“Multiple members of congress, dozens of congressional staffers and members of the intelligence community are gathering in Las Vegas this weekend to rub shoulders with hackers at Def Con,” reports CNN:
Washington’s embrace of the hacking community comes amid heightened awareness of the threat of cyber attacks in the wake of the 2016 US presidential election and lawmakers realizing they need to get to grips with technology, Phil Stupak, one of the organizers of Def Con’s A.I. Village told CNN Business before the conference began… Hackers here are also demonstrating potential vulnerabilities in voting machines used by Americans. The convention’s election village includes a room full of voting equipment where hackers can let loose…
It will likely be the largest presence the government has had since before 2013, when, in the wake of NSA analyst Edward Snowden’s leaks, Def Con founder Jeff Moss formally requested “the feds call a ‘time-out’ and not attend Def Con this year.” But that has since smoothed over. “I think the record presence of both representative and administration reflect the reality that technology and security are built into our society,” Moss told CNN Business.
“We are trying to break down the barriers between the people in tech who know what they’re doing and the people in Congress who know how to take that knowledge to make laws,” said Stupak, who is also a fellow at Cyber Policy Initiative at the University of Chicago.
Speaking at Def Con this year was the top cybersecurity official for America’s Department of Homeland Security, who stressed the importance of backup paper ballots, as well as “auditability.”
Also attending Def Con is Senator Ron Wyden, who emphasized another important election safeguard to CNN: that no voting equipment should be connected to the internet.