About the Lost Policymaker Guide

Download The Lost Policymaker's Guide to Hacker Summer Camp, 2019

The Lost Policymaker is a tongue-in-cheek nod to all the great travel guides that have given aid and comfort to those who seek new experiences in unknown spaces. We hope it will serve you in the same capacity as you travel through a hacker conference or three, whether that’s in the heat of the Las Vegas desert, the friendly confines of Washington D.C., the wild west coast in San Francisco, or elsewhere.

In recent years public policymakers have increasingly frequented hacker and infosec conferences. This guide can serve as a reference and roadmap to help those in the policy field more quickly gain their footing at the events and understand hacker ethos and culture. The three conferences featured in this guide represent some of the top hacker and infosec conferences in the world.

The Conferences - Hacker Summer Camp

The colloquial term “Hacker Summer Camp” refers to three Las Vegas conferences with very different personalities and demographics. DEF CON, the oldest of the three, draws the largest crowd, largely from the hacker (or security researcher) community. Black Hat is the most like a typical convention, with a large vendor hall and high cost. BSides Las Vegas, the most recent, is a non-profit organization put on by the community, for the community. These events typically take place the first full week in August, and the following weekend.

PHOTO CREDITS: @astcell / @MrB0t / Jeroen de Bakker

Hacker Summer Camp during COVID-19 [2022 Update]

COVID-19 has had tremendous negative impacts on public health and society, including Hacker Summer Camp (i.e., Blackhat, DEFCON, and BSides Las Vegas). While going virtual frees conferences of certain constraints (space, geography, shipping, time windows), it imposes others (distance, isolation, network bandwidth). Online events have not yet found a way to evoke the same organic social interactions that physical ones do (if they ever will), so those aspects of events are the most heavily impacted. Fortunately for 2022, The Diana Initiative, BSides Las Vegas, Black Hat, DEF CON, and its associated villages are all returning to in-person activities!

DEFCON 30:August 11-14, 2022 Learn more…

Black Hat: August 6-11, 2022 Learn more…

BSides Las Vegas:August 9-10, 2022 Learn more…

The Diana Initiative:August 10-11, 2022 Learn more…

Plan Your Trip to Hacker Summer Camp!

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