US may bar Chinese nationals from hacker summits

Visa restrictions touted as means to stop entry to Black Hat, Def Con

Tags: ChinaCyber crimeUSA
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US may bar Chinese nationals from hacker summits Washington and Beijing are locked in a diplomatic war of words and policy over US federal prosecutors’ indictments of five Chinese military officers for alleged cyber crimes.
By  Stephen McBride Published  May 26, 2014

US authorities may use visa restrictions to keep Chinese nationals out of August’s Def Con and Black Hat hacker summits, Reuters reported.

A source described by the news agency as “a senior administration official” said the move was designed to heap further pressure on the tit-for-tat row that has erupted between Washington and Beijing over US federal prosecutors’ indictments of five Chinese military officers for alleged cyber crimes.

Organisers of the hacking events took to Twitter to voice their bemusement.

"That is terrible," said Richard Westmoreland.

"Racism by the US: No Chinese people allowed at Defcon," tweeted Valdes Nzalli.

"Something tells me that the Chinese hackers who the US gov are worried about don't go to defcon anyways," said Steve Manzuik.

Attendees at Def Con pay in cash and badges do not carry names, in an effort to assure anonymity, but no Chinese speakers are scheduled. At Black Hat, a representative from Chinese security software maker Qihoo 360 and two researchers with Chinese University of Hong Kong are set to give talks.

The US has long accused China publicly and through diplomatic channels, of using cyber insurgency to steal commercial secrets from US firms. China, through similar channels and state media has denied it has ever sanctioned such attacks.

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