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January 31, 2012

Now It’s B-sides and RSA

When I last wrote about B-sides a few weeks ago there was the drama of “show me the money”, as some folks questioned where money from sponsors was going. As a result the B-sides group seems to have emerged stronger with a definitive board of directors, more transparency in their finances and the better for the experience. However, now there is more drama around B-sides, this time around whether RSA Conference is trying to stamp out B-sides San Francisco by refusing to grant waivers to companies that sponsor both RSA and B-sides.

When I first heard the story on Twitter and read the post they put up I have to say I was skeptical. Let me say right up front that RSA Conference sponsors the Security Bloggers Network and sponsors our Security Bloggers Meet up every year at RSA. On top of that I have found the conference team to be the most professional, on the ball group of folks to work with. They care about the security community and this just doesn’t sound like their style.

I reached out to a contact there to find out what the real story was behind this new B-Sides drama today. From what I can ascertain here are the facts:

RSA Conference has not denied a waiver to any sponsor that asked to sponsor B-sides also. In fact this is not the first year that RSA Conference has worked with B-Sides on this.

So I am not sure where this is all coming from. If the folks at B-sides have been told differently, I would like someone there to stand up and say so. Let’s have a great RSA Conference week. A week big enough for Security B-sides, Americas Growth Capital Conference, Cloud Security Alliance conference and all of the other great security stuff that takes place in San Fran that week!

In the bigger picture, B-sides is a great idea and I love watching it grow. But drama is not conducive to growing B-sides. I hope that this will not be a reoccurring pattern.

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