from the petty-in-the-extreme dept
Last week was the massive RSA conference, with an estimated 30,000 attendees at San Francisco’s Moscone Center (the big local conference venue). As we had mentioned, to protest the news that the NSA had paid $10 million to RSA to promote a compromised crypto standard, a bunch of security experts canceled their appearance, with many then going on to set up Trustycon, a much smaller conference on technology and security, to be held right across the street from Moscone at the Metreon movie theater. Trustycon announced that it quickly sold out of the 400 tickets available, but apparently RSA decided to try to get them kicked out of their venue.
A report in the NYTimes notes that RSA officials called the Metreon to claim that Trustycon attendees would be involved in protests and that it shouldn’t allow the event to go on:
The organizers of a rival conference, called TrustyCon, which was organized following revelations that RSA had been paid by the N.S.A., said they had spent much of the past weekend persuading executives from the Metreon — another big, downtown center next to the Moscone — not to kick them out of their conference space. The Metreon was set to house the TrustyCon conference on Thursday but Metreon’s management began to grow concerned after they received calls from RSA’s conference organizers.
The RSA organizers warned the Metreon that TrustyCon attendees were arranging a huge boycott on their premises. In the end, the TrustyCon conference was able to proceed Thursday without a hitch.
Talk about extreme pettiness. RSA is the giant in this situation, and despite pretending to address the controversy, it actually did little to deal with the reported claims at all. The least it could have done is been gracious to those who set up TrustyCon. Instead, it apparently chose to be vindictive and petty. It says a lot about the way in which RSA views the world.