Since its founding in 1992, the annual hacker conference DefCon has encouraged computer enthusiasts of all sorts—federal agents included—to mix and share ideas in Las Vegas. Among other things, federal agencies have used the confab as a headhunting paradise as they beefed up their own cybersecurity efforts.
But that may come to a screeching halt this year in the wake of disclosures about the NSA’s allegedly vast cybersurveillance programs. For the first time, DefCon has asked the feds to steer clear of the conference, citing a desire for a “time out” that would give people time to cool off—and that could also presumably head off ugly confrontations.
(See also: ReadWrite’s coverage of PRISM)