Code of Conduct

Be Nice. Don’t be a jerk.

If you are a jerk, we’ll ask you to leave.

Examples of being a jerk include harassing, forcing unwanted interactions, or secretly replacing someone’s coffee with Folgers crystals (unless that person is John, because John likes instant coffee).

Illegal activity will not be permitted or tolerated. If illegal activities occur, we ask people to work with law enforcement and we will assist with investigations. We’ll also ask you to leave as this falls under “being a jerk.” If there is a dispute between any two parties we will politely ask both to leave. This is not to punish or take sides, but to create safe space between the individuals, other attendees and the conference. 

Still not sure what being a jerk looks like? You’ll know when we politely ask you to leave.

Are you having a problem? Need assistance? We are here to help. If there are ANY problems, please find a staff member and/or DM us on Twitter or Discord – which will be monitored during the conference hours. If it is outside official conference hours, please contact hotel security and/or the police. DM us on Twitter if there is something you need help with, or find a staff member/volunteer that can help you get the help you need.

A Letter from John:

A little bit more explanation:

Fairly sure this is a bad idea. Possibly going to make some people mad. Please, understand that is not the purpose.

  1. I think it is important that we acknowledge there is a problem. As a guy, I have not seen a large number of the issues that women have seen at conferences. People treat me different than they would treat a woman. This, seems like a simple observation. But, it is not. People generally have a hard time empathizing. However, it would be a mistake for anyone to assume that behavior they’re okay with, is okay for everyone. Over the past few years I have gotten to know a large number of women in the infosec industry. The stories are horrifying. Many of the women simply laugh and try to blow things off, but you can tell they were hurt, sometimes deeply.
  2. Event security is not law enforcement. This hit me hard at a recent event. Conference security is a little scary. Some of these people are very good friends of mine. It seems the goon part of our culture may be a bit of a problem. Let me clarify…. Imagine you are a 22-year-old woman/man at a conference and you are assaulted – the only people you can turn to are a bunch of “scary people” in full tactical gear. This is not to minimize the competence, intentions or heart of the awesome volunteers at these events over they years. I just want us all to think of the optics and how that would play for someone who is hurt.

    At WWHF we will try to have as close to equal representation of men to women for staff as possible. The staff role at WWHF is to assist and to help ensure a safe place for the conference attendees. If an issue rises to the level of law enforcement needing to be involved, they will be. If an attendee is being a jerk, they will be asked to leave. If necessary, we will include the proper outside assistance to make this happen.

    But, I cannot stress this enough: conference security is NOT law enforcement. They should not act that way. They should not be expected to act that way. They should address small issues and direct other more serious issues to hotel security staff and law enforcement when needed. They are there to help people with general questions and assistance.
  3. Finally, I also want to clarify the “both parties” comment. A long time ago, we as a species decided that trial by mob with pitchforks and torches was a less than optimal way of behavior enforcement. We have laws and law enforcement. We will honor these at WWHF. We may have issues arise where things go poorly between individuals. If it is a personal dispute that rises to our attention, we will ask both parties not to come, or we will ask them to leave. This is not to take sides. This is not to punish. This is to keep a safe distance between the individual parties and the conference attendees.

We are trying. We will get things wrong. We will learn from our mistakes. We will get better. This industry is still maturing, but mature we must!

With love,