Black Hat Axes Republican Will Hurd From Keynote Over Womens Rights

Posted by at 1:25 pm on June 17, 2019

Republican Will Hurd was due to be a keynote speaker at the high-profile Black Hat conference in Las Vegas in August.

His inclusion prompted protests and threats of a boycott from someĀ  in the hacker world due to attend the conference.

The protests centered around his anti-abortion stance and his voting record on other tech and social rights issues.

Black Hat said it had chosen the congressman as a speaker because of his –

“strong background in computer science and information security”.

In addition, it said, he had supported some “specific cyber-security initiatives” in Congress.

One such measure involves making manufacturers of smart home devices ensure their products comply with basic cyber-security standards.

Black Hat’s choice had caused widespread “unease” among security professionals.

One measure, that Mr Hurd voted against would have provided financial aid for women seeking to pursue careers in technology and science.

He has also been an outspoken opponent of abortion.

xplaining its decision to axe Mr Hurd, Black Hat said it hadĀ “misjudged the separation of technology and politics”.

We recognise that Black Hat USA is not the appropriate platform for the polarising political debate resulting from our choice of speaker,” it added.

In response, Mr Hurd’s office said he had been “honoured” to be invited.

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