27C3: Preparations for hacker congress are gaining momentum
The Chaos Computer Club (CCC) has released a first version of the event schedule for the 27th Chaos Communication Congress (27C3), which will be held at the Berlin Congress Center (bcc), Berlin Alexanderplatz, at the end of the year. Version 0.1 of the schedule still has various gaps which the CCC's event blog says "will be filled with cool stuff over time" – once speakers have been confirmed. The forthcoming event will be the first to offer 30-minute talks as well as 1-hour and 2-hour events. The new structure is intended to "diversify" the schedule, which starts just before lunchtime each day, and to avoid over stretching people's attention span in the "early" hours of each event day.
At the moment, the schedule mainly contains events organised by the CCC itself, for instance the hacker organisation's end-of-year review and an outlook on security nightmares that may be looming in 2011. Hot political net topics, such as the enforcement of intellectual property rights, web and internet censorship, the preservation of liberties on the internet, the forthcoming census in Germany and data retention issues, are to provide the basis for lively discussions on day one. Further highlights announced for the following event days include a "concert" of "free culture" advocates, a proposal to encrypt and authenticate all internet traffic, and presentations on the "language of political betrayal" and on current public and private surveillance projects in Germany, such as the EU's INDECT project. Thoughts on a more secure future generation of computers are also on the agenda.
The CCC has decided that this year a full pass for the announced four days of "computer fun", for instance at the hacker centre in the bcc basement, will only be available in advance (German language link), and that day tickets will only be available from day two. With these measures, the club has responded to people hopelessly over-crowding the venue last year; there will also be a stricter control of the total number of tickets issued. CCC representatives say that more than 2,000 tickets were sold online within a few hours. The last round of pre-event ticket sales is to start on the 4th of December. This year, a standard 4-day ticket costs €70, while the business ticket costs €250. Group travel from the US is currently still available via the "Hackers on a Plane" website, which offers an advance price of $1,673.99 for a combined ticket including flights from New York and accommodation.
Those who don't want to take this year's congress motto, "We come in Peace", as an opportunity to smoke the proverbial peace pipe with other data travellers on site can access a live stream as well as subsequent video recordings provided by the Research Association in electronic Media at Ilmenau University of Technology (FeM). The student association is still asking for donations to fund providing the network community with almost 100 presentations in the time between Christmas and the New Year, and to offer such improvements as enhanced image quality and separate transmissions of individual congress presentations. Similar to last year's event, decentralised congress venues in various locations offering hackers the opportunity to follow the events via beamers and live streaming may then also be available.