and More" this year. Electronic Frontier Foundation has a session called "Ask the EFF: the Year in Digital Civil Liberties". 

Federal law enforcement agents from the FBI, CIA, Department of Defense, United States Postal Inspection Service, and other agencies regularly attend the DefCons. Last year, four-star General Keith Alexander, head of the NSA, was a keynote speaker at the event. However, DefCon founder Jeff Moss requested government agencies to stay away from the event due to the recent revelation of the NSA surveillance program by Edward Snowden. 

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