Chaos Communications Congress 29 becomes third hacker conference to ban harassment

Drum roll, please! The third major “hacker” conference to publicly adopt an anti-harassment policy is Chaos Communications Congress 29! CCC is a conference about technology, society, and creativity, and is one of the most popular conferences in the field. Thousands of people travel from all over the world to Germany during the last week of December each year to attend CCC.

CCC joins BruCON and DeepSec as the first three hacker conferences to publicly pledge that they do not condone and will respond to harassment based on age, gender, sexual orientation, race, physical appearance or disability. CCC 29 has set up a special team available 24 hours a day to respond to harassment, with a phone number, email address, and even Twitter account! (We note that the German translation of KC Crowell‘s “Creeper Move” cards was also recently announced.)

Updated to add Fri Dec 28 07:30 UTC:Tips on reporting harassment, responding to reports of harassment, and related resources are available on the Geek Feminism wiki. Writing these kinds of documents are part of what the Ada Initiative does.

We at the Ada Initiative are astonished and amazed to close out 2012 with so much progress in the area of harassment of women at conferences – and it goes way beyond conferences. Each time conference organizers make a public pledge like this, it kicks off a conversation that reveals people’s opinions and beliefs about the role of women in their community – and often changes them for the better. What we find out is often not pretty, but it is also the reality that women in our communities experience. Becoming aware of the problem is the first step in fixing it and becoming the kind of community we believe we truly are.

Bravo and congratulations to the organizers of CCC, BruCON, DeepSec, and everyone else who worked in 2012 to make open technology and culture more welcoming to people of all genders!

Note to conference organizers: The title is still open for the first non-European hacker conference to adopt a public, specific, and enforceable policy against harassment. The honor could be yours!