(Canberra Times) In an apparent reaction to recent revelations about far-reaching US government surveillance programs, organisers of an annual hacker convention are asking federal agents to just stay away.

One of the more time-honoured traditions at DEF CON — the massive event held each year in Las Vegas — is “Spot-the-Fed”, a playful and mostly harmless contest to out undercover government agents who attend the show.

But that game might be a bit tougher when the conference rolls around again next month.

In a brief blog post published Thursday on the DEF CON website titled “Feds, We Need Some Time Apart”, DEF CON owner and hacker-in-chief Jeff Moss (aka “The Dark Tangent”) suggested it was probably in the best interest of the feds to make themselves scarce at this year’s con.

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