It starts with "Wesley McGrew" (@McGrewSecurity), an assistant professor at Mississippi state. He's been a frequent source of infosec drama for years now. Since I, myself, don't shy away from drama, I can't say that he's necessarily at fault, I'm just pointing out that he's been involved in several Big Infosec Drama Blowups.
Then there is "Adrian Crenshaw" (@irongeeek_adc) (aka. "Irongeek") who maintains a website http://irongeek.com, which hosts a lot of infosec videos. He'll work with conferences to make sure talks get recorded and uploaded to his site. A lot of smaller cons host their video there. If you frequently watch infosec videos, then you know the site.
I think this specific drama started back in April, when Irongeek made this April Fool's joke:
Many, most especially McGew, criticized Irongeek for this, claiming it was an "unfunny slap to women in security".
I don't know when it happened, but Irongeek punished McGrew by blocking students from McGrew's university, Mississippi State. This was noticed last week.
Irongeek responded to criticisms by changing the "block" to a simple "warning", and removed the word "mangina".
After further drama, Irongeek backed down and removed the thing altogether, so now Mississippi state students see the same site as before.
Today, BSidesLV, the most important of the "small conferences" that work with Irongeek, severed their relationship with the site:
Official Statement from the #BSidesLV BoD, regarding our (former) videographer. http://t.co/CKJbqpm1b0— BSides Las Vegas (@BSidesLV) September 9, 2015
A lot of people are now upset with BSidesLV because of this. On the other hand, had they kept their relationship with Irongeek, a lot of different people would be upset. There's pretty much nothing they could have done to avoid getting sucked into the drama.
I think this is a complete summary of recent drama.
Update: Not so complete, apparently sponsors and board members left BSidesLV in protest. I don't know which way they protested. Since a lot of these people have personal relationships, there's obviously a lot going on behind the scenes that we are unaware of.
@ErrataRob wait? you missed @TrustedSec and @KryptonSec bouncing as a sponsor and James from @MiltonSecurity leaving the board?— sno0ose (@sno0ose) September 10, 2015
I apologize, but I can't resist commenting.
BSidesLV can't have a relationship with Irongeek if they pull these sorts of stunts. They aren't responding to the content, but that otherwise innocent MSU students had to suffer. They make no mention of the content. In other words, unlike the BSidesSF/VioletBlue drama of a couple years ago, they aren't censoring somebody's speech because of content.
On the other hand, I'm rabidly opposed to anything that even looks like censorship. I'd've hoped for a different resolution, such as a commitment from Irongeek that such things wouldn't happen in the future. It's going to hurt all of us at the next con when talks aren't recorded.
Irongeek's April Fools joke is funny. We are all feminists, but still many of us oppose the "radical feminists". Nothing should be above mockery, most especially the "radical" of anything. Maybe Irongeek's joke was inappropriate -- but before I accept that, you have to show me jokes about radical feminists that meet your criteria of appropriateness.
McGrew is a typical radical feminist who attacks "old white males" with hate speech. He rejects the idea that this is even hate speech. But here's the thing: groups like GamerGate are filled with otherwise feminists who are tired of all the hate directed their way, frustrated by the fact that as white males, it's been declared that they cannot defend themselves in any legitimate way. So they lash out with immature anger, as gamers are apt to do. My point is that we are all feminists, but we are still going to disagree on the particulars. I vehemently disagree with McGrew's approach.
Looking back through McGrew's timeline to get the details for this post, I found this tweet, so I retweeted without comment to troll people. I really am a bad person.
#HackerShoutOut to @irongeek_adc since even if he was jackass yesterday, his conference recordings are indispensable.— Wesley McGrew (@McGrewSecurity) April 2, 2015