Sarah Jeong’s recent article, Vulnerabilities and exploits: what happened when the infosec community outed its own sexual predators discusses some positive cultural changes in North America since the outings of serial rapists Jacob Appelbaum and Morgan Marquis-Boire.
This post is not about those positive changes. This post is about people and organisations which haven’t changed, such as the Chaos Computer Club (CCC), who have attempted to save face in public, while privately working to undermine positive change and enable rapists.
In June 2016, I and others spoke up about serial rapist and abuser, Jacob Appelbaum. Unlike other organisations — such as The Tor Project, or The Cult of the Dead Cow — the CCC delayed for more than a month in responding. Eventually, their hand was forced by a parody “@chaosupdales” Twitter account announcing that the CCC had expelled Jake. First, the CCC clarified that they had not expelled Jake. Then, the CCC posted a vague statement that “all are welcome”. Finally, the CCC claimed that their statement had, “of course”, referred to Jake all along. Of course, they only clarified this on Twitter and never updated their statement. In English, this is called “gaslighting”.
There were no Tor talks last year at 33C3, because every Tor talk sumbitted was silently removed by the CCC to “avoid controversy”. Before the congress, the CCC requested a meeting with their selection of representatives from Tor to discuss a way forward. I requested to attend the meeting, and was forbidden from attending by the CCC organisers, who said that the meeting would not occur if I were present. Two other members of the Tor community were expelled for their participation in River’s brutal assault. The CCC continued their pattern of feigning interest in making progress, while privately showing no interest in learning about what had happened from the survivors.
One of those expelled was Will Scott, the second rapist in River’s account, which describes a horrific gang rape while she was intoxicated to the point of being non-responsive. Unlike my coworkers, Will was given a talk at 33C3. (Ironically, on a project I helped design and implement.) This was the CCC’s idea of the way forward.
Survivors of Jacob’s abuse had collectively agreed to give Will a second chance: he said he had been manipulated by Jake into participating in the rape; he did not appear to have committed any similar abuse; he expressed remorse and apologised to River; he claimed to have taken a class on not only recognising, but enacting bystander intervention in sexual harassment.
Here is Will nine months later, in September 2017, standing next to Jake:
This photo was taken in Cuba at ASCrypto, a self-described school for “graduate students in cryptography” aiming to “build cryptologic research capacity in the region”. Will explained to others within the Tor Project that he hadn’t intended to run into Jake, and that Jake had “followed” him around “harassing him” the whole time.
Will is not a student of cryptography, so it seems pretty implausible that he’d fly all the way to Cuba for a cryptography school with lectures given by Jacob’s advisors and enablers, Dan Bernstein and Tanja Lange, and then be shocked (shocked!) to discover Jacob there. But even if this story were true, standing idly by your fellow rapist is not the action of someone who feels genuine remorse or regret.
This appears to be the same pattern of behaviour as the CCC: in public, do the bare minimum to feign progress; in private, do whatever they think they can get away with.
This year, for 34C3, the CCC rejected talks discussing harassment and abuse, yet they found time to give Will two talks. They shut down conversations on paths towards progress, safety, and inclusivity, but they allow an assembly which proclaims “a code-of-conduct free zone”, warning attendees to “enter at own risk”. It is never enough to just work against abusers. The rot stems from within a larger system, and it is vital to fight, root and branch, against the organisations, structures, and people which enable sexual assault, harassment, and other forms of discrimination. The CCC’s actions have been entirely within bad faith, meant to cause and enable further harm. I do not say this lightly: the CCC hates women.
I don't understand how CCC operates first they authorize bullshits anarcho/sjw talks then they refuse them ?
Obviously the rape allegations are BS (just like Appelbaum (has always with these people)) but why did they let the people who express this insanity years ago at CCC ? or did they just realize the error of letting them attend?