In June 2019, there was a Twitter backlash against the Black Hat security conference and its decision to confirm Rep. Will Hurd (R-Tx.) as a keynote speaker. Black Hat is a technology event series founded in 1997. Many within the national security and cybersecurity fields, along with many long-time attendees, voiced their disgust that Black Hat would choose to highlight Hurd given his pro-life convictions and voting record. Black Hat decided to rescind the invitation, bowing to public pressure.
While the issues of abortion and cybersecurity seem to be separate, the canceling of Hurd’s keynote is a prime example of a phenomenon in our society called “cancel culture.” This happens when a group seeks to cancel someone or something often based on a single disqualifying factor. These factors can be as simple as a past tweet or article, or as large as a deeply held religious or social belief. Those who seek to cancel someone will use anything to silence any dissenting opinion or thought, which leads to a breakdown of civil discourse and a weakening of our social fabric.
Unfortunately, cancel culture is the norm now. In our society, one’s position on an unrelated issue can lead to a fallout. Even one tweet or offhand comment has the potential to ruin one’s career or family, especially in the hands of those who are seeking to discredit someone.
Interesting technology stories
European Union leaders are considering a ban on the use of facial recognition in public spaces for up to five years until safeguards to mitigate the technology’s risks are in place, according to a draft document obtained by POLITICO.
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What if I told you that as we lurch from crisis to crisis there is a slow-building, bipartisan movement to engage in one of most significant acts of censorship in modern American history?
The Amazon billionaire Jeff Bezos had his mobile phone “hacked” in 2018 after receiving a WhatsApp message that had apparently been sent from the personal account of the crown prince of Saudi Arabia, sources have told the Guardian.