October 3, 2006

Stallman to keynote Korean hacker/security conference

Author: Joe Barr

Richard Stallman is scheduled to give a keynote address entitled "Copyright vs. Community in the Age of Computer Networks" at POC 2006 on November 16 in South Korea. POC 2006 (Power of Community) bills itself as a "hacking and security" conference, designed to "share knowledge for the sake of the power of community. POC 2006 believes that the power of community will make the world safer."

Since POC 2006 claims to wear both black and white hats, Stallman's participation in the event is sure to draw comments and criticism from friend and foe alike. As one system admin told me this morning, "I'm not sure if I should grin or cringe(!)."

South Korea was dubbed by Wired.com as "The Bandwidth Capital of the World" in 2002. Since then, South Korean broadband access has only gotten faster and more pervasive.

All that speed and all those users have made South Korea both a natural home for "cyber criminals" and a petri dish for testing security penetration skills. Kwon Seok-chul, president and CEO of HAURI Inc., was quoted in 2004 as saying that "More hackers from all over the world hack systems of other countries by way of Korea or test their skills by hacking Korean computer systems."

Given the twin dynamics of Stallman's notoriety as founder and leader of the FSF, and the ongoing debates over the merits of the current draft of GPLv3, his keynote is certainly going to contribute to the attention this conference receives.

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