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[ISN] The BSidesSF show will go on
By Bill Brenner
January 31, 2012
BSidesSF has been saved, thanks to a financial commitment from Lee
Kushner (@ljkush) at Information Security Leaders.
The announcement came shortly after Sandra Toms LePedis of RSA
Conference responded to the controversy about BSidesSF. Her post began
with the standard "RSA supports a wide ecosystem of events and
organizations" during its conference week and then turned to "rumors" in
this blog and elsewhere about RSA trying to squash BSidesSF:
"As you may have seen from posts on Twitter to blogs like CSOâs Salted
Hash, there has been a rumor regarding RSA Conference and its
relationship with Security B-Sides. Despite these rumors, we want to be
clear that there is no attack taking place against Security B-Sides."
"RSA Conference has been in discussions with B-Sides for over a year to
find ways that the two events can exist during the week without making
attendees feel the need to choose one event over another. If planned
correctly, this could be very complementary programming for the infosec
community. During this time, the Conference only requested that B-Sides
host its SF show on Sunday and Monday. The reasoning is that our Expo
Hall opens on Tuesday which features over 300 exhibitors that do not
sponsor B-Sides that make a significant investment to exhibit at RSA
Conference could lose potential visitors on that day if they are
electing to visit two events in one day. We have offered to help B-Sides
find another venue that would be available on Sunday and Monday but they
have ignored our request to help. We have no problem with any B-Sides
event, and hope to find a way to work together to benefit both events
In an email exchange last night, Kushner explained why he decided to
Professional development and community are two key components of an
information security professionalâs career. I believe BSides provides
information security professionals with an opportunity to blend both of
these elements in a unique open environment. When I learned that the
event was in jeopardy of being cancelled (via Twitter) I reached out to
Mike directly and asked if there was anything that I could do to help.
Knowing many information security professionals look forward to this
event, use their vacation days, absorb the costs of travel and lodging
to participate, the thought of them having to cancel these plans was
personally very upsetting to me.
I asked him the question: How much money would be necessary for the
event to take place. Mike got back to me with an amount that
Infosecleaders.com could manage, and I made the commitment on the spot.
Being in a position to provide financial support through
Infosecleaders.com â an information security community career resource â
seemed logical, considering the support that the information security
community has provided to this project.
Being that Information Security Leaders is under no agreements with RSA
and has never entered into any sponsorship agreement with the RSA
Conference, I did not see this as an issue.
I've seen a lot of back-and-forth on Twitter about who is responsible
for this game of brinkmanship. Some describe it as the big corporate
monster (RSA) coming down on the common man (Bsides).
LePedis' argument that BSides should be held on Sunday and Monday so as
not to interfere with its exhibit floor hours is hard for me to accept,
since it wasn't an issue last year or the year before. I remember people
moving freely between BSides and the exhibit. Why that constitutes a
problem is beyond me.
Whatever the case may be, I'm just glad to see that BSides will proceed
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