Black Hat scraps Rep. Will Hurd as keynote speaker amid voting file controversy – TechCrunch

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Rep. Will Hurd will not give the keynote deal with on the Black Hat safety convention amid questions on his voting file on girls’s rights.

Hurd, a Texas Republican congressman, was scheduled to headline the convention later this yr, however the organizers determined to stroll again the choice a day later.

“Black Hat has chosen to take away U.S. Consultant Will Hurd as our 2019 Black Hat USA Keynote. We misjudged the separation of know-how and politics,” mentioned a press release. “We’ll proceed to concentrate on know-how and analysis, nevertheless we acknowledge that Black Hat USA shouldn’t be the suitable platform for the polarizing political debate ensuing from our alternative of speaker.”

“We’re nonetheless absolutely devoted to offering an inclusive surroundings and apologize that this resolution didn’t replicate that sentiment,” the assertion added.

A brand new keynote speaker has not but been introduced.

Hurd’s communications director Katie Thompson mentioned the congressman was “honored” to be invited.

“Congressman Hurd has at all times sought to interact teams of folks that don’t essentially agree with all of his votes or opinions,” she mentioned. “That’s why Rep. Hurd is likely one of the loudest voices for bipartisanship in Congress. This Congress alone he voted for equal pay for equal work, for the Violence Towards Ladies Act and the Equality Act. To not point out Congressman Hurd would have introduced the potential [sic] of an individual of shade and somebody who served our nation overseas.”

We reported yesterday that some within the safety group felt uncomfortable and described their unease with the choice to nominate Hurd as keynote speaker. Hurd has persistently voted in opposition to laws supporting girls’s rights, together with a invoice that will financially help girls in STEM fields, but additionally voting in favor of permitting states to limit entry and protection to abortions and defunding entry to girls’s well being organizations like Deliberate Parenthood.

Critics mentioned the transfer alienated girls at a time the place variety in safety stays a problem. Others criticized the selection of speaker on his views, calling entry to girls’s healthcare a human proper.

A number of long-time Black Hat attendees mentioned on Twitter that they’d not attend the convention following information of Hurd’s keynote.

Up to date with remarks from Hurd’s communications director. 

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