Hackers on Planet Earth

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The Last HOPE, 2008
Display at Last HOPE, 2008

HOPE (abbreviation Hackers on Planet Earth or the first two letters in Hotel Pennsylvania) is a conference series sponsored by the hacker magazine 2600 The Hacker Quarterly. There have been seven conferences to date.


[edit] Conferences

[edit] HOPE: Hackers On Planet Earth

Held from August 13 to August 14, 1994, at the Hotel Pennsylvania, the first HOPE conference marked 2600: The Hacker Quarterly's 10th anniversary. Well over 1000 people were in attendance, including speakers from around the world. Admission included access to a 28.8 kbit/s local network.

[edit] Beyond HOPE

From August 8 through August 10, 1997, Beyond HOPE moved the conference to the Puck Building. Attendance doubled, with 2000 attendees. Bell Technology Group helped to support the hackers. A TAP reunion and a live broadcast of Off the Hook took place (hear it here). Admission included a 10 Mbit/s local network.

[edit] H2K

In 2000, HOPE returned to the Hotel Pennsylvania, where all its successors would also be located. Between July 14 and July 16, 2000, the conference ran 24 hours a day, bringing in 2300 attendees. Jello Biafra gave a keynote speech. In this historic cultural exchange between the punk rock icon/free speech activist and the hacker community, Jello managed to draw powerful connections, despite not having any actual computer experience, and the EFF raised thousands of dollars. The conference admission included a working Ethernet and a T1 link to the internet.

[edit] H2K2

H2K2 (July 12-14, 2002) also ran 24 hours a day, this time with a theme of the United States of America homeland security Advisory System. H2K2 included two tracks of scheduled speakers, a third track reserved for last minute and self scheduled speakers, a movie room, Retrocomputing, musical performances, a State of the World Address by Jello Biafra, keynotes by Aaron McGruder and Siva Vaidhyanathan and discussions on the DMCA and DeCSS. Freedom Downtime premiered on Friday evening (July 14). The conference admission included wireless 802.11b coverage and places to link in with wired Ethernet, an open computer area for access to a 24-hour direct uplink to the Internet at "T-1ish" speeds, a public cluster (pictures here) made available by The DataHaven Project, as well as an active internal network.

[edit] The Fifth HOPE

The Fifth H.O.P.E. (July 9-11, 2004) had a theme of propaganda and commemorated the anniversaries of both the H.O.P.E. cons and Off the Hook (with a live broadcast of the show from the con like at Beyond H.O.P.E.). Keynotes speakers were Kevin Mitnick, Steve Wozniak and Jello Biafra. There was also a media presentation by some of the "members" of the Phone Losers of America who celebrated their tenth-year anniversary. Additionally, Cult of the Dead Cow celebrated its twentieth anniversary at the conference. The conference admission included access to a four layer public network with two T1 lines + backup links to the internet via a Public Terminal Cluster, various wired means, a WiFi network on three floors and a video network.

[edit] HOPE Number Six

HOPE Number Six (July 21-23, 2006) included talks from Richard Stallman and Jello Biafra[1]. Kevin Mitnick was scheduled to be at the conference but was unable to make it; while on vacation in Colombia an illness postponed his return. Hope Number Six had a 100-megabit Internet connection, claimed by the organizers to be the fastest Internet connection at any US hacker conference. The event's theme was based around the series "The Prisoner" (as this event is titled "Number Six," a designation shared by the titular "prisoner,") and around the number 6 itself. Notable occurrences:

  • Steve Rambam, a noted private investigator who runs Pallorium, Inc., an online investigative service, was set to lead a panel discussion titled "Privacy is Dead ... Get Over It." A few minutes before the start of the panel, Rambam was arrested by the FBI on charges that he unlawfully interfered with an ongoing case prosecutors filed against Albert Santoro, a former Brooklyn assistant district attorney who was indicted in Jan. 2003 with one count of money-laundering. [1][2][3] The charges were eventually dropped [4] and the talk was held in November 2006, long after the conference ended.[2]
  • Jello Biafra began his talk by referring to the above arrest, noting the convention had been more "spook heavy" than usual. [3] He then announced a "special message" to "any Federal agents that may be in the audience", and mooned the convention. [4]

[edit] The Last HOPE

The Last HOPE took place on July, 18-20, 2008 at the Hotel Pennsylvania. A notable change from past years was the use of an Internet forum to facilitate community participation in the planning of the event. [5]

The name referred to the expectation that this would have been the final H.O.P.E. conference due to the scheduled demolition of its venue, the Hotel Pennsylvania. A 'Save The Hotel' campaign is ongoing, but it was revealed at the Closing Ceremony that the hotel's demolition plans were postponed indefinitely, and that The Next HOPE was scheduled for Summer 2010. It was at the closing ceremony that it was revealed that the use of the word "last" could also refer to the previous event, or one that had ended (referring to The Last HOPE itself).

Steven Levy gave the keynote address. Kevin Mitnick, Steve Rambam, Jello Biafra, and Adam Savage of MythBusters were also featured speakers. Descriptions of talks can be found here.

[edit] The Next HOPE

During the closing ceremonies The Last HOPE a new website was revealed which announced The Next HOPE. [5] At the time of the original posting the date was simply "Summer 2010". The announcement also mentioned The Next HOPE would be held at the Hotel Pennsylvania. The website now lists The Next HOPE as being July 16, 2010 through July 18, 2010 at the Hotel Pennsylvania but provides no further information.

[edit] See also

[edit] References

  1. ^ Brian Krebs "FBI Charges HOPE Speaker with Witness Tampering, Obstructing Justice" Washington Post Security Fix July 24, 2006
  2. ^ Brian Krebs "Agents Arrest Background Specialist at Hackers Forum" Washington Post July 25, 2006; Page D05
  3. ^ Brian Krebs "HOPE Speaker Arrested by the Feds" Washington Post Security Fix July 22, 2006
  4. ^ United States of America vs. Steven Rombom, Order of Dismissal of Magistrate's Complaint; October 13, 2006
  5. ^ "There's still HOPE for hackers" Network World Noah Schiffman July 24, 2008

[edit] External links