Friday, August 03, 2007

"they're taking pictures, I don't like it"

Michelle Madigan, Associate Producer at NBC Dateline, was outed at the hacker conference Defcon having lied about her position as a member of the press, instead registering as an ordinary attendee. Signing for a press badge entails a code of conduct - i.e. don't try and entrap 13 years olds who are making claims they aren't close to being capable of, and don't endanger the identities of federal agents with ties to the security community. Hidden cameras are a no-no, but it is suspected she was utilising a pin-hole device.

What she and Dateline forgot is that unlike your common or garden paedophile, that show's bread and butter, hackers are wary types and intrusion detection is their stock-in-trade. Some reports indicate Defcon were tipped off by their own source within Dateline. After being offered a press badge four times, Madigan was outed and chose to flee the conference despite an offer to remain - with a badge. Plainly upfront journalism isn't the kind of sensational story she was after.

She gained her own flock of paparazzi en route to her car and hopefully gained an understanding of what having a camera shoved in your face feels like from the opposite side. Here's the video:
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