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Beansec Comments

I have been quoted by Matasano’s blog:

I kicked off the discussion with my opinions of Simson Garfinkles ‘skepticism’ towards security research. Most of this stems from the comments made during Derek Bambauer’s last Berkman fellows talk.

Garfinkle’s labeling of security researchers as “extortionists” amused the group and his claim that the speakers at Blackhat don’t advance the state of the art baffled us all. The idea of making software companies liable was briefly discussed and discarded as an unworkable problem. We really should invite him to the next Beansec so he can illuminate us on these ideas.

The discussions then ranged from airport security (or lack thereof) to more policy related discussions such as liability of runinng Tor servers on Harvards network for research purposes. I think this was the most lively discussion of the night and we could have used some legal expertise (Phil Malone of the Berkman Center was invited and will hopefully show next time). Chris led a discussion on binary decompilation versus source code analysis. Around 9pm the DJs arrived and started to crank up the music really loud and thus ended the first ever Beansec. It was agreed that the venue was the right size and the 3 hour block was the right amount for the event.

I turned down the idea of setting up a mailing list but am reconsidering. I do want this to stay informal but agree (now) that it would be useful as a way to promote the event (which I obviously need to do a better job of).

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