Please see the disclaimer.

I saw a keynote by LockPickingLawyer for SAINTCON on Hacker News today. My interest was piqued since I like LPL’s videos.

That’s not what this post is about, however. This is about SAINTCON.

I actually was a speaker at one of the earliest SAINTCON’s

I don’t remember what year, and I did not do very well. But they were desperate for speakers because that’s how you bootstrap a conference. In fact, it might have been their first SAINTCON ever, which would explain why they had me speak.

Because I had bee interested in going to SAINTCON again, I went to the SAINTCON website to see when it had been: October 18-22.

Then I saw a link to COVID protocols. ‘Fair enough,’ I thought. ‘Let’s see what they require.’

So I clicked the link. And after I read the usual drivel about working with local and Federal agencies, I saw these requirements:

  • Masks required.
  • One of the following required:
    • Proof of vaccine.
    • Proof of antibodies.
    • Negative COVID test.

On top of all of that, they were only going to issue full refunds up until September 9th, more than a month before the actual conference! If you had planned to get any of the three required documentation done, but ended up not being able to, good luck!

This is medical discrimination. This is unacceptable.

As part of my Anti-Coercion Pledge, I refuse to do business with coercive businesses and non-profits. This includes SAINTCON.

Thus, I will never go to SAINTCON ever again. I will not be a speaker, and I will not be an attendee.

“But Gavin! What if they change their protocol next year?”

After two years of moving the goalposts from “15 days to slow the spread” to “mandatory vaccination to have a job,” I doubt that their requirements will ever relax if they are working with local and Federal agencies, the very entities moving the goalposts.

But even if they do, they medically discriminated once. They violated the privacy of their attendees once. For a computer security conference, that is galling and beyond the pale.

No, SAINTCON has lost any goodwill I had for them. I will never go back, even in the unlikely event that they reach out to me to be a speaker. And I encourage others to do the same.