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A Hacker 'Hero' Has Been Banned From Cyber Conferences After Decades Of Inappropriate Behavior (buzzfeed.com) 346

Several readers share a report: John Draper, a prankster hero to an early generation of hackers, used his status at cybersecurity conferences to arrange private meetings with teenage fans and a reporter where he touched them inappropriately, multiple men have told BuzzFeed News. The allegations are the latest in what has become in recent weeks an explosion of sexual misconduct reports that have roiled a seemingly endless list of industries, from Hollywood to the news media to the Alabama Senate race. As in many of those other cases, Draper's actions were well known to at least a core of people who had regular contact with him. Apple cofounder Steve Wozniak told BuzzFeed News that Steve Jobs once told him that Draper, an early associate, once asked Jobs to sit on Draper's back in the 1970s, an offer Wozniak said Jobs declined as being "out of the ordinary." But in the hacking world, where unusual behavior is accepted and often celebrated, there were few official steps taken to prevent Draper's overtures to unsuspecting fans. Volunteers who worked the annual DEF CON hacking conventions in Las Vegas recalled that one of their responsibilities was to separate Draper from his teenage followers. Draper's behavior drew attention at other conventions as well, where he was a frequent presence. Brandon Creighton, a long-standing volunteer at hacker conferences who was familiar with rumors about Draper, recalled escorting him from a private party after ToorCon in San Diego in 2007, though exactly why was not clear.
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A Hacker 'Hero' Has Been Banned From Cyber Conferences After Decades Of Inappropriate Behavior

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  • by DontBeAMoran ( 4843879 ) on Friday November 17, 2017 @02:22PM (#55571535)

    News at 11.

  • by RevDisk ( 740008 ) on Friday November 17, 2017 @02:30PM (#55571609) Journal
    For a minimum of a decade or decade and a half. Draper extensively hit on a friend of mine, who at the time was 18 or 19.

    Apparently, not all the teenagers were above 18. That's the part not being mentioned. He wasn't exclusively hitting on dudes under 18, but he just wasn't remotely cautious about the age of the folks he was hitting on. Usually people were NOT interested.
    • I don't get it. The age of consent in Nevada is 16. Why would they need to be above 18? I get that the guy was creepy but is hitting on people at conferences illegal?
  • by jfdavis668 ( 1414919 ) on Friday November 17, 2017 @02:32PM (#55571633)
    It worked for another hacker hero.
  • Brandon Creighton, a long-standing volunteer

    With a name like that he should be a frequent contributor.

  • by t0qer ( 230538 ) on Friday November 17, 2017 @02:36PM (#55571693) Homepage Journal

    I used to hang out in the #2600 IRC, Drapers panache for young boys was being discussed as far back as 1998 according to my recollection.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      panache: mass noun Flamboyant confidence of style or manner.
      penchant: (usually in singular) A strong or habitual liking for something or tendency to do something.

    • by dave562 ( 969951 )

      Agreed. I remember it being pretty common knowledge that "Captain Crunch likes little boys" as far back LA 2600 meets in the early to mid-1990s.

      That does not make it okay. But this whole "surprise" is not exactly a surprise to anybody who has been around the guy, or involved in the computer underground for any length of time.

  • by nuckfuts ( 690967 ) on Friday November 17, 2017 @03:19PM (#55572083)
    that the whistle is being blown on man who became famous by blowing a whistle.
  • With a whistle out of a Captain Crunch cereal box he owned the phone system at the time.

  • John Draper (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward

    The issue with Draper is there are documented cases of his Yoga exercises with boys under the age of consent, 15 years old. This has been well known for many years and even though some of us tried to get the word out, too much hero worship surrounds the guy.

    The problem is that when you idolize someone as much as we did (Draper was a member of my group back in the day.) when they ask something weird, you aren't as likely as a kid to say no to your hero. We quickly learned what he was really like...

    The guy

    • Re:John Draper (Score:5, Insightful)

      by 110010001000 ( 697113 ) on Friday November 17, 2017 @03:33PM (#55572223) Homepage Journal
      "get the word out"? If you have documented cases of child abuse why didn't you go to the police???
  • by NynexNinja ( 379583 ) on Friday November 17, 2017 @04:22PM (#55572623)
    I started going to cons in the early 1990's and John Draper "Captain Crunch" was always notorious for trying to invite newbie hackers to his hotel room for "meditation" sessions which included massaging and touching and whatever else happened if you allowed it go any further. The guy was always known to be a pervert. Everyone joked about it. He would literally go person-to-person through the crowd and invite whoever he could upstairs for a little one-on-one if you know what i'm sayin. Every con he would show up and do this. The best was at summercon 98 he showed up and did a talk about how everyone owes him thousands of dollars because he is so old school and how he invented the hacker scene. The guy was a fixture at every con. pumpcon, defcon, summercon.

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