Last year National Security Agency boss Gen. Keith Alexander showed up at the Defcon hacker conference as a keynote speaker wearing blue jeans and a black t-shirt and called on hackers to team up with the with the NSA to protect “networks, civil liberties and privacy.”
He said the community always operated in a spirit of openness and trust. But this time around, something appears to have changed.
“When it comes to sharing and socializing with feds, recent revelations have made many in the community uncomfortable about this relationship,” said Moss.
At least one security researcher said that Moss, who is respected in both black hat and white hat communities, may have overstepped his bounds.
Moss’s statement was “not in order” although it was “an important one,” said Michael Sutton, vice-president of security research firm Zscaler.
He said the statement illustrates the “deep disappointment of the Defcon community who feel they were blatantly lied to in the light of the Prism scandal.”
At the conference last year, when Alexander was asked if the NSA was spying on U.S. citizens, the general said no.
Sutton said Moss was sending the NSA a message saying “you disrespected us in our own house – we’d prefer you not visit this year.”