Sunday, August 05, 2007

Geek Moment

What is DefCon?

Possibly the oddest convention in the world. It is an annual meeting of hackers. Bizarrely these criminals (well, by the letter of the law they are) mingle with federal agents (well, they don't say they are but everyone knows they are) in a kind of DMZ for internet security.

What is hidden camera journalism?

An ethical gray area in the field of investigative journalism. Reporters surreptitiously tape people in an effort to expose wrongdoing. The briteline is generaly considered to be it can only be used to record criminal activity.

How do these two thing relate?

Not at all. Until NBC sent a producer to this years DefCon with a hidden camera in an effort to obtain footage of hackers admitting to felony activity. Of course the hackers sniffed her out, lured her to a packed conference room by floating a rumor they were going to expose the feds and instead exposed her.

What is the lesson learned?

Don't f*ck with hackers.


Grayson: Atlanta, GA said...

That whole thing made me squint over just how blurry the media lines are becoming. Get out your X-ray vision glasses.

Anonymous said...

There were some serious Revenge of the Nerds laughs in that video.

And this also makes me doublethink my own spycam cobbled together for YD citizen journalism purposes. I never did get definitive legal advice on that whole affair.

Unknown said...

I checked on the story and then googled to see where else it was picked up. The results were a who's who of tech blogs and lists and not a single traditional media outlet. The closest was the wired blog. Pretty interesting. Major media outlet gets embarrassed, no coverage. Who watches the watchers?