OWASP Cancels RSA Conference Training Class and Marketing Agreement

OWASP backs out of RSA ConferenceOWASP has decided to cancel its co-marketing agreement with the RSA Conference due to the recent controversy regarding RSA’s $10 million (€7.3 million) contract with the NSA. In addition, an OWASP board member has canceled the secure coding class he was supposed to hold at the conference.

According to IDG’s Steve Ragan, the decision to cancel the co-marketing contract came after some heated discussions.

OWASP Co-Founder Dennis Groves revealed having some concerns regarding RSA’s deal with the NSA. However, he didn’t want to make a definitive decision regarding OWASP’s collaboration with RSA.

Ultimately, the OWASP board voted for the termination of the agreement, which offered the organization discounts on registration rates, two complementary delegate passes, three speaker passes, booth space and marketing considerations.

Initially, Eoin Keary, the board member who was supposed to hold the class, didn’t want to cancel it. Later, after reading articles in the media, he decided it would be best to do so.

The training session might be held at B-Sides, another event held in San Francisco on the same week as the RSA Conference.

OWASP joins at least eight other experts who decided to cancel their engagements. The first ones were F-Secure’s Mikko Hyppone and Josh Thomas of Atredis.

A few days later, Taia Global CEO Jeffrey Carr followed their example, arguing that “RSA has issued the weakest of denials possible on Dec 22nd and hasn’t made any attempt to clarify its position since.”

Google’s Adam Langley and Chris Palmer, the Electronic Frontier Foundation’s Marcia Hoffman, Mozilla’s Alex Fowler, and Christopher Soghoian, principal technologist with the American Civil Liberty Union (ACLU), also announced their intention to boycott the event.

In any case, there’s no shortage of speakers at the RSA Conference. At the time of writing, there are 508 names on the speakers list.


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