Beware lest staring into the abyss turns into the abyss staring into you, Nietzsche warned. But once we are committed to seeing clearly and saying clearly what we see, it is hard to turn away. Richard Thieme has spent 25+ years in this “infosec space,” and the phase changes of the industry have taken him and all of us beyond the beginning of the end to the end itself – the end of what we thought we were doing by hacking in the spirit of the hacker ethos.
We have created a world that is disappearing into the background of our lives. We don’t see “the internet” anymore because we live in it. In addition to Big Brother, many “little brothers” implement surveillance capitalism with ruthlessness, inattention to moral or ethical issues, disregard for the individual, and greed. No wonder the heroes of “hacker fiction” are lone voices in a wilderness of mirrors struggling against “the Man:” the consoling fictional narratives obscure real losses of autonomy, free agency, and personal power.
Yet there are options. In this closing keynote, Richard Thieme will reference issues raised throughout the conference and illuminate choices for finding ways through the thickets. There are pathways toward the light.
In 25 years, Thieme’s topics show he has grown with the industry and his ability to stare into the abyss and survive. A passionate supporter of Hack in the Box from the beginning, he is proud to celebrate ten years of a superior conference by giving this one his all.