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Senior Staff Writer

Hillary Clinton fundraiser scheduled for Black Hat

Aug 01, 20162 mins
CybercrimeGovernmentIT Leadership

First time for everything... but do hackers and politics mix?

hillary clinton election debate
Credit: REUTERS/Rick Wilking

LAS VEGAS – Salted Hash is on the road today. We’ll be out in Las Vegas all week covering BSides Las Vegas, Black Hat, and DEF CON. Today’s post is about something that came up over the weekend, and as far as we can tell, it’s a first for hacker conferences.

This Wednesday, during the evening hours of Black Hat in Las Vegas, there will be a fundraiser for the Hillary Clinton presidential campaign.

The event will feature Black Hat founder, Jeff Moss; former DHS White House Liaison, Jake Braun; and Michael Sulmeyer, who is the Clinton campaign’s Cybersecurity Working Group Coordinator.

The topic for the fundraiser will be the cyber policy issues faced by the next administration. Ticket prices for the event start at $100 per person, capping out at $2,700.

The event’s registration doesn’t list any concrete agenda, and it isn’t listed as an official event on the Clinton campaign’s website. Salted Hash has reached out to the Clinton camp to see if they’ll share any additional details.

A Black Hat spokesperson said the conference is “vendor (and politically) neutral,” adding that the event is not affiliated with the show. “It’s being run completely independent of the conference.”

But you wouldn’t know that by reading the fundraiser’s announcement.

On the upside, Jeff Moss managed to get the event open to everyone attending Black Hat after the first hour. So from 7:00 pm on, if you happen to be around the Border Grill and Lounge at Mandalay Bay, you’re welcome to join the others.

While Black Hat called the event unofficial, and Clinton herself isn’t going to be there, the idea of a presidential fundraiser at a hacker conference (of any type) just feels strange.

Granted, Black Hat is a professional security conference. The event is geared towards business and has been viewed as the grownup version of DEF CON since it started, so many of the attendees have a stake in this year’s election and what it could mean for Internet-driven policy.

But it just feels out of place.

For the record, there are no fundraisers, official or otherwise, scheduled during Black Hat for Donald Trump.

Sound off below and share your thoughts. Should political candidates hold platform-based fundraisers at security / professional conferences?