[ISN] Hey, RSA Conference: Hands off #BSidesSF

From: InfoSec News <alerts_at_private>
Date: Mon, 30 Jan 2012 00:25:01 -0600 (CST)

By Bill Brenner
Salted Hash
CSO Online
January 28, 2012

It's rare that I write here on the weekend, but I just got word that the 
Security B-Sides event in San Francisco is in danger. This is my plea to 
the RSA Conference organizers to let this event proceed.

Let's start with the following message from the BSidesSF team, and then 
I'll tell you what I think.

BSides San Francisco is actively looking for (non-RSA participating) 
sponsors to help make sure the event goes on!

BSidesSF is an event that happens alongside RSA Conference in San 
Francisco. We have booked out a Children's Museum as the venue, selected 
speakers, and signed up sponsors.

We received an initially overwhelming response from sponsors but were 
notified that contractually companies that sponsor RSA cannot sponsor 
another event in a 5 mile radius.

If RSA enforces this contract with their sponsors we could lose 90% of 
sponsorship dollars. This means that the potentially 500 attendees 
registered for BSidesSF (juxtaposed against a probable 15,000 at RSA) 
may not have an event in a few weeks.

In past years RSA has permitted sponsors a waiver enabling them to 
support both the corporate and community side of security. This year may 
be the last for that waiver and threatens to end the event attended by 
many community participants.

Please help us by lobbying RSA to permit the waiver once again. I know 
RSA wants to support BSides and the community. Let them know how you 
feel at @RSAConference on twitter or emailing your personal contacts.

Also, all RSA booths are sold out meaning other security companies may 
not be able to participate due to space limitations. They may want to 
sponsor BSidesSF and target their sponsorship dollars at community 
participants in a more intimate setting who they can meet and mingle 
with directly.

Please refer such sponsors to info_at_private or grab a 
sponsorship kit here: 

This is an important event, in my opinion. In fact, it's one of the 
things that made the annual trek to RSA worth it again.

The more laid-back, free-form BSidesSF offered content you can't find at 
RSA. That's no criticism of RSA. That event is what it is -- a very 
vendor-driven attraction. That's perfectly fine. But the more user 
oriented side has always been something people wanted more of. BSidesSF 
provides that.

It hasn't hurt RSA one bit. People who attend BSides also attend RSA, 
myself included. The two together are the Yin and yang. Together they 
bring balance to a very important week in the security community.

I'm not sure why RSA is thinking about pulling the waiver this year. I 
don't care why, to be honest.

All I know and care about is that RSA would be making a big mistake by 
squashing BSidesSF. When you take choices away from conference goers, 
there's less reason to pay for a plane ticket and hotel room for the 
main attraction.

Don't let it happen. Please and thank you.

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Received on Sun Jan 29 2012 - 22:25:01 PST

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