Today, I'm following up on the first day of the RSA Conference Europe 2005 in Vienna. After a good night sleep I arrived at about 9.30h at the Austria Center in Vienna (on the Donauinsel near UNO-City). The long line of attendees registering was a bit discouraging, but after 45 Minutes I got bag and badge. I then attended the "special session created especially for first-time RSA Conference attendees" - and I felt really special. The information given was quite useful, however. The best thing was the introduction with my neighbor on the next seat.
What I find confusing is the different tracks and tutorials that were held the first day: There is are "Professional Development" Class Tracks as well as a Developer and Enterprise Tutorials being held. I know, that the Tutorials cost extra money (Ã€ 295) - but it was not clear if the Class Tracks are charged in addition.
Finally at 4.30h the Keynote sessions started with David Taylor as Moderator. He did a good job of introducing the crowd to the historical theme of this years conference. However, the codes of prohibition (with Elizabeth Friedman decrypting intercepted messages between rum-runners and smugglers) has one significant downside:Cryptanalysiss was used to support a law which should not have been implemented in the first place.
Then Dame Stella Rimington gave an insightful speech about the challenges, successes and failures of UK Security Service (MI5) which she headed as a director 1992-1996. She made a point when she said that terrorism cannot be defeated and that the "war on terrorism" is thus misleading.
Arthur Coviello, CEO of RSA Security Inc. then made a rather weak call for a joint effort of the industry to provide the long needed security services to the customer. His speech was full of commonplace wisdom about interoperability and industry partnership. I was very disappointed by this uninspired call for participation.
At the end of the night, the European Information Security Awards 2005 have been handed out by people I didn't know or have ever heard of to other people I didn't know and haven't heard of. However, the achievements which were rewarded with the awards were not described, so it's hard for me to say anything about that.
I then met a colleague and after some snacks at the conference we had Sushi in downtown Vienna. It was excellent as usual.