CALL FOR PAPERS HAR2009 (http://www.har2009.org)
Hacking At Random,
International Technology & Security Conference August 13-16, 2009,
near Vierhouten, The Netherlands
(please circulate, pdf version at http://har2009.org/index.php?p=86)
From the ancient days long before the first wayback-machine snapshot,
hackers have a track record for appropriating technology that was meant
for something completely different and putting it to alternative uses.
And every four years since 1989, the international hacker community has
descended upon The Netherlands in great numbers for a conference that
focuses on contemporary and future issues surrounding technology and its
social and political consequences. One reason that these conferences
have been successful is the wide range of participants: from students,
amateurs and aficionados to researchers, scientists and entrepreneurs
who are recognized as some of the best in their respective fields.
The atmosphere is open, friendly and relaxed, the scope of subjects
insanely wide, the average level of knowledge high. The venue is always
buzzing with energy, ideas and projects. The New York Times described
the 1997 edition as 'Woodstock for Hackers'. We will gladly honor that
This year we celebrate the 20th anniversary of this event with a new
installment: 'Hacking at Random'. HAR wants to offer presentations that
feature the joy of hacking. That means hardcore hacking and science for
its own sake. HAR is soliciting abstracts from anybody who is interested
in giving a talk, in doing a workshop or in otherwise presenting their
When this series of conferences started twenty years ago, the net was
new and unexplored terrain where only the bold dared to tread, and where
legislation and regulation were absent. That has changed. Today, virtually
every household in the Western world has access and many analogue services
are being relocated to the internet, reinventing themselves while doing
so, and thereby simultaneously making internet even more of a commodity
and an indispensable part of our daily lives. Internet has become
ubiquitous, all pervasive, huge and crowded. Because of this, new questions
are becoming increasingly important: questions about governance,
sustainability, dying analogue media, ownership of data and content,
shortage of IP space and energy, censorship, filtering, data trails,
data breaches, security, surveillance - to mention but a few.
As the world is more and more defined in terms of the technology of the
internet, the once obscure political freedom-fights that hackers were
involved in, have truly reached center stage. The next few years are
about defending fundamental freedoms, and we better step to it, because
nobody is going to do it for us.
TOPICS AND TRACKS
We have chosen three main tracks for HAR: subjects that we think are of
prime (future) importance. Of course, not all talks and workshops can
be fitted within these tracks, nor is that our intention. If you have
an unrelated but interesting project, don't hesitate to propose it.
Actually, the only thing we'll really be strict in is that _all_ talks
and workshops should definitely be interesting and knowledgeable, hopefully
be groundbreaking, and possibly, fun. We want to broaden your and our
own horizons, so not many restrictions apply - not even our own. And it
goes without saying that any other smart weird stuff is fine, provided
it makes us go 'wow!' That having been said, the three tracks that we
have chosen are:
1. Dealing with data (DD)
We live in a society that gorges itself on data. We check and intercept
more data and retain them for a longer period, we base individual
interventions on statistics, we amass data in centralized, national
databases, and more and more, we 'mislay' these data and create data
breaches. Often, data is used outside its original scope: the 11 million
files that the Brits have by now amassed on their children in order to
'assist' child welfare, will be open to the police looking for 'evidence'.
Some courts are however getting fed up. Germany has decided that home
computers are indeed private and that the EU data retention law is far
too wide in its scope: only when there's actual suspicion against a
person his or her traffic data may be retained. The European court has
ruled that the Brits - and hence, other EU countries - cannot keep
people's DNA in a database unless they have been convicted.
In this track, we will discuss cutting edge security aspects as well as
their political implications: whose property is a digital trace, should
data have a built-in expiry date, how to counteract identity theft, ideas
about 'data hygiene' and how we can make governmental and company data
mining more transparent or more restrained. This track ranges from
computer security to hacking 'safe' chip cards, from data mining to data
breaches, from lawful to unlawful interception, from amassing data to
data retention, from freakonomics to numerati.
2. Decentralization (DeCent)
Since the dawn of the industrial revolution, most technologies have been
moving towards centralization using economies of scale to create profits.
The result of large centralized technologies has been concentrated power
in the hands of fewer individuals with control over large amounts of
cash to pay for expensive factories and infrastructure. Modern organizations
like nation-states and multinationals mimic this centralization trend.
Many new technologies however are moving in the opposite direction. Cheap
home computers and affordable connectivity to a global (but decentralized)
network have made individuals and communities the center of creativity
again. Other fields of technology that are decentralizing are energy and
manufacturing (think solar and 3d-printing). We'd like to hear cool ideas
about what this could mean for all of us and for the societies that we
live in. Are 200 euro laptops, wifi and 3d-printers the beginning of the
end of multinationals and the nation state? Does the spreading of
technology give power to the people, atom bombs to the terrorists, or
both? We don't know what will happen but maybe you do. If so, we'd like
to hear from you.
If you have a 3d-printer, a solar powered vehicle or a fusion-powered
coffee machine, we'd like you to show your stuff and tell your tale. You
will however be asked to leave your nuclear weapons at the entrance.
3. People and politics (PNP)
We live in the proverbial 'interesting times' the world is running out
of oil, the climate's all weird, geopolitical power is shifting and
decentralization has taken off the gloves. We'd like to think our community
holds some small part of the clues needed to understand today's world.
Hackers have traditionally used these events to help others to become
better equipped to go out and make some changes in the way the world
This event has in the past had a large number of presentations that
bridged between technology, activism, digital rights, privacy, politics
and citizenship, and this edition will be no different. If your presentation
can help others to become more aware or (better) more equipped and more
effective in these fields, please tell us.
Again, these ideas are by no means restrictive. If you have a fantastic
story to share about agriculture in Sub-Saharan Africa, about nanocomputing
or about biotechnology, please submit your paper. Bear in mind that those
attending HAR are technophiles and love talks in which technology - or
the politics of technology - is key. Also, if you know of someone whom
you think should be present at HAR2009, ask them to submit an abstract,
or inform us of their name and subject.
Abstracts should be submitted to our paper submission system on
https://pentabarf.har2009.org/submission/HAR2009 and are due May 1st,
We will inform you about our acceptance or rejection of your abstract
before June 1st, 2009.
General information about HAR2009 can be found on http://www.har2009.org
If you have further questions regarding your talk submissions; the
speakerdesk can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
With kind regards,
The Hacking At Random 2009 Program Committee,
Alex Le Heux
Jasper van Woudenberg