TrustyCon rises from the NSA/RSA ashes and sells out

TrustyCon has reached capacity—in both presenters and attendees--for its RSA Conference alternative.

In response to revelations that RSA may have worked directly with the NSA to implement an encryption algorithm with a back door for the intelligence agency, there has been a boycott by many would-be RSA presenters and attendees. The Trustworthy Technology Conference (a.k.a. “TrustyCon”)—created to give those presenters a voice, and those attendees an event—has announced that it is filled to capacity.

The RSA Conference will be held at the Moscone Center from Monday, February 24 through Friday, February 28. In spite of the backlash over the NSA allegations, and the fact that some high-profile speakers have canceled their appearances at RSA, the event is still huge, and has plenty of interesting and information sessions scheduled over the five-day period.

If the success of TrustyCon is any indication, though, there may be a slight dip in attendance on Thursday.

iSec Partners, EFF (Electronic Frontier Foundation) and DEF CON have teamed up to host a counter-RSA event right around the corner from the RSA Conference. TrustyCon will be held on Thursday, February 27 from 9:30 am to 4:40 pm at the AMC Metreon 16 theater, just a couple blocks from the Moscone Center.

The organizers of TrustyCon sent out a notice today announcing that the event has reached capacity, both in terms of sessions and presenters, as well as selling out available tickets for attendees. TrustyCon has received an overwhelming response and significant positive feedback and interest.

It is a worthwhile conversation to have—given the revelations over the past year from the Edward Snowden leaks about NSA intelligence gathering activities—for security experts to talk frankly about the moral and ethical implications of intelligence and national security vs. privacy, and how all of the above affect the level of trust in technology.

Regardless of your thoughts on the NSA/RSA controversy, the focus of TrustyCon seems like a valuable investment of time and effort. It is certainly a better contribution to the greater good, and a much less obnoxious form of rejecting the RSA Conference than attempts by some to buy out the Chevy’s restaurant across the street from the Moscone just to make it more challenging for RSA Conference attendees to get a bite to eat.

“While our initial priority for speakers at TrustyCon was to give a voice to ex-RSAC speakers, we also want the show to be dynamic and engaging,” says Alex Stamos, TrustyCon creator and iSEC Partners co-founder stated in a press release. ”We connected with many qualified speakers across a variety of subjects, regardless of their involvement with RSAC, as we want to ensure this event benefits as many attendees as possible and is well-rounded.”

TrustyCon has reached attendee capacity and has now opened a waitlist for general admission. All proceeds from ticket sales go to the EFF.

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