I just wanted to thank the folks at NBC Dateline for all the LULZ:
Kinda reminds me of that whole Internet Haet Machine failure produced by Fox. And here I thought that “investigative journalism” means that one has to objectively investigate the story. But there is nothing objective about what this woman did – and she was not investigating anything.
She went to Defcon with preconceived notions of what it was, and aimed to capture specific footage of people confessing to committing crimes, and undercover federal agents being outed by the crowd. This indicates a complete lack of understanding of why people go to conferences like Defcon.
Let me put it this way – if you own a large spamming botnet, and run a successful pishing operation, a credit card fraud, an identity theft racket, or if you are breaking into systems for profit, then Defcon is the last place you want to be. Who goes to Defcon then? Security researchers, sysadmins, government security specialists and geeks who have active research interest in security field. Those who go there to learn how to h4x are most likely some poor misguided script kiddies that would get bored by all the talks and happily incriminate themselves into crimes they never committed on the Dateline hidden cam.
Dateline NBC probably had the segment written long before they even sent that girl to the conference: “Hackers gather at an underground conference Las Vegas to learn how to break the law using technology. See the shocking footage of the secret computer criminal meeting, only on NBC Dateline.” Sigh… It’s kinda like trying to catch rapists at a pr0n convention, or murderers at a NRA gun show.
The worst part is that shit like that riles up the technologically-illiterate masses of voting citizens, who then push their representatives to create more anti-circumvention legislation. And, seriously – more laws that make security research illegal is the last thing we need.
Thanks to Travis for bringing this story to my attention.
[tags]defcon, dateline nbc, reported outed, security, hacker, conference[/tags]