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NSA Chief To Address Hackers At DEF CON 136

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the and-then-arrest-them dept.
wiredmikey writes "Later this week, the NSA's organizational leader and head of the U.S. Cyber Command – General Keith Alexander — will address an audience of hackers at DEF CON. News of General Alexander's talk at Def Con broke on Friday. Up until that point, the 12:00 Track 1 slot was kept secret, leaving attendees to the world's largest hacker conference to speculate. The buzz was that it would be something interesting – if only because this year is Def Con's 20th anniversary. General Alexander will be giving a talk titled 'Shared Values, Shared Responsibility,' which is outlined as a presentation that will focus on the shared core values between the hacker community and the government's cyber community. Namely, the vision of the Internet as a positive force, the fact that information increases value by sharing, the respect and protection of privacy and civil liberties, and the opposition to malicious and criminal behavior."
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NSA Chief To Address Hackers At DEF CON

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  • by sethstorm (512897) on Monday July 23, 2012 @08:58PM (#40744697) Homepage

    I presume that this guy won't count, or will this have the audience racing to be the first person to claim spotting him?

    • Shared value ? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Taco Cowboy (5327) on Monday July 23, 2012 @09:29PM (#40744895) Journal

      What type of "value" they really think they truly share with us?
       
      Spying on your own neighbors?
       
      Frame innocent people up with trumped up charges?
       
      Keep track of every-single-thing on every-single-person on earth?
       

      • and to be even more precise, please have them list the {type, length, value}.

      • by ndogg (158021)

        To be fair, I don't think those are the goals of the people that work there in and of themselves. They have masters to whom they must answer.

      • by poity (465672)

        You're talking about the DOJ, not the Air Force Cyber Command, I presume? Or maybe you're lumping them together because they both take orders from the President?

      • Why, knowing things, obviously. Just like we want to know how the world works in every minute detail, they want to know what the world's doing... in every minute detail.
      • by matunos (1587263)

        These all sound like things a black hat might enjoy, yes.

      • by Atryn (528846)

        What type of "value" they really think they truly share with us? ... Keep track of every-single-thing on every-single-person on earth?

        Well, they did say "...the fact that information increases value by sharing..." -- Just think how much value they are creating by sharing all information about every single person on earth with every federal agency who needs/wants it?

    • by ehintz (10572)

      IIRC, spot the fed is only for ones that aren't obviously identified (being a speaker is a bit obvious).

      • I think you lose points for claiming a Fed that is Openly a Fed (you can get some decent points with Spot The Journo when somebody tries to sneak in).

    • by matunos (1587263)

      It could all just be an elaborate social engineering attack.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by cold fjord (826450)

      Apparently the image of hackers as vandals and social misfits, rather than clever programmers, needs reinforcement.

      • If you're against the NSA's widespread illegal domestic wiretapping and surveillance you're a "vandal and social misfit?" And if you applaud it you're a "clever programmer?"

        Hackers should not abandon all idealism for the sake of conforming and being respected by authoritarians and authority cocksuckers. At that point you're not a hacker, you're a stooge who's good at programming.

        Eggs. Booed off stage. Make it happen.

    • THIS

      Eggs and booed off stage or DEFCON has officially jumped the shark.

  • by Johann Lau (1040920) on Monday July 23, 2012 @09:07PM (#40744753) Homepage Journal

    "malicious and criminal behavior" = "malicious and criminal behavior of the unapproved kind"

    How about simply not showing up? Let that guy talk in front the plants he brought :P

    Surely you could use that time for something better, like chatting, or bringing down the government.

    • by c0lo (1497653)

      "malicious and criminal behavior" = "malicious and criminal behavior of the unapproved kind"

      How about simply not showing up? Let that guy talk in front the plants he brought :P

      Also:

      the fact that information increases value by sharing

      I'm not quite sure RIAA/MPAA agree... (unless the shared info comes from Faecebook)

      the respect and protection of privacy and civil liberties

      "respect and protection of privacy and civil liberties" - that's indeed the most refined level of newspeak NSA would be capable of delivering for the present time. Expect increased sophistication as the society "evolves".

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Genda (560240)

      Or everyone could read the following quote from Good Will Hunting [imdb.com].

    • Surely you could use that time for something better, like chatting, or bringing down the government.

      Hey now, let's not get too carried away. I realize you're a little annoyed with how things have been going lately. But chatting?? That's a little extreme, don't you think?

  • I mean really, show me a hacker that doesn't want to listen to every phone call on the planet... it's like meeting your Bizarro self...

  • I wonder... (Score:5, Funny)

    by SleepyHappyDoc (813919) on Monday July 23, 2012 @09:27PM (#40744881)

    how long it will take someone in the audience to get into his cell phone.

    • by Keebler71 (520908) on Monday July 23, 2012 @09:38PM (#40744947) Journal
      Probably less long that it would take him to get into everyone in the audience's...
    • by DNS-and-BIND (461968) on Tuesday July 24, 2012 @03:42AM (#40746667) Homepage
      Funny story - I was in Austin at HoHoCon (I forget) somewhere around '93-'95. This was when the Radio Shack PRO-43 scanner could easily be modified to listen in on 800MHz cell phone transmissions . Well, there were a couple of guys from Motorola security there dressed up with earpieces, looking like SS agents. Later, in the rooms, we were listening to my PRO-43 on an external speaker, drifting from conversation to conversation. Side note: I really miss listening in - it was fascinating, boring, and disturbing to see what people really said. Anyway, we lucked out and got one of the Motorola guys' conversations, talking to someone back at base. He said he had seen us around with our little scanners, and didn't trust this transmission. "Hell, they're probably listening in right now," he said. We all busted out laughing..."Yeah...we are!" Good times.
  • by Darkness404 (1287218) on Monday July 23, 2012 @09:28PM (#40744887)
    Ah yes, the US government has a stellar track record in recent years as it relates to civil liberties and basic privacies online...
    • Make the lie big, and stick to it...

    • by Teresita (982888)
      Civil liberties are only important in countries that are ruled by dictators we don't like, such as Syria, Iran, Russia, China, etc. But in places like Bahrain, Afghanistan, Turkmenistan and other countries where the US has military bases, civil liberties are overrated.
    • After 9/11 and the unabomber and the OKC bomber and others, citizens demanded to be protected, and politicians lapped it up.

      The TSA has been sexually assaulting millions of people for how long, and there has been no groundswell of support to stop them. Now they've expanded to having uniformed thugs stop and search people using buses and trains looking for terrorists.

      What makes you think they will stop there, and not expand to people in malls, office towers, or even just on a downtown street [because anyone

      • by Tancred (3904)

        or even just on a downtown street

        That's happening already. It's called Stop and Frisk.

  • by macshit (157376)
    that's really pretty cool...
  • while Alexander is preaching this stuff, his crew and/or the contractors who are being payed billions of taxpayer dollars are hard at work building the next version of Stuxnet.

    its pure marketing.

    but there is absolutely almost zero common ground between the fundamental ethos of the 2600 types - namely, the search for truth, knowledge, and wisdom, and the fundamental ethos of the military - destroy the enemy. sure, the military needs some smart folks to help it do its work, and sometimes its necessary. but to

  • "We need your services in the War on Terror, why don't you come work for us?"
    Despite the fact that he represents the organization that most hackers fear the attentions of the most :P

    • "We need your services in the War on Terror, why don't you come work for us?"
      Despite the fact that he represents the organization that most hackers fear the attentions of the most :P

      So, living in mom's basement makes you, and by extension your friends, proof against poison and bombs?

  • He better go device naked, just imagine a NSA phone lost at DEF CON ... :)

    • by ganjadude (952775)
      Thats saying he doesnt have a honeypot configured on said phone to catch the ones who think its just too easy
    • by Atryn (528846)

      just imagine a NSA phone lost at DEF CON ... :)

      That sounds almost as bad as an iPhone prototype left at a bar... But I'm sure Apple will take precedence on government resources to "recover" their device...

  • Who's he kidding? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by TubeSteak (669689) on Monday July 23, 2012 @09:55PM (#40745011) Journal

    The hacker community and USG cyber community share some core values: we both see the Internet as an immensely positive force; we both believe information increases in value by sharing; we both respect protection of privacy and civil liberties; we both believe in the need for oversight that fosters innovation, doesnâ(TM)t pick winners and losers, and retains freedom and flexibility; we both oppose malicious and criminal behavior. We should build on this common ground because we have a shared responsibility to secure cyberspace.

    Since when does the NSA respect privacy?
    From MINARET and SHAMROCK to ECHELON, Stellar Wind, and warrantless wiretapping, they've done nothing but disrespect privacy.

    Shit. FISA was passed into law specifically because the NSA was spying on Americans.
    And then Bush came along and did his best to piss all over the minimal protections provided by FISA [wikipedia.org]
    And Congress helped by giving retroactive immunity to the Telecoms for illegally enabling the NSA's surveillance.

    The Director of the NSA is in for a tough time if he's really going to claim that the NSA respects privacy.

    • by bug1 (96678)

      Since when does the NSA respect privacy?

      He said that the NSA respects protection of privacy, he didnt says whos privacy.
      Obviously they dont respect the protection of other peoples privacy, that would defeat their purpose for existing. They certainly care about other people respecting the NSA's privacy.

    • by matunos (1587263)

      Simce when do black hats respect privacy? See? Shared values.

      • by Atryn (528846)

        Simce when do black hats respect privacy? See? Shared values.

        +1

        Yes, I think both communities generally agree... the privacy of *my* information should be respected but *your* information wants to be free!

  • In US officials' language "civil liberties" means "something that we claim, our enemies disrespect when we want to attack them".

    • In US officials' language "civil liberties" means "something that we claim, our enemies disrespect when we want to attack them".

      Tell it to Stalin and Kim.

      Stalin's death camps [youtube.com]
      Gulag [gulaghistory.org]
      Inside North Korea's Gulag [wsj.com]

      • by Alex Belits (437) *

        Shoud I post everything (fictional and real, as your examples also include plenty of fiction) about US government tortuting, killing and in other ways abusing people?

        • by Anonymous Coward

          You should learn about these things called numbers. They will help you understand the scale of things.

          • by Alex Belits (437) *

            The numbers you have, are written by your friendly propaganda workers, with some help from one fiction author (who was legitimately pissed off, but there the reality ends as far as he is concerned).

  • the respect and protection of privacy and civil liberties, and the opposition to malicious and criminal behavior

    I guess, in a sense, those are shared values. Both sides share the view that half of the above pair is a "nice to have" that can be infringed when it conflicts with the other half.

    But I don't think the two sides agree on which half can be justly infringed.

    If you look at it that way, it is such an elegant turn of phrase -- and in a context where riddles and half truths are held in such esteem -- th

  • What, like violating the fourth amendment?

    -jcr

  • I'm packing as I type this... Defcon XX here I come.

    Min

  • If you don't feel patriotic or disagree with your current government, consider using your leet skills for the benefit of all mankind by taking on people like Assad. He is killing his own people. Think about forming a temporary partnership/truce for the good of all people. Get him where it hurts by taking out his bank accounts, taking out his internal networks. Help out the people of Syria and the world at large by helping the NSA/CIA find and seize his offshore accounts.

    Assad obviously does not give a crap

  • I can't help but think this is abit like Darth Vader addressing the Rebel forces... just saying

    _______________________________

    "it's like, whatever..."
  • Politics aside (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Sparticus789 (2625955) on Tuesday July 24, 2012 @07:44AM (#40747843) Journal

    General Alexander is actually a funny guy. I was doing an installation run at Fort Meade a few years back. Turns out the General didn't leave his house early enough and he got stuck in his driveway while the entire base ran by. Since he had to wait for a few thousand people to run by, he made the best of it and did some road-side stand-up comedy for us. Mostly the General was satirizing himself and the rest of the Generals out there, by sarcastically complaining about us doing this run and not slaving away inside our cubicles.

  • by aaaaaaargh! (1150173) on Tuesday July 24, 2012 @09:43AM (#40749517)

    Apparently, a shortened version of the speech has been leaked. Here is it:

    Uhm. Hello guys! We do some really cool stuff at the NSA and have some really big machines. Unfortunately, I cannot go into the details here, so just trust in blind faith when I say that work at NSA is pretty cool and some of you might be interested in joining us -- provided you are "flexible", patriots up to a pathological level and willing to totally submit to superiors, of course. Because we're the good guys (again, I cannot really justify why we are the good guys, as this is all top secret, etc.). Thanks a lot and hope to see you soon at NSA!

  • That's a tough one, but I'll take a shot. Say I'm working at N.S.A. Somebody puts a code on my desk, something nobody else can break. Maybe I take a shot at it and maybe I break it. And I'm real happy with myself, 'cause I did my job well. But maybe that code was the location of some rebel army in North Africa or the Middle East. Once they have that location, they bomb the village where the rebels were hiding and fifteen hundred people I never met, never had no problem with, get killed. Now the politicians

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