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DEF CON Hacking Conference

Call for Papers

The Call for Papers is Now Closed!

You may find a list of alternative places to submit a talk on the CFP Index page.

What: DEF CON 27 Call For Papers

When: August 8 to 11, 2019. The Call for Papers will close on May 01, 2019.

Where: DEF CON will take place at Paris, Ballys, and Planet Hollywood in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA.

How: Complete the DEF CON 27 Call for Papers Form and send to talks at defcon dot org.

Speaking Formats are: 20 minutes, 45 minutes, 105 minutes (Two slots back to back).

The DEF CON 27 Theme: 'Technology's Promise'

DEF CON 26 was about the inflection point between disorder and dystopia - the moment before the point of no return. The DEF CON 27 theme, in a way, responds to '1983' with new questions. What does it look like when we make the better choice? What kind of world do we hack together in the sunniest timeline? How does our real best-case scenario compare to the future we've been dreaming of for generations?

Extra consideration will be granted for submissions that tie into this year's theme. We want you to hear about your hacks and research, and how will it relate to the discussions below.

1) Cypherpunk and "engineering out of the problem".

Tim May was once quoted saying anonymity online would "alter completely the nature of government regulation, the ability to tax and control economic interactions, the ability to keep information secret." At the time his manifesto was for "both a social and economic revolution" and so began the newly formed "Cypherpunks". Cypherpunks invented cryptography with the aim of abolishing big brother, but 30 years later we have big corporations in their place. Large corporations have insured that the 21st century hasn't come without compromises.

Crypto-anarchism is still alive and well today in well known examples like Tor, Freenet, cryptocurrencies, etc. Tell us what you're doing now to circumvent the future we're living in? Corporations are developing advanced facial recognition and becoming "the new big brother". Social media is exchanging a false sense of freedom at the expense of a total removal of anonymity. The Cypherpunk ethos will have to adapt now that we have merged the "instagram-able" life, biometrics, ML, IOT, and micro-targeting. To build a future that doesn't limit our love of modern technology and socialization at the expense of freedom will require decentralization and anonymity technology breakthroughs. What are you doing to engineer your way out of these problems?

2) "Keep InfoSec out of Hacking"

DEF CON wants to support the culture of hacking. Between the TV interviews and the assessments we are still the same people with funny names threading the eye of the needle to make the next breakthrough. Hackers have become mainstream, seemingly to leave the underground to make a "legitimate" living. The industry has developed policies for ethical hacking, multimillion dollar pentesting orgs, bug bounty programs, and set the foundations of security for behemoth corporations. Being paid for hacking was the dream, but now it is an industry unto itself that focuses predominantly on enterprise.

DEF CON is a hacker con, not an InfoSec conference. Hackers are more focused on the joy of discovery, irreverence, novel if impractical approaches. InfoSec is more focused on enterprise, frameworks, and protecting the interests of share holders. There is great value in both types of content, but our con is a hacker con by design.

Activities that enable the hacker mindset and demonstrate how to master a certain technique are always going to be selected over a great enterprise InfoSec talk. DEF CON has always tried to provide a way to amplify the work of hackers, to create a venue for research that allows for others to grow. The idea that technology should be free was written into the subtext of "The Hacker Manifesto" and is just as valid today as it was 33 years ago.

3) We want the computer from Star Trek, what we're getting is HAL 9000.

At DEF CON 24 we hosted DARPA's Grand Cyber Challenge, a challenge to the innovation community with a $2M prize to build a computer that can hack and patch software with no one at the keyboard. This was a lot of fun, and yet there were whispers among us of a future where artificial intelligence will render some human jobs irrelevant. We can see ourselves approaching an event horizon of automation. This technology is not without a price, but how do we get to the utopian world where we ask a computer to make us a cup of earl grey without landing ourselves in a black mirror dystopia? Engineers are developing smart home devices with disembodied voices, while hackers are quick to shout tropes of "NSA listening devices". Is the reckless misuse of technology leading us to a dark future? What can hackers do to help achieve the sunniest timeline?

Above are some suggested topics that loosely align with the theme, we consider all talk subjects. If your talk doesn't fit in one of these topics don't worry, the suggested themes are just a starting point. We've dozens of speaking slots, the tracks will be filled with a clustering of subjects; hardware hacking, lock picking, mobile hacking, reverse engineering, legalities of hacking, and more.

So... are you in?

DEF CON is the largest sponsor free hacking conference, and does not seek or accept money to secure a speaking spot. You have to earn your speaking spot by impressing the CFP review team with your knowledge and skill, only then will you get your spot on stage in front of thousands of hackers. Sink or swim - it's up to you, are you up for the challenge?

Check out for last year's conference presentations. If you want to learn from the past and get a complete list of topics that were accepted browse our archives here:

To submit a speech:

Complete the DEF CON 27 Call for Papers Form.

Like always we strive to only accept those talks of the highest caliber, and we won't have time to go back and forth asking for clarifications or missing information in your submission. Submit your best, most complete form, and if anything changes email us an update.

Barring a disaster of monstrous proportions, speaker selection will be completed no later than June 1, 2019. The sooner you submit, the better chance you have that we give your presentation the full consideration it warrants. If you wait until the last minute to submit, you have less of a chance of being selected, unless your name is Major Kusanagi.

After a completed CFP form is received, speakers will be contacted if there are any questions about their presentations. If your talk is accepted you can continue to modify and evolve it up until the last minute, but don't deviate from your accepted presentation. We will mail you reminders with information on deadlines for when we need your presentation, as well as information for the printed program. If you want to plan ahead these dates are also listed on the CFP Form.

What do you get?

No matter if you are accepted or rejected, the DEF CON review board will provide candid feedback on your submission if you ask. DEF CON has a team of different subject matter experts to help select presentations based on many factors, and you'll end up with a good idea how they responded to your submission.

If you are accepted, Speakers get in to the show free, get paid USD $300 or 3 Human Badges, get a cool speaker badge, and people like you more. Most speakers find it is a great way to meet others interested in their topics. You can opt to forgo the $300 payment and instead receive 3 human badges that you can give to your friends, sell to strangers, or hold onto as timeless mementos. Receiving badges instead of checks has been a popular option for those insisting on maintaining their anonymity.

DEF CON will promote your presentation, link to your social media, blog, or web pages you desire, and help arrange for any interviews from interested media that want to learn what you are up to. Please let us know on the form if you want to do any interviews and we will pass on your info to our press team.

During DEF CON there is a speaker party where you can meet the staff, CFP review team, and all the other speakers before the main conference kicks off and you get swept away into the vortex of Con.

After DEF CON, your professionally recorded presentations are transcribed with English subtitles, then shared all over the planet through our media server, Bittorrent servers, ed2k, YouTube, index sites, etc.

Please visit: for previous conference archives, information, and speeches. Updated announcements will be posted to news groups, security mailing lists and this web site. for a look at all the events and contests being planned for DEF CON 27. Join in on the action.

Follow @defcon on twitter or check out the DEF CON Facebook Page,, to keep up to date with what's up at the con this year. for news and announcements surrounding DEF CON.

CFP forms and questions should get mailed to: talks/at/ If you have not received confirmation of your submission after two business days, contact us again. Please check your spam folder & whitelist */at/

Good luck with your submission(s) and thank you for keeping the culture alive!

- The Dark Tangent