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DEFCON is not just about using technology to create or solve problems. Legal, social, and cultural factors come into play as well. While “Social Engineering” plays a part in con life, with talks, competitions, and gaining entry to parties, other people and organizations at the conference are keen to change behavior at levels from international to local by less nefarious means.

The Electronic Frontier Foundation has a major presence at DEFCON with a stall in the vendor area (this year, right next to the government folks), a fundraiser party event, and multiple smaller fundraising activities. I asked Mitch from the EFF to explain how the work of the EFF helps makers:


Red Card, Yellow Card
DEFCON has had a reputation for being an event where there have been instances of unwanted attention or harassment toward some attendees. In an attempt to help reduce these occurrences KC made some yellow and red warning cards to hand out when undesired behavior occurs. She took the time to talk to me about the project:


Editor’s Note: The t-word for breasts is used in this clip.

Badge Modification
Each category of DEFCON attendee (humans, goons, vendors, press and artists) has a different style of badge. I took some time to make my press badge a little more unique—just in case you were concerned I wasn’t doing any making while at DEFCON:

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Be sure to catch my next post where we take a look at some of the cool surplus electronics that were available in the DEFCON vendor area and talk with one of the mysterious Ninjas behind the private cellphone network running at DEFCON.


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