Dispute over police presence at OHM hacker festival


L33tdawg: IMHO, it's quite sad to hear that Koen Martens has decided to pull out from organizing OHM - it's truly a loss for the community.

The Dutch Observe, Hack, Make (OHM) hacker festival that is planned for this summer has become the topic of heated discussions in the hacker scene. When it became known that the Dutch police were planning to reside in their own "village" in the festival grounds, the subsequent outrage voiced by hackers such as Jacob Appelbaum caused the festival's chief coordinator, Koen Martens, to resign. The organiser said that he had come to the conclusion that organising a summer camp for people who did their best to sabotage the camp wasn't worth the effort.

At the first small Hacking in Progress hacker camp, the police had been present in plain clothes; at the subsequent three big Hacking at Large (2001), What the Hack (2005) and Hacking at Random (2009) events, the police were sited in an area away from the festival grounds, and plain clothes as well as uniformed police went on patrol from there. For the OHM event, the police suggested they should be present in their own "village".

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