Security Researchers Protest the RSA Conference Due to a “Secret Contract” with the NSA

Security Researchers Protest the RSA Conference Due to a "Secret Contract" with the NSA(Ping! Zine Web Tech Magazine) – A number of security experts who planned on attending the upcoming RSA Conference have canceled their speeches due to RSA’s alleged “secret contract” with the NSA, reports HNGN.

Last month, it was reported that the NSA had paid $10 million to the security firm in order to install a “backdoor” into the BSafe software.

The agency reportedly installed bugs into the company’s encryption software creating a flawed formula used for generating random numbers that created a “back door” into security products.

Mikko Hyppönen, chief research officer at F-Secure, was the first to cancel his speech, titled “Governments as Malware Authors.”

“I don’t really expect your multibillion dollar company or your multimillion dollar conference to suffer as a result of your deals with the NSA. In fact, I’m not expecting other conference speakers to cancel. Most of your speakers are American anyway — why would they care about surveillance that’s not targeted at them but at non-Americans,” stated Hyppönen.

Following his cancellation, several others taking part in the conference canceled their participation, including Jeffrey Carr, founder and chief exec of Taia Global; Josh Thomas of Atredis Partners; Chris Palmer, a software security engineer at Google; Adam Langley, a cryptographer for Google; Chris Soghoian, principal technologist with the ACLU’s Speech, Privacy and Technology Project; Alex Fowler, global privacy and public policy leader for Mozilla; and Marcia Hofmann, a digital rights lawyer with the ‪EFF.

There are currently 408 speakers set to attend the event in February.