DEF CON Cancellation: An Open Letter

Just as I posted:

The news came in:

DEF CON Cancellation: An Open Letter

National Security

I know there has been concerning news about the NSA overstepping its bounds regarding data collection and the US government’s lack of action. I have worked closely with many government officials. What may appear as an erosion of our constitutional rights, are actually programs critically important to the safety of our country. Without the NSA data gathering programs, there would have already been a “Cyber 9/11”. Unfortunately, I can’t reveal the details to support this statement but, knowing my honestly and character, you’ll have to take me at my word. There are others in the security community that have access to the same information. While they may be reluctant to discuss the issue, as they may be under threat of imprisonment, they know this is true. I wish I could expound more.

Personal Privacy

Some privacy zealots will say, in the olden days, you could just “go out behind the barn” to have a private conversation. Of course, that was never true. Jimmy was always up in the loft listening. Mabel, the operator, was always listening on the phone line. We never had privacy. These people have built their unobtainable privacy demands based on falsisms and self delusion. The world never functioned this way and it won’t in the future. Only in the last few decades has privacy become an issue. Coincidence? Did DEF CON expose privacy issues or did DEF CON cause and perpetuate privacy hysteria? Certainly we need to prosecute credit card and identity theft but your daily activities, the people you associate with and your conversations should not be assumed private. If you tell one person something, it isn’t private anymore. That’s obvious.
“If you have nothing to hide, you’ve got nothing to fear”. That’s a much derided quote but, honestly, you know it is true. You’re parents and grandparents knew it was true. This is a, Christan-based, truism that is fundamental to our society. Those who criticize are looking to hide their crimes, plan on committing crimes or romantically think, some day, they’ll do something daring and rebellious. You know when you’ve done something wrong. It is better not to do it in the first place or just come clean if you have. This is how people live real life. You should live it that way on-line.


Pretty incredible stuff, an open invitation to welcome an Orwellian existence. Seems very much like thinking enslavement is a more honest course then freedom. I tend to go the other way :wink: I imagine there is a lot to this in the background for sure.


Is there a plan B for Maidsafe?

In terms of securing ourselves, I doubt we need such a device. In terms of the vision then I doubt it. If we cannot protect everyone then I firmly believe we protect nobody. A network without privacy protection is broken from the start IMHO. We can protect the network and data, then we do need to move onto protecting the endpoints. I hope the backdoor community realise they protect nobody and cause harm primarily to their ‘enemies’ but ultimately to themselves. History keeps repeating this and will continue to do so until we actually secure data and communications at it’s very core.

So no plan B, just keep going, get everything in the open and make sure plenty of developers can easily see and understand how it all works.


I mean if you get the tap on the shoulder or devs start to get harrased

scripting that tripe. Use of ‘zealot’ without irony.

Define: zealot
a person who is fanatical and uncompromising in pursuit of their religious, political, or other ideals.[/quote]

Government officials frequently becoming institutionalised and then cannot think differently. The trouble with encouraging parental Government, is they come to believe they are responsible for everything and then indulge extreme measures, to prove the negative… trouble is, it’s never quite enough. Government does not have a right to know everything. Environments without privacy become corrupt… I wonder how many consider that the NSA is corrupt.


Yep…well aware of all that stuff, but this is very serious in my estimation…things are escalating. Government knows whats coming and they want to be able to know what the people are planning…continuity of government.

These Def Con guys have obviously been leaned on

When someone like Martin Armstrong puts out an article like this about the US Jade Helm operation…it’s worth listening…that guy was put in the slammer for many years because he would not give the government his cycle algos.

I would hope that would be obvious in any tone etc. of communications or all of a sudden there were none. Warrant canaries etc. were all considered for this, but are pretty useless actually. Our single best bet is wide adoption and especially so with SAFE pods in different jurisdictions. It’s a reason I am so dogged about making the code easy to read and understand, I really want this to be known by as many as possible.

There is one thing that works for us and it’s my own refusal to be swayed by money or power, I know it’s an important asset etc. but I have been in situations where I faced lie and be rich or stay honest and be poor or possibly bankrupt,

I so far have chosen honesty over riches. Many people wrongly assume I do not value money, I certainly do want want any business to be profitable, just the right profit though! Does not mean it would always be the case, but I would certainly hope so. It would be a pretty fundamental change for me, but then again I think that’s what happened to defcon so I don’t say impossible. I just cannot see what would do that, anyway best to assume it’s possible and as a community guard against it.

We should all, as a community realise that this stuff happens and be comfortable there is enough spread of the knowledge and capability. We can prove now the tech exists and works, so the info anyone needs is already there, it will get smoother and easier as the RFC’s etc. show, but it’s there. Now we need the world to know and many many folks to use this type of design for future networks. By this I mean bake in security and privacy to every data and communication system. Make it fundamental and mathematically provable, not some firewall or addon nonsense.


Plan for the worst, hope for the best… but don’t indulge the fear… fear is the mind killer… see what it does for Government lackeys.

The arguement for allowing privacy, is robust. Government needs to acknowledge reality and understand the solutions they seek go beyond wars on nouns.

That’s some bogus logic. Conspiracy theorists are often as bad the Government itself. Indulging fantasy is not a wise route out of systemic errors.

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Glad your cool and collected about it all, guess you have to be as a leader.

Any brainwaves yet, on how you would distribute the code on the network itself Github style… Or will Development still happen primarily on the current internet ?

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The only thing we need to fear is fear itself…got it.


I think there will be a github functionality very soon after launch. I would hope to go that way, although git itself provides everything needed even as a stand alone program. Anyone with a git clone can share updates with each other.


My grandparents lived through World War 2 under Nazi rule and knew it was NOT true. In my country we had a perfect government administration of ethnicity of the entire population. Before the Nazi’s came being an ethnic Jew wasn’t something to hide. But then another kind of government came and suddenly they (ethnic Jews, not my grandparents) did have to hide and fear the worst.

The result of this perfect ethnic administration is the reason why our country suffered one of the most thorough purging of Jews in Europe.


So it’s pretty obvious to you, this guy’s reading from a script?


I wouldn’t say that, but his arguments are extremely weak. Like drag net surveillance is the same as a family member overhearing a conversation, or even a telephone operator listening to your conversation. The “nothing to hide, nothing to fear” I already addressed. One could also look at the former DDR or North Korea to see that argument is stupid. The problem is that you don’t decide whether you have something to hide, the government does. And the government can change it’s mind about that.


Edit: And look at this:

If you knew me when i was seventeen, you wouldn’t have believed the
organizations I ultimately worked for. You might have even called me a
traitor to the hacker community!

And later:

Without the NSA data gathering programs, there would have already been a
"Cyber 9/11". Unfortunately, I can’t reveal the details to support this
statement but, knowing my honestly and character, you’ll have to take
me at my word.

So first he admits the things he did can be seen as treachery to his community, and a few paragraphs later he makes a statement that we have to believe based on his reputation of honesty. :grin:

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Oh well, at least we have the documentary: DEFCON - The largest Hacking Convention in the World

I’d like to thank all the hackers that attended DEFCONNED

That open letter is a crock of poo. It certainly sounds like a script inspired by 1984

Maybe he left clues about how much we can trust the words in that open letter when he claims no one could (ever) have a private conversation. Everyone knows how to have a private conversation, with reasonable expectations of not being heard. So maybe he was forced/coerced to put out that letter. How many teenagers get private time even with helicopter parents. :slight_smile:

I laughed at the “trust me” we would have had this or that, but no one is allowed to show any evidence of it. I almost guarantee you that the ABCs of the USA would have shouted loud and long at being able to prevent a cyber 9/11. Telling the world how smart they were. Especially after the poor form of the security agencies showed with intelligence gathering pre 9/11


The ABC’s whole arguement is blackmail. “[insert horror] didn’t happen because we are here…and you can’t prove it wouldn’t. Better that you provide us the extra funding we ‘require’, otherwise bad things will happen… would be a shame, if it was on your watch.”

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Reminds of the guitarists hat from Eagle Rock…gotta love songs that stand the test of time