Well, not everybody at the conference did.
One hacker in particular, felt the need to interrupt Alexander's Wednesday morning presentation.
Andy Greenberg of Forbes writes:
Alexander was about a half hour into his talk when a 30-year-old security consultant named Jon McCoy shouted “Freedom!”
“Exactly,” responded Alexander. “We stand for freedom.”
“Bulls***!” McCoy shouted.
“Not bad,” Alexander said, as applause broke out in the crowd. “But I think what you’re saying is that in these cases, what’s the distinction, where’s the discussion and what tools do we have to stop this.”
“No, I’m saying I don’t trust you!” shouted McCoy.
“You lied to Congress. Why would people believe you’re not lying to us right now?” another voice in the crowd added.Alexander went on to deny that he lied to Congress, and plead with the hackers to help the NSA become better if they think it so bad.
“The whole reason I came here was to ask you to help us make it better,” said the general, according to Greenberg. “And if you disagree with what we’re doing, you should help us twice as much.”
The NSA and other intelligence agencies regularly attend the two hacker conferences in an attempt to find, court, and hire ... well ... people as talented as late leaker Edward Snowden.
The organizers of DefCon requested Alexander and other feds stay away this year because of the same Snowden revelations that have been the talk of the globe lately.
Needless to say, it's important to note that intelligence analysts have received mixed receptions since the history of their appearances at these conferences.
Last February, hackers derided Alexander for showing up in "jeans and a cool EFF t-shirt" and trying to court hackers. They responded by supposedly hacking into an FBI cyber agent's laptop and stealing 2 million Apple Unique Device Identifier numbers.