DEF CON, one of the world's largest computer security conventions, used to be a safe place for intelligence agency recruiters to hire hackers. In fact, National Security Agency (NSA) head Keith Alexander spoke at last year's DEF CON. But in light of the recent revelations about the NSA data-vacuuming the Internet, intelligence agencies have been told to stay away from this year's conference.
A message posted yesterday on DEF CON's website says the following:
The NSA, and other intelligence agencies, have struggled with the question of how to hire hackers, and DEF CON offered them a great community to break bread with ambivalent security experts. But it's not all gloom and doom for the NSA in terms of hacker community outreach--Alexander is scheduled to speak at the rival Black Hat conference this year.