Thursday, January 11, 2024

Hackers on the Hill is a semi-regular gathering of irregulars from the cybersecurity research community engaging with Congressional staffers.

Run by I Am The Cavalry, since 2017.

Hackers on the hill connects cybersecurity experts with policymakers to discuss timely and relevant topics - no commercial agendas, no talking points, just candid conversations.

Building long-term relationships between technical and public policy communities, as well as follow up conversations, member briefings, letters, and legislative language on topics such as:

Internet of Things
Artificial Intelligence
Critical Infrastructure
Vulnerability Disclosure
Supply Chain Security


US Capitol Visitor Center, room 209-08 (Directions)

Allow 15-20 minutes for airport-style security screening (more detail). A Hackers on the Hill guide will meet you inside and direct you to the meeting space.


Happy hour to be held at 5:00 PM at Hawk N Dove (walking directions)

Arrival and Security Check

Clear security and sign in at the Senate Appointment Desk. Look for members of the Hackers on the Hill crew or head to room 209-08.

Beau Woods
Opening and Welcome Beau Woods

If you arrive after this you're late and we will be taking attendance! (just kidding)

Harley Geiger
Cyber Policy Prophecies: Overview for Hill Hackers Harley Geiger

What's going on in public policy that hackers will want to know about, from legislative to executive?

Matt McMurray
Jessica Wilkerson
Day in the life of a Congressional Staffer: A fireside chat with Matt McMurray and Jessica Wilkerson

Hear how a bill REALLY becomes a law, and what superpowers staffers weild to get stuff done.

Matt is Chief of Staff for Rep. Robin Kelly. Jessica is a former congressional staffer, appearing in her personal capacity.
Beau Woods
Plenary closing Beau Woods

Wrapping up the plenary session then move to briefings and a special session, below.

Leisel Bogan
How to help: Tech Congress Leisel Bogan

How hackers can become Congressional Staffers and take direct action to improve cyber policy.

Leonard Bailey
Change without changing Leonard Bailey

How has use of hacking and cybersecurity laws (like the CFAA and DMCA) evolved to encourage research.

Nick Leiserson
Hackers on the Hill Closing Nick Leiserson

From the House to the White House, and from DC to DEF CON, Nick has been a key part of Hackers on the Hill from the first.

Happy Hour: Hawk n Dove

Join us at Hawk N Dove (a ten minute walk) for the Hackers on the Hill happy hour.


  • Hackers on the Hill is run by the all-volunteer I Am The Cavalry initiative - a group of dedicated individuals from the cybersecurity researcher community. Our goal with this event is to provide you with key resources for cybersecurity knowledge, broker connections to the wide-ranging expertise of the cybersecurity research community, and improve understanding among policymakers and the technical community.

  • Check the Logistics section above for the schedule.

  • Happy hour? Us? ;) Yes, it's on. Check the Logistics section above for the schedule.

  • Bring a notepad and a pen to take notes - there might not be much space for your laptop, the wireless signal isn't great (though they may have guest wifi), and it may slow down the security check.

    Feel free to wear what you're comfortable in, given the context. For some people that might mean a suit and tie. For others, it might mean a soft hoodie. I think we've even had kilts in the group before. And consider dressing in layers - it can be freezing outside and hot inside, like a microwave burrito. But, maybe, like leave your rollerblades and T-Rex inflatables at home.

    If you have any questions, check the Capitol Visitor Center prohitibed items list.

  • Parking near the Capitol tends to be extremely limited, and available spots can be a bit of a hike. Check out the US Capitol Visitor Center site for more.

  • Thanks for checking first! Everybody loves photos. Except when they don't. And some of them won't. So ask first and try to avoid crowd shots. As far as blogging (tweeting/Xing, tooting, skeeting, whatever), we will announce the ground rules at the event - the plenary is likely to be on the record, the briefings are off the record.

  • There are several hotels nearby the Capitol. We don't have any recommendations, as we haven't tried any of them out.

  • Glad you like it! You can check out more from us at the I Am The Cavalry website and Twitter (@iamthecavalry). And the same group that runs this puts on Policy @ DEF CON, so you should check that out too - we're always looking for good CFP submissions!

    You still want more? Alright, well we're big fans of TechCongress, a great program that places technologists in Congressional offices for a year.

    And the Aspen Tech Policy Hub is a 6-month fellowship in San Francisco that trains technologists to become policy entrepreneurs.

    (Subquestion: What is a Depeche Mode - is that like Dark Mode? Well, kind of, but not in this case.)

  • Unfortunately not. The event is full (we may even be over capacity), and the Capitol doesn't want this to be a nightclub scene with like bouncers and stuff.

    And if you're thinking about trying to social engineer your way in anyway, know that the Capitol requires pre-registration and ID checks so try to avoid committing felonies at the event. ;)

    We'll send out an email update if anything changes.

  • Unfortunately not this year. For context, in 2023, the White House invited a select number of hackers for an afternoon session to discuss several cybersecurity topics (and published an official White House Readout on collaborating with cybersecurity researchers!).