Rep. Will Hurd will no longer give the keynote address at the Black Hat safety conference amid concerns about his voting record on girls’s rights.
Hurd, a Texas Republican congressman was scheduled to headline the conference later this year but the board decided to stroll back the selection a day later.
“Black Hat has chosen to remove U.S. Representative Will Hurd as our 2019 Black Hat USA Keynote. We misjudged the separation of technology and politics,” stated a statement. “We will continue to focus on technology and research, however we recognize that Black Hat USA is not the appropriate platform for the polarizing political debate resulting from our choice of speaker.”
“We are still fully dedicated to providing an inclusive environment and apologize that this decision did not reflect that sentiment,” the statement added.
A new keynote speaker has not but been announced.
We reported yesterday that some in the safety neighborhood felt uncomfortable and described their unease with the selection to appoint Hurd as keynote speaker. Hurd has regularly voted against legislation supporting girls’s rights, which includes a bill that would financially help girls in STEM fields, but also voting in favor of enabling states to restrict access and coverage to abortions and defunding access to girls’s well being organizations like Planned Parenthood.
Critics stated the move alienated girls at a time exactly where diversity in safety remains a challenge. Other individuals criticized the decision of speaker on his views, calling access to girls’s healthcare a human appropriate.
Quite a few lengthy-time Black Hat attendees stated on Twitter that they would not attend the conference following news of Hurd’s keynote. A single speaker known as on Black Hat to reconsider the decision of keynote speaker.
Hurd’s workplace did not respond to a request for comment.