back to article Dear alt-right morons and other miscreants: Disrupt DEF CON, and the goons will 'ave you

The organizers of the DEF CON hacking conference, due to be held in Las Vegas, USA, next week, have put those who intend to spoil the event on warning: such tactics will not be tolerated. At last month's Hackers on Planet Earth (HOPE) event in New York City, several sessions were wrecked by white nationalist attendees spouting …

  1. Warm Braw Silver badge

    Private event on private property

    Doesn't that mean the organisers can require anyone to leave at their sole discretion?

    1. Ken Hagan Gold badge

      Re: Private event on private property

      Probably, and that's probably what the lawyers who reviewed the code of conduct were thinking when they signed them off. The clever bit is for the conference organisers to realise that they have this power and that being too specific in their code of conduct probably only gives the miscreants wiggle room.

    2. MachDiamond Silver badge

      Re: Private event on private property

      "Doesn't that mean the organisers can require anyone to leave at their sole discretion?"

      Yes and no. Defcon is open to anybody who pays the entrance fee and hasn't been otherwise excluded from the event. No membership or specific invitation is required. So many people are sue happy in the USA that to throw somebody out means having a posted set of rules or the whiner may just start whinging that they were turfed because they are ______________, (insert whinger's claimed protected class here). The organizers can probably claim that they don't have to give a refund if somebody is ejected for violating the code of conduct since that will be in the terms.

      The last thing that would look good at a DefCon conference is a herd of wild police officers with their heads down charging across the veld like wildebeests.

      1. Eddy Ito

        Re: Private event on private property

        It's actually quite brief and leaves the response door fairly wide open. I also don't see much along the lines of protected class claims since any ejections will likely be because of harassment. Don't harass people and you can stay, harass people and get bounced regardless of any supposed class. The key phrase as I see it:

        We reserve the right to respond to harassment in the manner we deem appropriate, including but not limited to expulsion without refund and referral to the relevant authorities.

        Essentially a whole lot is left to the discretion of the organizers as to what constitutes harassment and how to respond.

  2. Dan Wilkie

    Never cross the Goons

    TBF, as a former Eve player - that rule of thumb can be applied outside of DefCon too

  3. jake Silver badge

    I'm tempted to fly down ...

    ... just to watch the floor show :-)

  4. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge


    The behavioral standards laws for a bunch of anarchists runs to three volumes with a legal opinion appendix

    1. Alan Brown Silver badge

      Re: Irony

      "The behavioral standards laws for a bunch of anarchists"

      Don't conflate anarchists (wanting less centralised- /more self- government) with chaosists (wanting no rules anywhere)

      It's convenient for those of an authoritarian or central government mindset to lump them together but anarchists have actually managed to run effective local governments in a number of areas during various points in history,

      1. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

        Re: Irony

        Don't conflate anarchists (wanting less centralised- /more self- government) with chaosists (wanting no rules anywhere)

        You can invent your own definitions all day long, but anarchy literally means "without leader". It's a straight transcription of the Greek ἀναρχία. That's not "more self-government"; it's "no government at all". By definition.

        (And "chaosists" is impressively cacophonic; no one with any sense of prose style would employ it. Seriously, ugh. For the love of English, "chaotists" at the very least.)

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Irony

          ``anarchy literally means "without leader". It's a straight transcription of the Greek ἀναρχία.´´

          ...correct so far...

          ``That's not "more self-government"; it's "no government at all". By definition.´´

          No, this is incorrect. You are conflating governance with leadership. They are different concepts, and while they often overlap, they are often quite separate. By definition.

          Is the governor of a steam engine the 'leader' of the engine? Is the helmsman of a ship always the captain? Who controls the aircraft, the pilot, or the air-traffic controllers?

          There are thousands of examples in nature of leaderless self-governing systems (e.g. slime molds), and many examples of systems that include an 'arch role' (to reference the same Greek root) which plays only an indirect role in system governance. The pack does not change its behaviour substantially when a new alpha male takes over because the 'rules' of governance are distributed throughout the pack - natural selection has apparently chosen those particular rules of wolf pack governance to lie beyond the executive power of the top dog. (In instincts, genetics and what-have-you).

          So governance and leadership are *not* synonyms.

          'Anarchy' means 'no leader', rather than 'no government'. The difference is important.

          No new words were invented or required in the construction of this argument.

          1. GIRZiM

            Re: Irony

            I always love it when people tell me that I should look up the official meaning of the term 'anarchy'.

            The thing about anarchy is that I don't have to let you oppress me and am not obliged to accept your definition of what it means - it means whatever I want it to and if you don't like my meaning you're free to go cry yourself to sleep about how I just won't see reason (and that's putting it mildly).

      2. JohnFen Silver badge

        Re: Irony

        "Don't conflate anarchists (wanting less centralised- /more self- government) with chaosists (wanting no rules anywhere)"

        Wait, we're redefining "anarchist" now? And even have to invent a brand new term to mean what "anarchist" means? I call bullshit.

        1. Danny 2 Silver badge

          Re: Irony

          For most of history the word democrat was demeaned just as brutally as anarchist is today, but anarchy is simply pure democracy without representatives.

  5. Updraft102 Silver badge

    False flag attack

    Just a bunch of miscreants that probably have nothing to do with what you assume they are. Why would anyone want to be such an idiot, annoying everyone, making asses of themselves, and at the same time clearly identify themselves so that everyone would know whom to hate?

    1. sabroni Silver badge

      Re: False flag attack

      Fake news!! FAKE NEWS!!!!!!

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: False flag attack

      Why would anyone want to be such an idiot, annoying everyone, making asses of themselves...

      Maybe they're just imitating their hero's behavior?

    3. ecofeco Silver badge

      Re: False flag attack

      Most people don't know why, yet there they are.

    4. phuzz Silver badge

      Re: False flag attack

      Why would anyone want to be such an idiot

      Because some people stand up for what they believe in, even if what they believe in is basically fascism-lite? Because they think that lots of other people secretly agree with them? Because some trolls actually have the guts to try to troll people outside of the internet? Because being an idiot in the US can get you elected?

      1. MachDiamond Silver badge

        Re: False flag attack

        "Because being an idiot in the US can get you elected?

        .... or a criminal. You should give equal time to both of the last major presidential candidates.

    5. Mike Moyle Silver badge

      Re: False flag attack

      ...because the self-righteous (self-reicheous?) have never been shy about identifying themselves as the "saved", "awake", non-kool-aid-drinking, red-pill-taking World Heroes(tm) that they think they are.

      On the other hand, if someone or some group of someones WANTS to pay $280 each (plus attendant expenses, if any) for a chance to get an ass-whuppin' in support of a false-flag operation, who am I to say no?

    6. Sixtysix

      Re: False flag attack

      Doesn't stop the idiots from WBC... seem to enjoy being hated.

    7. Edward Clarke

      Re: False flag attack

      See Trump, for example.

    8. IGnatius T Foobar ! Bronze badge

      Re: False flag attack

      Just a bunch of miscreants that probably have nothing to do with what you assume they are.

      Exactly. Whenever I see an article like this, I scroll to the top and sure enough, it's from El Reg's bureau in San Francisco. Seriously guys, we come here to read about tech, which for many of us is one of our few precious escapes from today's hyper-politicized world. Please don't bring the bad stuff in here.

      1. diodesign (Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

        "Please don't bring the bad stuff in here."

        No, time to get your head out of the sand, and do something about it. It's not even as if political-related stuff is more than 10% of what we write about every week or month.

        This British vid has always stuck with me - "I don't do politics" - check it out.


        1. LucreLout Silver badge

          Re: "Please don't bring the bad stuff in here."

          No, time to get your head out of the sand, and do something about it.

          That ends up counterproductive on a non-politics forum. While many commentards are to the left of Stalin, we're not all left wing at all. Instead of focussing on technology, in this case some world class conferences, it simply degenerates into political bickering over which colour of rosette wearing fraudulent liars we prefer to pretend to govern us.

          In the UK we've reached the point of having the institutionally racist labour party completely fail to make up its mind about Brexit while pretending to be all for it, and the lame duck Conservative government making a total hash of it because its led by Remainers who really don't want to leave the rEU. Thus nothing is currently achievable. Both parties are on the verge of civil war, and neither is equipped to lead us in the modern age; meanwhile the country is pulling further apart rather than closer together.

          Politics has a place, but this is a place for technology, or its a place for nothing. There's much better places to go to play politics, whichever camp you prefer and whatever level of echo chamber or debate you most enjoy.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        "Came here to read about tech"

        And the article IS about tech, it is about issues confronting hacker conferences. If you have your feelings hurt that some Trump supporters who cross the line from the political right to the alt-right are acting like jackasses and that's being called out in a Reg article, maybe READ THE TITLE before clicking on an article.

        As for the "false flag attack" theory, I don't buy it. The point of doing false flag in the political sphere is to get noticed and make the news. If El Reg is the best press they're getting for this, it wasn't worth their trouble. Better to disrupt something that will have representation from the national press in the US, so it actually makes the news.

        1. Claptrap314 Silver badge

          Re: "Came here to read about tech"

          I hate to jump in at this point, but your assertion shows a tremendous lack of imagination. False flag operations don't have to become the topic of conversation at every watering hole to be effective. They can be targeted like any other piece of PR. If the goal of an operation is to sway the view of techies, you target techie events.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: "Came here to read about tech"

            But you'd only influence that minuscule percentage of techies who attend hacker conferences. That's like trying to influence the opinion of people who watch Marvel cinematic universe movies by staging a false flag at ComiCon. You'd reach something like 0.01% of the people who watch those movies, though at least ComiCon has enough press around many people who didn't go would hear about it.

    9. JohnFen Silver badge

      Re: False flag attack

      Do you have any kind of evidence for this at all (not even asking for proof, just evidence)? Some of that might help you to avoid appearing to be a paranoid nutcase.

    10. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

      Re: False flag attack

      Why would anyone want to be such an idiot, annoying everyone, making asses of themselves

      ... by trumpeting "false flag!" at every news story that paints alt-right idiots in a bad light? A severe lack of critical thinking skills, I suspect.

    11. mpentler

      Re: False flag attack

      are you serious?

    12. GIRZiM

      Re: Why would anyone want to be such an idiot?

      "We Do It Because <some {pseudomystical [(often, but not exclusively, white) supremacist]} bullshit>."

      No, you do it because, having achieved nothing of any note with your lives (your only solace an accident of birth) you seek to justify your pitiful existence by belittling others in a manner that only serves to draw attention to your own inadequacies, that's why you do it.

      You do it because you're inadequate losers without the wit to realise that the way out of your predicament is to collaborate and co-operate with those in the same boat as you, not fight amongst each other and do your oppressors' dirty work for them - like whores fighting over which of them their violently abusive pimp loves the most *sigh*.

  6. ecofeco Silver badge
    Thumb Up


    Glad to hear this. Ignorance and hate has no place in society. Nazis even less so.

    1. Sgt_Oddball Silver badge
      Paris Hilton

      Re: Excellent

      And yet we have El presidenté...

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Excellent

      Then why is there so much of it?

      Because it's what cements societies, hate of the "other" is what binds them as a (dis)-functional group(s).

      Visit Baltimore and you'll see...

      I know we're better than that but understand being soft gets you eaten....

      Don't be a baizuo!

    3. Sixtysix
      IT Angle

      Re: Excellent

      I agree with your sentiment but am troubled by the continued, and in my view lazy, use of "-nazis" by so many people as a shortcut for enunciating the actual issues.

      It immediately conflates the (wrong) issue with all the baggage of the worst of WW2, and is a term that accuser and accusee will happily "own" and throw at each other.

      Not helpful IMHO.

      And I'm now sorry this is appended to your post as you are responding to the article, but...

      1. Tom Paine Silver badge

        Re: Excellent

        You've put your finger on a very real problem in contemporary discourse; it's so common, it's almost like some sort of law. Sixtysix's Law!

      2. Flocke Kroes Silver badge

        Re: Excellent

        There are plenty of stories about Trump having a copy of Hitler's speeches. That never worried me before but I just found evidence he can read.

        1. Someone Else Silver badge
          Big Brother

          Re: Excellent

          Or...he has someone read them to him when he needs "inspiration"....

    4. Orbsus

      Re: Excellent

      Im not sure you understand the definition of nazi.

      To be fair, it might be me because everyone is shouting nazi but all I see is assholes

      When I see a certain race or religion being hearded into camps and murdered like Christians in the middle East the word nazi springs to mind, but a difference of opinions on immigration control..... not so much

      1. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

        Re: Excellent

        When I see a certain race or religion being hearded into camps and murdered like Christians in the middle East the word nazi springs to mind

        Even then, the Nazis hardly had a monopoly on genocide. I'm certainly no fan of the contemporary hard-right political movements, but I agree that the "Nazi" label is overused and distorting.

        The more general "fascist" is also often incorrect, since many of these people don't appear to be supporting a particularly fascist system; for example the ones I've spoken with aren't in favor of mixed economies - they're laissez-faire liberals, or imagine themselves to be, in economic matters. While they may advocate some of the attributes associated with fascism, such as economic autarky, and may explicitly or implicitly endorse autocratic leaders and the like, there are innumerable variations on political systems, and a right-wing ultranationalism isn't automatically fascism.

        While there's sometimes some short-term rhetorical advantage to throwing around those historical labels, in the long run I think we do better to try for a bit more precision.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          If it walks like a duck, steps like a goose...

          Dr Lawrence Britt identified 14 common characteristics of Facist regimes back in 2003, before most of them applied in the United States. It's worth running a checklist.

          1. Claptrap314 Silver badge

            Re: If it walks like a duck, steps like a goose...

            Yeah. 2003. Right about the time we started to see Bush = Hitler all over the place.

            As always, if you sufficiently control the language, you constrain thought. 1984 was NOT supposed to be a training manual.

      2. Someone Else Silver badge

        @Orbsus -- Re: Excellent

        When I see a certain class of people being separated from their children and having those children herded into camps with no intention of reunifying them with their parents, yes the term Nazi does indeed come to mind. YMMV, or course, but that would probably be because you approve of that sort of thing.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Looking at some of the recent deletions in social media....the reasons given is that they were there as extreme leftist to make the left look bad. I suppose both sides can play that game. Who knows if these trolls - who are liars kinda by definition - actually believe what they spew? Maybe if you want to make say, the alt-right look bad, you dress up as KKK or with swastikas and go make trouble. Seems there's little honesty when people go partisan-crazy.

  8. Old Used Programmer

    Followup needed...

    ...if anything of interest happens around this issue.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    DEF CON hacking conference due to be held in

    Las Vegas, USA

    Why is it still being organized there? Didn't they learned from the last incident that the USA not only not welcome hackers security researchers but also arrest them when they come?

    Last I've heard, he is still stuck in the USA after leaving DEF CON. If you are a visitor with a history of being black hat or white hat, going to the USA is asking to be trapped and arrested there.

    1. Christian Berger

      Well DEF CON is something different to your typical European conference

      For example in Europe you typically leave your company at home, while DEF CON seems to be extremely uncritical about sponsoring. As far as I've heard they even had a smartphone provided by Facebook as a badge.

      Also another problem seems to be the different attitude about alcohol. In the US people under 21 may not drink alcohol. That is rumoured to result in binge drinking at those events. In Europe the attitude towards alcohol is much more relaxed and even children have nipped a bit of beer provided by their parents. Therefore on European hacker conferences there are rarely people who had far to much alcohol.

      1. Surreal

        Well, *I* heard... was: Re: Well DEF CON is something different to your typical European conference

        You know, Christian,

        I heard that at the coolest Euro Cons, doggies say "meow" and cats go "woof-woof!"

        WTF, you ask? Simple: when you spew bullshit based on hearsay, and utter the magic phrase "it is rumoured", you out yourself as a hysteria-stoking ninny with an agenda.

        "Uncritical about sponsoring"? You mean Defcon. In Las Vegas. Lots of haxors? Huh.

        From 18 years first-hand experience, there have never, ever been Facebook-provided smartphone badges, or corporate-branded anything. There were electronic, highly hackable badges, mostly designed by the likes of Joe Grand.

        "Teh Kiddies have unfettered access to ethanol!" No. The event is held in casinos. Casinos have security aside from the goons. Casinos take great care not to violate liquor laws, etc.

        I don't usually pick nits, but you're freaking crawlin' with 'em, comrade.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "Alt-right moron"

    that's obviously the opposite of "Oxymoron".

    1. Sgt_Oddball Silver badge

      Re: "Alt-right moron"

      Is there such a thing as the alt-left? Just set the brain meats going as a thought for the day.

      1. Uncle Slacky Silver badge

        Re: "Alt-right moron"

        No the left has no need to change its name, whereas "fascist" and "nazi" have somewhat negative connotations to overcome.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          "alt left"

          One of the leaders of the "alt right" movement - Richard Spencer, an avowed white supremacist - coined the term himself, so applying it to people with those views is appropriate. Therefore someone who is on the extreme right isn't necessarily part of the alt right - having white supremacist views or Nazi ideography is part of the definition. You can be far to the right of the republican/conservative mainstream without believing in the superiority of the white "race", and wouldn't be "alt right", just "far right".

          So I'm not sure what the definition for alt left would be, since there aren't any extreme left white supremacists or Nazis (before someone says that "socialist" is part of the name of Nazis, "democratic" and "republic" is part of name of North Korea, and they are clearly neither of those) Clearly it can't be fairly applied to everyone far left of the democratic/liberal mainstream, but applying it to those who advocate violence to achieve their goals would probably be as close as you can come (even though Spencer has been pretty careful to avoid crossing that line, many of his followers have had no problems doing so)

      2. Ken Hagan Gold badge

        Re: "Alt-right moron"

        Once you are "alt" (ie, extremist), there's no distinction between right and left. You are merely a twat trying to impose your limited mental grasp on reality upon a majority who exceed your puny mind in every respect.

      3. tekHedd


        "Is there such a thing as the alt-left?"

        True Believer Progressives are not an exact opposite of the alt-right. While the right might for example propose dismantling the EPA and using violence to suppress opposing viewpoints, the left might propose heavy censorship of "inappropriate speech" on social media and passing laws to let the government to use violence to suppress opposing viewpoints. More and more it looks like the authoritarian vs the anti-authoritarian version of the same thing. And in the end we'll probably end up with the worst of both sides as our next round of new laws. :/

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Alt-left

          The leftists who want to censor 'inappropriate speech' aren't far left in the way the alt right is far right. The far left are still anarchists like they were in the anti Vietnam days, but the far right now increasingly shares that anarchist viewpoint, which is a departure from the past.

          This is simply a reflection of the fact that the extremists on both sides don't like what they see from the government or society today. During the cold war, especially during the time of McCarthyism, the far right wasn't against the government, they were against those who were trying to change the government (i.e. integration, civil rights, protesting Vietnam, etc.)

          Since the left was successful in changing the government and society, that mindset has gone mainstream - i.e. "me too". As a result the far right no longer sees anything in the government/society worth preserving. They either want the government gone (the far right who falsely considers themselves libertarians, thinking libertarian=anarchist) or they want to turn back the clock to get the government and society of the past - that last is the anger Trump has been tapping into. "Make America Great Again", to them, means bring back the America before civil rights, before it became frowned upon to call someone a faggot or a retard.

        2. the Jim bloke Silver badge

          Re: Alt-left

          Another potential extreme-lefty grouping, at least from the vilification from some rightys, would be the transnationalists.

          No real idea how much traction they get, as I have only encountered the term as villains in fiction, promoting the evil agenda of bureaucratic world government.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            or as they're called in the UK


      4. bemused obsever

        Re: "Alt-right moron"

        "Is there such a thing as the alt-left?"

        Yes. It's where the left and right ends of the political spectrum bend around to meet. The only thing that's questionable is the existence of a dividing line between the two.

    2. G Olson

      Re: "Alt-right moron"

      that's obviously the opposite of "Oxymoron".

      I would define them as orthogonal in a self referential non-isometric topology.

    3. Mike Moyle Silver badge

      Re: "Alt-right moron"

      "that's obviously the opposite of "Oxymoron"."

      Remember: They're only "Oxymorons" as long as they're breathing. Personally, I'd prefer "Deoxymorons".

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It's all happened before. Can we afford to repeat history?

    There's certainly a pattern that's showing, at a lot of events, but I am not sure how organised it is. It's partly a consequence of social media, essentially spreading the word of what works, and with some very feeble controls of their own. And it seems to be a Silicon Valley thing that has come out of the commercialisation of the internet. Communities survive, and DEF CON may be one, but so much is piggy-backing on the sociopathic ultra-capitalism of the 21st Century.

    And this sort of idiot, whatever the label "alt-right" means, are the same sorts of sucker who, 85 years ago, were marching in various sorts of coloured shirts behind charismatic leaders who had mostly come out of left-wing movements. Strong leaders, backed by the will of the people and doing something that turned out to be crazy...

    Does all this sound familiar?

  12. hplasm Silver badge


    "...kicked into the fetid hell of the August Las Vegas sunshine with a boot mark on their backsides."

    "Oh Neddy! You've deaded me!

    1. Tom Paine Silver badge

      Re: Goons-

      Heeeeeeee's fallen in the - er, sand dune!

  13. Casca
  14. AndyS


    Why the hell would a bunch of racists, facists, Nazis, and Trump supporters decide that this particular style of conference is something they want to disrupt?

    Like, are they feeling particularly hacked off?

    1. kain preacher

      Re: What?

      I was thinking the same thing. These are people that hack countries for fun and are hired by intelligence agencies to hack or tell them how not to be hacked . Talk about poking a bee hive.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: What?

      They're probably ticked off about the publicity that's occurred in the past events about how easy it is to crack voting machines. That publicity raises the public's awareness about election [in]security. I suspect the alt-right wackos are pleased that the election technology has piss poor security. Helps their preferred political party--and/or its foreign supporters--swing elections.

  15. paulf Silver badge

    Please call them what they are

    "members of the alt-reichright"

    Frankly the strike through text in the article had it spot on in the first place. Perhaps I risk down votes for putting my head above the parapet on this, but the current fashion for calling the new generation of far right fascists "alt-right" (or even alt-reich), as if they're just another right of centre political grouping that deserves equal prominence in the interest of "balance" just masks their true cause + hateful aims, and risks legitimising them.

    I hope the warning shot from the DEF CON Organisers works, and they can complete the conference successfully with plenty of constructive debate and no disruptive trolls.

  16. Qarumba

    Just use the following...


  17. Dr. Mouse Silver badge

    "Simply put: if you're an asshole, you'll get thrown out."

    Very good rule to have.

    I often wonder at events and private organisations making law-like rules and court-like procedures. While the nightclub bouncer methodology (our word is law, chuck out anyone who we even think is causing trouble, with no right to appeal) can be frustrating when you end up innocently on the wrong side of it, it's better than having an event like this spoiled by a small group of dickheads.

    1. Ken Hagan Gold badge

      Night-club bouncers are all very well, but you need someone with a little judgement reviewing their decisions. (

  18. Christian Berger

    Actually there were virtually no problems at the Chaos Comunications Congress...

    ... particulary as there was no formal Code of Conduct. Having an elaborate Code of Conduct essentially invites such behaviour. It turns interactions with people into a game of how far you can go while still staying within the lines.

    The more sensible solution is provide help to anybody who is in need. For example during CCC events there is a helpline anyone can call if they feel misstreated. They also have volunteers to resolve those problems.

    The main point here is to react when there is a problem, not to proactively impose rules because someone thinks there may be problems. You rarely can solve problems before they exist. Also Twitter is not the real world, Twitter mostly is a way of public interaction which brings out the worst in people.

    1. MachDiamond Silver badge

      Re: Actually there were virtually no problems at the Chaos Comunications Congress...

      DefCon has grown to where it's a really big event so having a Code of Conduct is a good idea. Years ago, when it was moderately small I never noticed any problems with somebody being disruptive. At least nothing that sticks in the mind. There are always a few self-important dickheads.

      1. Christian Berger

        Re: Actually there were virtually no problems at the Chaos Comunications Congress...

        Well but the Chaos Communications Congress is not _that_ much smaller. Last time it was 15000 people.

  19. Anonymous South African Coward Silver badge

    red shirted goons = star trek redshirts?

    Mine's the one with the Kobayashi Maru in the pockets.

  20. Will Godfrey Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    About time

    Hopefully one of the low-lifes will try it on early, and get booted out so fast and 'positively' the others get the message.

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "likely to be kicked into the fetid hell of the August Las Vegas sunshine "

    I'd imagine your average pasty computer nerd would spontaneously combust in that scenario

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    That's all.

    1. Tom Paine Silver badge

      Deep, man.

  23. SVV Silver badge

    When it comes to people you don't want to piss off with this sort of shit

    I would think that expert hackers are probably not the wisest targets.

    1. Claptrap314 Silver badge

      Re: When it comes to people you don't want to piss off with this sort of shit

      Which is part of why people start wondering about false-flagging.

      The average alt-righter wouldn't have the first clue as to what these events are about. And while the tech industry seems to have taken a significant shift to the left in the last ten years, it hardly is enough to raise enough ire to start this sort of thing. Alex Jone's FB suspension may (may) have changed that, but this event was well before that.

      And how many events of any sort has the alt-right attempted to disrupt? Event disruption by the left is so common that it's often not reported. And for the last couple of years, the authorities have been increasingly supporting of it.

      But again, it's downright weird to say that the alt-right would more-or-less start event disruptions by going after tech events.

      1. anonanonanon

        Re: When it comes to people you don't want to piss off with this sort of shit

        Don't think that's true, considering a lot of these jerks specifically work on gaming various systems to spread their views, and came from online communities. Also, Have a look on any tech news article concerning say, maybe more women should be working in tech, check comments,.

    2. JohnFen Silver badge

      Re: When it comes to people you don't want to piss off with this sort of shit

      Thug: "I'm going to break your legs"

      Geek: "My legs will heal. Your credit score will not."

    3. MachDiamond Silver badge

      Re: When it comes to people you don't want to piss off with this sort of shit

      Yep. One year I was bunking in a hotel room with a few other people and a girl was bragging to one of my roommates that her poo didn't stink. When we got back to the room, he tapped a few keys on the laptop and built her a whole new website that likely didn't please her very much. I nearly hurled from laughing so hard. I'm very polite to people at these types of conferences. I have no illusions that I'm LGK sysadmin with airtight code-foo.

  24. Simon Ward

    Remember Rule #2

    "Don't be a dick."

    Pretty simple, really.

    (Rule 1 is, of course, . "Do not act incautiously when confronting little bald wrinkly smiling men!" )

    1. MachDiamond Silver badge

      Re: Remember Rule #2

      "(Rule 1 is, of course, . "Do not act incautiously when confronting little bald wrinkly smiling men!" )"

      LMAO. Nice one, Simon. The Thief of Time is a great book.

  25. boltar Silver badge

    Right wing nutters vs self important anti establishement brats

    I'll get the popcorn...

  26. tiggity Silver badge

    code of conduct

    Just make it so it included the line that Nazi punching is compulsory so it is inadvisable for Nazis to enter as they may suffer health damage.

    Than, as soon as someone does a bit of "alt Reich" Nazi style behaviour the people nearby can happily deck them.

    1. Alphebatical

      Re: code of conduct

      An uncivilized, anti-social code of conduct can't make assault and battery any less of a crime. What it can accomplish, however, is to make DEF CON legally liable for any attacks that happen during the event.

  27. Hollerithevo

    Trolls choose politics

    I think the troll mentality is one you are born with. Sociopathic, if you will, or just plain nasty. Then they seek a belief system that will allow them to wreak their choice of havoc, be it Westboro of white supremacist or whatever.

    This makes it difficult for groups campaigning for positive change (e.g. end to disability discrimination) to act in any way but Gandhian passivity, lest they be tarred with the same brush.

    1. Throatwarbler Mangrove Silver badge

      Re: Trolls choose politics

      I disagree. I think there may be "natural born" sociopaths out there, but I think there are plenty of people who have been conditioned to see the world through a particular lens. If you can get those people to perceive others with empathy and compassion instead of judgement and hate, then it's possible to undo that conditioning. The misfortune of meeting them with anger is that it simply feeds their perspective; meeting them with compassion and understanding instead is more challenging and less viscerally satisfying, but it's just about the only thing that might work.

      1. JohnFen Silver badge

        Re: Trolls choose politics

        "I think there are plenty of people who have been conditioned to see the world through a particular lens"

        This. Most people (myself included) tend to mistake the limits of their view as the limits of the world. And when your view is a very dark one...

  28. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    A taste of their own medicine


    "Ignorance and hate has no place in society." Most of the population is ignorant about most of what goes on in the Universe most of the time (present company included). That's life. Get over it.

    Just calling what someone else says "hate" doesn't mean you get to shut it down. The trolls at HOPE are simply giving the SJWs a taste of their own medicine and they don't like it. I have no problem with the organisers throwing out disruptive people but be consistent. When the Left does it the reaction is all too often to shut down or prevent from speaking the person they object to. If those are the rules of the game don't be surprised when people with differing views use the same tactics and raise the cost of policing events.

    What if I said that I find many comments that are anti-business, anti-capitalist, anti-banker, anti-lawyer, anti-Christian, anti-Jewish or anti-white people to be ignorant and hateful comments? ecofeco, will you support shutting down people who make such comments? Will you call them Nazis? Thought not.

    1. Throatwarbler Mangrove Silver badge

      Re: A taste of their own medicine

      Ugh, there's a difference between commenting on a message board and standing in the aisle of a conference and shouting down the speakers or getting up in someone's face and yelling at them. Do you understand that difference?

    2. JohnFen Silver badge

      Re: A taste of their own medicine

      "Most of the population is ignorant about most of what goes on in the Universe most of the time"

      Exactly. I always say this a little differently: we are all, without exception, ignorant of more things than we're knowledgeable about.

      There's no disgrace in ignorance. That's just the natural result of the human condition. The disgrace is in believing that you aren't ignorant when it comes to topics where you are. This, in my opinion, is the most caustic effect of the new industry (particularly television news and commentary) -- it leaves you with the satisfying of being informed without actually informing you.

  29. Dan 55 Silver badge

    What's in it for them?

    Why do they want to disrupt hacker conferences... Is this the modern-day book-burning?

    1. kain preacher

      Re: What's in it for them?

      No this is more like trolling the opposing football fan club. Sure you can do it, sure it sounds like fun and that's the same thing that the opposing soccer fan club might say when then bash your face in with a proper pint glass.

    2. Flocke Kroes Silver badge

      Re: What's in it for them?

      Is anybody nervous about people finding out elctions can be hacked?

      1. MachDiamond Silver badge

        Re: What's in it for them?

        "Is anybody nervous about people finding out elctions can be hacked?"

        I think most of us already had suspicions. Having them confirmed is the scary part.

  30. Helen Highwater

    In essence

    Question the groupthink, and be ready for the "brown...sorry RED-shirts" to assault you?

    1. JohnFen Silver badge

      Re: In essence

      Not even in the ballpark. It's more like "disrupt the event, and the security team will remove you from the premises".

  31. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Dead Canary...?

    Make of it what you will, but as DefCon is winding up to !!FULL STEAM AHEAD!!, they are holding a cage with an ex-canary behind their metaphysical backs.

    We *may* have been warned...

    (some historic form for forgetting to feed their poor Canary...)

  32. Robert Helpmann?? Silver badge

    Don't be a Dick

    I've worked volunteer security at an annual convention for a number of years (I have odd hobbies) and have had to deal with a number of situations at least one of which have ended up on YouTube. Deescalation has worked in all cases I have been involved with... so far. We have a paid police presence if that doesn't work.

    There will always be people in any group who push the limits for one reason or another. If you say this is a hard limit, they will see how close they can come to the line without going over it - because they didn't break any rules, they feel they haven't done anything wrong even though they had malicious intent. I do not have any compunction about ejecting someone of this nature. This sort of things is covered in our stated rules, too. One year, we even had a slogan up that said the number one rule was "Don't be a Dick". Of course there was one guy who had to test that and showed up dressed as a giant penis...

    1. Sixtysix

      Re: Don't be a Dick

      "...showed up dressed as a giant penis..."

      Was he ejected or ejac.... No, better not.

      1. Antron Argaiv Silver badge
        Paris Hilton

        Re: Don't be a Dick

        Well, if walking around dressed like a gian penis at a hackers' convention is your thing, and you're not bothering anyone, have at it!

        // Paris, because she'd enjoy it...

  33. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    False Flag / Fake News

    Is there really this impression that we're all basement dwelling LGBT anarcho socialists?!

    The are more MXGA Hats in hiding in that crowd than the OP would like to think...

  34. JcRabbit

    Good! People should not be allowed to disrupt events, doesn't matter if alt-right, alt-left, alt-middle or alt-anywhere. A moron is a moron is a moron. Don't want to listen, don't go.

    Universities should start hiring their own goons for when leftist groups like Antifa and SJWs do exactly the same thing to invited speakers. They too should be 'kicked into the fetid hell of the August sunshine with a boot mark on their backsides' to see if they learn some manners and stop being anti-social assh*les.

  35. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    As a regular attendee

    I have to say this is the biggest, trouble free, non-commercial event I have ever had the fortune to attend. 20,000 plus people, shoulder to shoulder, no arguments, everyone helpful, it's really awesome. I've made friends, learned bleeding edge (and old) stuff that helps me protect "your money" in our bank for you. It's all learning and parties. The Goons are awesome at keeping traffic flowing and answering questions, if I wasn't there for work I would volunteer. It really is something to see, but keep your devices off line lol, less your username and password hit the wall of shame (live stream of hacked accounts projected on a wall. half you password is covered, it scrolls lol)

    1. Tom Paine Silver badge

      Re: As a regular attendee

      If your phone or other gear is sending credentials in plain, leave it offline permanently...

  36. newyork10023

    Not all is at it appears

    There is a continuous thread through all the comments suggesting these "demonstrators" have an honest and sincere viewpoint. "Why? To what purpose?"

    It is entirely possible that all is not as it appears. Who might possibly have an interest in this day and age to discredit the white hat community as a bunch of extremists and radicals deserving attention from the "alt-right"? One should imagine the headlines the popular press will dream up. And there is the distraction from the Real News.

    Oh, by the way, Def Con will have an event this year where kids will demonstrate the ease of hacking the US voting infrastructure. *cough*

    1. JohnFen Silver badge

      Re: Not all is at it appears

      "It is entirely possible that all is not as it appears"

      Sure. That's true with everything, though, and so it's a meaningless statement unless there is some actual evidence.

  37. Mike 16 Silver badge

    Westboro Business model

    At least two commenters so far are apparently unaware of the actual nature of "Westboro Baptist Church".

    The business model is actually quite simple:

    1) Found a law firm (mostly family).

    2) Declare yourself to be a church (No interaction with any recognizable Baptist congregation needed).

    3) Behave as badly as you can while staying one micron inside the law. E.g. shouting offensive crap at the funerals of combat veterans. Someone is sure to have an emotional response.

    4) When police break up the resulting kerfuffle, cry "Police Brutality" and sue the city where this occurs.

    5) PROFIT!

  38. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Now lets do te same for the alt left..

    Who have a far greater track record of shouting down anyone they disagree with...

  39. Milton

    Be relevant or be gone

    Provided the oranisers are within their legal rights to bar and/or eject any person they want to, at their sole discretion, and provided attendees have signed up under those conditions, it shouldn't be hard to tell irritants to get out, but I guess you have to be careful how you do this: the law will reasonably expect some proportionality in any force used to evict troublemakers. If it's going to come to physically escorting people off the premises and then ensuring they don't return, I'd suggest a heavy presence of CCTV and body cams, not to mention some very professional minimum-force bouncing skills. Right-wing loonies wil be only too happy to bash themselves in the nose, head-butt a chair (or even arrive with self-inflicted injuries under their clothes) to play the victim card.

    You need to play it dead straight, no matter how angry they may make you, and treat them like unpredictable, furious, unbalanced, volatile, fragile children. Which is not so very far from the truth anyway.

    Remember the Number One Rule of Right Wing Extremism: "We lost the argument 70 years ago; all we have left is lies."

    (Rule #2 is "Focus on the gullible".)

  40. HmmmYes

    Big Mac.

    Fries to go....

    1. GIRZiM

      Hup! Hup! Heads up!

      Big Mac.

      Fries to go....

      Go, grebo!

      (Loudhailer for inside joke reasons ;-).

  41. Aodhhan

    Keep politics out

    I don't care which side you belong to. I don't want to see any political activities at a Info Sec conference. I even hate the morons on both sides, who want to interject it on this site.

    They only display how hateful and small minded they are; most only repeat what they've heard, and not what they objectively know from doing their own work. If they did, they'd see both sides are moronic liars, who only say things to get your vote and do their best to trash anyone who opposes them.

    So.. it's the same ole crap from both sides. Use your brain power for something else, and keep the political thoughts away from security sites and conferences.

  42. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Since this is a technical event why not just make them pass a test to get in

    Those who can show that they have the knowledge to join an informed discussion in one area and those that cannot in a seperate secure/ listen only area with any question being relayed by attendants ( cost of additional staff added to ticket price ).

    If the experts cannot seperate themselves from the amatures then they belong with them and all that entails. Having written technical tests then I would say that the knowledge required to write a meaningful examination is far greater than that required to be recognised as competent in a subject. Thus a speaker's technical ability would get them the audience they deserve and the BSers would increasingly not get asked to speak if the result is trouble for the event.

    1. Danny 2 Silver badge

      Re: Since this is a technical event why not just make them pass a test to get in

      "If the experts cannot seperate themselves from the amatures"

      Separate. Amateur.

      For someone anonymously advocating competency tests for admission to an event then why haven't you been able to install a spell checker?

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