Ethics Village
In The Hopes Of Fostering A Better Understanding Of The Ethical Questions We Face As A Community
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Ethics Village at DEFCON

The DEFCON Ethics Village, is a ethics conference focused on the fostering a discussion about ethics in the security domain. The discussion on ethics in the security domain has been present since its inception however, we want to foster a greater discussion on ethics across all security domains. We want to celebrate the mistakes and grow as a community.

We want to learn what ethical situations arise for security professionals. We want to learn how security professionals handle these situations. We want to know about times you stood up to your boss because of your ethical beliefs to when you did something completely unethical and possibly broke the law.

The Ethics Village is sponsorsed by DC 217 an interest group for computer security topics.

Call for Presentations


Talks are the standard presentation style, with slides, and where we hope you (or you all) enlighten, education, and inspire the audience on an interesting topic or project.

Suggested Topics:
  • Cybersecurity & Socio-technical computer ethics
  • Gender Inequality
  • Ethical thinking and ethical decision making
  • Education
  • Technological bias in system design
  • Digital divide
  • Codes of ethics
  • Professional responsibility
  • Incident response
  • Hacking back
  • Vulnerability disclosure
  • Whistleblower, Insider threat, Leaker
  • Law and Ethics
  • Privacy
  • Information, Propaganda, Misinformation & Fake News
  • Cyberwar

Case studies

Case study presentations provide a means of presenting stories that address particular security phenomena, in particular we hope these case studies deal with futuristic possibilities that may or may have already occurred. Case studies are compelling stories about futuristic-based scenarios and security. A case study should describe the problem, explain the many viewpoints this case study faces, and provide insights into possible solutions.

An example: ByteCoinz Bubble
You have created a popular cryptocurrency, and you know it's value is blown out of proportion by media hype. You own a lot of this currency because you used it before it was cool. People are betting their life's savings on your currency. Criminals are using your currency to launder and transfer money. Citizens of a poor country are using your currency to buy food in a hyper-inflated economy. You created your currency to be the fastest and most secure currency in existence. You honestly believe that it is and that it offers other benefits such as anonymity and decentralization as well. You are aware, however, that the current market value is substantially inflated above what the currency is objectively worth. Some famous investors are warning that your currency value is a bubble set to pop, but the fact that they don’t fully understand the technology causes many investors to ignore their advice. You have been invited to give a TV interview about your creation for a major television network. You could truthfully focus on the good-tell the truth about the benefits of the currency and probably increase your personal wealth. Alternately, you could focus on the inflation aspect, which could be considered more honest or “full disclosure,” but it could cost you money.

Case Study Topics:
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Biohacking
  • Self-driving cars/trucks/trains
  • Zero-sized intelligence
  • Neurohacking
  • Mass Data
  • Quantum Computing
  • Youth & Tech
  • Diversity & Tech
  • Dark Net
  • Universal Translators
  • Avatars, Surrogates, Robotics
  • Space Drones
  • Passwords


Panels bring a focus on lively, controversial and provocative discussion on a specific topic of interest to the community. Panel sessions do not consist of paper presentations, but should insight plenty of discussion engaging the audience.

Suggested Topics:

  • Facebook
  • Handles/Anonymity/Hack Culture Do’s and Don'ts
  • Ransomware (The ethics of paying)
  • Gender inequality
  • Ethical reporting and the media
  • How far is the law behind?
  • Impact on users, and security implications
  • History of ethics cyber and historical early
  • Cryptowar

Asking for a friend

Asking for a friend are presentations where people can talk about ethical dilemmas that have occurred in their lives that they would like to share with the community. These talks can be done as anonymously as possible.

Asking For A Friend

As a security professional and/or enthusiast you may have faced an ethical dilemma. We hope you would share this ethical dilemma with the security community, in order to start building an understanding of all the ethical situations one might face as well as learn about potential solutions.


If you are interested in meeting with us at DEFCON or would like to submit a proposal for talk, presentation or discussion panel, please send a detailed proposal to


At DEFCON, we hope to host talks and discussion panels on the role of ethics in various security domains (e.g., vulnerability disclosure, incident response, digital forensics, security education, smart cars, IoT) and related topics. We intend to invite presentations from speakers with a wide variety of backgrounds in order to receive diverse perspectives. The goal of this village is to initiate a conversation among the security community in the hopes that it will foster a better understanding of the ethical questions we face as a community.

Contact Us

If you are interested in meeting with us at DEFCON or would like to submit a proposal for a talk, presentation or discussion panel, please send a detailed proposal to