We’ve had so many truly amazing people appear on stage at our HOPE conferences over the years. Sadly, a number of our shining stars have passed away and we wanted to acknowledge them here. From left to right:
Bill Squire (BillSF) was one of the most knowledgeable people on the telephone network that you could ever hope to meet who gave super detailed presentations at the Hackers On Planet Earth conference in 1994 and H2K in 2000.
Robert Steele was happy to share his CIA knowledge with HOPE attendees, was our very first speaker and keynote at the Hackers On Planet Earth conference in 1994, and became known for his marathon “Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Spying” sessions in the late night hours.
Kevin Mitnick was an inspiration to so many of us as he managed to turn his unfair imprisonment into a successful career as a security expert and speaker. He was a key part of the HOPE family, both before and after his release. He keynoted at The Fifth HOPE in 2004 and also appeared in later years.
Dan Kaminsky was known and respected for so much in the hacker community, commonly referred to as a digital Paul Revere. He never shied away from revealing the truth about security breaches, no matter how inconvenient those revelations were. He is honored in the Internet Hall of Fame, a prestigious achievement award administered by the Internet Society. He appeared as our keynote speaker at The Next HOPE in 2010.
Robert “Ozzie” Osband (Richard Cheshire, The Cheshire Catalyst) was a familiar face to anyone who attended any of our conferences, as he appeared at every one of them from the first Hackers On Planet Earth conference in 1994 to A New HOPE in 2022. Never failing to give a talk about anything from low bandwidth solutions to phone phreak history to the story of how he got his own area code, he was often one of the first people encountered by attendees as he greeted them from the registration desk.
Daniel Ellsberg was widely know throughout the planet as the person behind the Pentagon Papers back in 1971, a pivotal action that greatly affected the political landscape in the United States for decades to come. Throughout his long life, he was always outspoken and unafraid to give support to people he believed in, such as Edward Snowden, who he appeared with at HOPE X in 2014, as well as being our keynote speaker.
Jim Vichench (Red Balaclava, Jeopardy Jim) was one of our very first speakers, appearing at the first Hackers On Planet Earth conference in 1994 and Beyond HOPE in 1997, each time delivering an exposé on New York’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s MetroCard program, which caused a great deal of controversy and media coverage, and also helped to set the tone for the kind of spirit HOPE would celebrate in the years ahead.
Michael Hart was the founder of Project Gutenberg, the first serious attempt to make e-books available on the Internet. His life mission was to create a free electronic library using what he termed “replicator technology.” He keynoted at HOPE Number Six in 2006.
Please take a moment and honor these friends of ours by watching one of their talks, reading about something they were passionate about, or just diving into the hacker world and enjoying the wealth of knowledge and fun as they would have. We are so grateful to have known them and to have been able to share their presence on this global stage. We hope they continue to inspire curious minds for many years to come.