RSA Show Boycott Spreads in Wake of NSA Allegations

By Jeffrey Burt  |  Posted 2014-01-11 Print this article Print

However, Brenner said he is going to the show, even though he, too, is angry and respects the decision of those dropping out. He argued that he goes to the conference to network with others in the security community, and that he can't do his job without going. Besides, he wrote, "If you're angry with RSA, isn't it better to attend the conference and speak your mind? It's a more powerful approach than staying home."

The protest against RSA is not limited to speakers. The Open Web Application Security Project (OWASP) reportedly is canceling its co-marketing agreement with the show, and a board member, Eoin Keary will not lead a scheduled discussion about secure coding in protest. In a statement on Twitter, Keary said he may want to do the training at another security event, possible at a BSides conference.

"Must live by my ideals as an @owasp board member," he said in his tweet.

Fight For The Future, a digital rights group, also is hoping to convince comedian Stephen Colbert, who is scheduled to give the closing speech, to withdraw from the show. The group has created an online petition hoping to convince Colbert to cancel his talk.

"Last month, we learned that RSA accepted $10m from the NSA to stick a backdoor in one of their encryption products, and intentionally weaken the safety of the entire internet," the petition reads. "We know you, Stephen, and we know you love a good backdoor as much as we do—but this is no laughing matter. By colluding with the NSA and covering it up, RSA has endangered all of us."



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