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HBGary Federal Forces Aaron Barr Out of DEFCON 65

Posted by samzenpus
from the we'd-rather-you-not-say-anything dept.
Trailrunner7 writes "Former HBGary Federal CEO Aaron Barr says he will withdraw from a planned appearance at the DEFCON conference in the face of threatened legal action over his plans to take part in a panel discussion there. Barr notified DEFCON organizers on Wednesday that he was withdrawing from the Aug. 6 panel discussion after attorneys representing HBGary Federal threatened to file an injunction against him if he did not withdraw from the panel immediately. The incident is just the latest in a series of conflicts between Barr and HBGary Federal following attacks by the anarchic hacking group Anonymous on February 5."
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HBGary Federal Forces Aaron Barr Out of DEFCON

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  • by Anonymous Coward

    I can only imagine what would happen if he were to get up on stage and start speaking about security practices..

    • by jojoba_oil (1071932) on Wednesday July 27, 2011 @06:24PM (#36902036)

      I can only imagine what would happen if he were to get up on stage and start speaking about security practices..

      That's just the thing. Security isn't his specialty, or the specialty of most of the "security" industry. They deal in exploits and writing trojans.

      Think of them like you think of the US Department of Defense. Again, dealing with the complete opposite of what the name implies.

    • I imagine it would be very much like that scene in Takedown where Tsutomu Shimomura is giving a talk somewhere, and Alex Lowe asks what was copied from his systems when they were breached, and Tsutomu says 'I'm sorry, but that's classified.' And Alex Lowe says, 'Not anymore! BAH HA HA HA!'
    • by Chemisor (97276)

      If he were to get up on stage, he'd likely be shot by Alexander Humilton.

  • by cosm (1072588) <.moc.liamg. .ta. .3msoceht.> on Wednesday July 27, 2011 @06:12PM (#36901898)
    ...what do they have to hide? Whats good for the goose is good for the...oh fuck it. Who am I kidding. That ideology hasn't applied for years when in comes to revolving door deals between the Feds and Corps. vs. The People.
    • I'm still trying to figure out how anyone can stop a person from exercising their Freedom of Speech Rights? What's next, the U.S.S.R.'s version of the legality of Thought Crime, but applied to U.S. cititzens?
      • by chispito (1870390)

        I'm still trying to figure out how anyone can stop a person from exercising their Freedom of Speech Rights? What's next, the U.S.S.R.'s version of the legality of Thought Crime, but applied to U.S. cititzens?

        Well you can't go blabbing about trade secrets you were given in confidentiality, for one.

        • by todrules (882424) on Wednesday July 27, 2011 @06:38PM (#36902152) Journal
          Unless the attorneys at HBGary can see the future, they don't know what he is going to discuss. How do they know he'll be blabbing about trade secrets? Who knows, he could just go up on stage and start cracking jokes about nothing for the entire time, and that, he has every right to do.
          • If he signed a contract that says he won't work in the same field for x period of time, then they could say that getting paid to speak on an industry topic is working the same field, and go after him even if he does not discuss specific proprietary information.

            The fact that he bowed out before things went further suggests that he was indeed going to break the terms of a contract he signed with the company, or at least be close enough to breaking them that the company legal team would have a fair chance in
            • by postbigbang (761081) on Wednesday July 27, 2011 @07:07PM (#36902330)

              There are lots of theories of law that might prohibit him from speaking. Contracts with three-letter agencies might prohibi

            • by rtb61 (674572)

              A tricky one of that field might not be considered legal. "Initiating for profit quasi-legal computer based attacks against individuals and groups, that endanger corporate investments in false image public relations and disingenuous marketing" not really what any so called security organisation would want brought up in public and a topic upon which Aaron Barr would certainly be challenged on when sitting on a discussion panel.

              From a normal, moral and sane viewpoint, that is the kind of behaviour most peo

          • by pavon (30274)

            The title of the panel was "Whoever Fights Monsters... Aaron Barr, Anonymous and Ourselves", so it is pretty clear what general topic he was going to talk about. He also signed a separation agreement when leaving HBGary where he stated that he would not disclose certain information about that exact affair.

            HBGary can't force him to not participate in the panel, but they can sue him for it after the fact, and they can forewarn him that they will sue him if he says anything he shouldn't.

            He obviously decided th

            • by todrules (882424)
              And that was my point. They could definitely sue him after the fact. I'm not disputing that. My argument was how can they stop him beforehand?
        • by cosm (1072588)
          Trade secrets like the socke-puppet armies? [dailykos.com] Or perhaps targeting Americans for the banks and CIA [pacificfreepress.com]? Or perhaps false flag operations, government sanctioned hacking for the alphabet soup agencies, etc. Blackmailing journalist not touting the party line [colbertnation.com].

          Trade Secrets. Right. If the trade is protecting the good 'ole boy network. What the hell are security trade-secrets? Security through obscurity? I doubt this guy was about to provide a list of documents with the nuclear codes. This is about how the tools are
      • by genner (694963) on Wednesday July 27, 2011 @06:34PM (#36902124)

        I'm still trying to figure out how anyone can stop a person from exercising their Freedom of Speech Rights? What's next, the U.S.S.R.'s version of the legality of Thought Crime, but applied to U.S. cititzens?

        Your free to speak and they're free to sue.
        USA! USA!

        • Freedom of speech doesn't mean freedom from the consequences of that speech. In the US you also have the freedom to shut the hell up. (laws against requiring self incrimination)
      • by exomondo (1725132)

        I'm still trying to figure out how anyone can stop a person from exercising their Freedom of Speech Rights?

        Because he agreed not to discuss the issues most likely in return for some financial benefit, FTFA:
        On Wednesday, however, Barr received a legal written notice of intent to file an injunction to prevent him from appearing at DEFCON, citing his separation agreement with his former employer.

      • by hairyfeet (841228) <bassbeast1968@@@gmail...com> on Wednesday July 27, 2011 @09:10PM (#36903240) Journal

        Where have YOU been? Thought Crime is alive and well in the USA and has been for quite awhile. For a couple of examples just look at the guy sitting in prison for writing the "pro pedo" book, which while I disagree with the man's views arresting him for putting his thoughts on paper is a pretty text book definition of Thought crime. Then there was the guy arrested for doing as his therapist told him to and writing his fantasies down in a journal, and then there was the Russian afraid to come here because he dared to write about encryption covered by the DMCA.

        So you see Thought Crime is alive and well here in the USA. How sad is it that we went from "I may not agree with what you say but I will defend to the death your right to say it" to actually throwing people in jail over words on a page.

      • by pulse2600 (625694)
        Amendment I

        "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances."

        The government can not violate your freedom of speech. A private person or organization can do whatever the hell they want.
  • The measure of a man is the path he takes in the face of inconvenience. Nice try anyway. Wish someone would harden up and do something good for the world. The occult shall inherit the earth, and we'll do nothing because of normalcy bias.
    • Well, surely you didn't expect Aaron Barr to do anything good for the world? I've seen nothing to indicate that HB Gary (and/or HB Gary Federal) has anything good to offer the world, but Barr was a giant douchebag from start to finish. His one talent seems to have been talking a good line of shit, and parting fools from their money.

  • I guess they're not the best of pals any more.
  • Yes, I don't understand how they were going to get an injunction against him. The only way they would know the content of his speech is if it was on the agenda. Why not just list him as a "Featured Speaker" with no topic. How can a judge grant an injunction in that case?
    • by cosm (1072588)

      Yes, I don't understand how they were going to get an injunction against him. The only way they would know the content of his speech is if it was on the agenda. Why not just list him as a "Featured Speaker" with no topic. How can a judge grant an injunction in that case?

      Halt! Ihre papier bitte!

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Ripped from the DC19 website, since his agenda is still up for now.
      http://www.defcon.org/html/defcon-19/dc-19-speakers.html#Roberts

      "Whoever Fights Monsters..." Aaron Barr, Anonymous, and Ourselves

      "Whoever fights monsters should see to it that in the process he does not become a monster." - Friedrich Nietzsche.

      Aaron Barr returns for the first time in what's sure to be a gritty and frank (and heated) panel. How can we conduct ourselves without losing ourselves? How far is too far - or not far enough? IT secur

  • by eldavojohn (898314) * <eldavojohn@nOspAM.gmail.com> on Wednesday July 27, 2011 @06:56PM (#36902264) Journal
    Announcer 1: "I'd like to welcome all our viewers to this auspicious event ..."
    Announcer 2: "That's right, Tom, as the attendees roll up we're likely to see some--oh wait, who's that getting out of that limo as we speak?"
    Announcer 1: "I believe that's former CEO of Diebold Walden O'Dell."
    Announcer 2: "Yes, yes it is, that's certainly a 2004 Bush/Haliburten logo on the side of his limo!"
    Announcer 1: "A good start to the evening but who is this chauffeuring himself around?"
    Announcer 2: "Well, the person handing his keys to the valet right now is none other than Darl McBride!"
    Announcer 1: "You know, you wouldn't believe it but these people -- these infamous people sound so large in print and yet they look and act just like regular people. No fake smiles here."
    Announcer 2: "You know, McBride has fallen on some hard times but rest assured that he will be back to his full potential at some point in his career."
    Announcer 1: "I do not believe it. Is that Jack Thompson right behind McBride?"
    Announcer 2: "Well, somebody take a picture, I don't think these two titans have ever even been seen together."
    Announcer 1: "I will never forget Jack Thompson's disbarment from practicing law in Florida. Clearly, there walks a man willing to sacrifice it all."
    Announcer 2: "And, oh, look at this newcomer. Some say he will walk away with the golden trucker hat tonight, Tom. It is none other than Aaron Barr."
    Announcer 1: "The man that exemplified being a dbag to such a degree, he was not afraid to literally rip the constitution out of its display case and wipe his ass with it publicly. Words cannot describe the feeling of awe I am experiencing right now."
    Announcer 2: "His swagger, his grease-backed hair, his beady eyes, the way they shift back and fourth. I'm trying hard to describe this prima donna but I am failing. No other person in my life has caused me to want to turn and lay tracks anymore than this magnificent dbag."
    Announcer 1: "Well, that means a lot, you hosted the Serial Murderer Awards two years ago, right?"
    Announcer 2: "That's right, the 2009 Stabbies."
    Announcer 1: "Well, this is just going to be one amazing night with Aaron Barr vying for 2011 dbag of the year."
  • A little late... he shot Alexander Hamilton two centuries ago.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Well, he can still take part in the panel by wearing a Guy Fawkes mask. No one would know!

  • FTA: The group was angered after reading an interview Barr gave with the Financial Times regarding his plans to give a presentation at the Security B-Sides conference in San Francisco earlier this year that promised to divulge the identities of Anonymous's leadership.

    I wasn't aware that Anonymous attacked HBGary after Barr threatened to out their leadership. I guess it's okay for them to put others at risk, but they're not willing to have themselves at risk.

  • If you are a high profile target or will cause massive controversy, why cant you sign up as "Anonymous speaker XYZ"? Identity revealed at the beginning of show/panel.

  • At first glance, I read it as Aaron Burr [wikipedia.org] and thought maybe they went out into the countryside and had a duel.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    An interesting side note is that HBGary is handle for Alaxender Hamaltun.

  • Was it wise ? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by unity100 (970058) on Wednesday July 27, 2011 @10:59PM (#36903874) Homepage Journal
    HBGary morons threatened a panelist out of a defcon conference.

    as much as i came to learn the hackers from these events, such an act in hacker language has the meaning of 'come fuck me'.

    these idiots will never learn.
    • by Zorque (894011)

      He used to work for them, he's the idiot that tried to keep tabs on Anonymous and ended up getting hacked and leaking sensitive information himself.

      • by unity100 (970058)
        still he was going to talk in defcon as panelist. defcon cant let this slide - if they do, any private party may attempt to sue any panelist out of defcon.
        • by soleblaze (628864)

          still he was going to talk in defcon as panelist. defcon cant let this slide - if they do, any private party may attempt to sue any panelist out of defcon.

          It's not the first time a talk has been pulled due to legal action and it won't be the last.

        • by kmoser (1469707)

          If they do, any private party may attempt to sue any panelist out of defcon.

          Welcome to the USA, where any private party may attempt to sue anybody for anything.

    • by gl4ss (559668)

      I think this is just a ruse to give him a way out of weaseling out from the public appearance. he would have been just laughed at.

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