In a stonking stroke of hypocrisy the US government is banning Chinese hackers from attending Def Con and Black Hat in Las Vegas.
The US said that it is considering using visa restrictions to prevent Chinese nationals from attending popular summer hacking fests to curb Chinese cyber espionage.
It seems that the US thinks that if people concentrate on Chinese hacking efforts, it will forget about its own programmes which make anything Bejing does look slightly anaemic.
The United States has charged five Chinese military officers with hacking into US companies to steal trade secrets.
China has denied the charges, saying they were “made up”.
Organisers of the two conferences said that limiting participation from China was a bad idea.
Chris Wysopal, a Black Hat review board member, pointed out that restricting access would have little impact as hacking talks from both conferences are videotaped and sold on DVDs or posted on the web.
Others have pointed out that it is racism and in any event the Chinese hackers who turn over US government sites don’t go to Defcon.
In fact there are few Chinese nationals who are going to speak at either conference. At Black Hat, an employee of Chinese security software maker Qihoo 360 is scheduled to speak on software vulnerabilities while two researchers with Chinese University of Hong Kong are set to talk on hacking social media. Def Con does not have any Chinese nationals speaking.
The only way that the government is going to be stopping Chinese nationals from attending as conference members is by stopping all Chinese from going to Los Vegas for the duration of the conference.