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Feeling and being safe at Chaos Communication Congress

2018-11-16 09:47:51, erdgeist

The Chaos Communication Congress rapidly grew in size over the past few years: From 3,500 attendees in Berlin, we scaled to 6,000, then 12,000 and now 15,000 attendees in Leipzig. While most of our infrastructure grew along quite well, we noticed that new challenges arise with hosting events of such scale.

Introducing help.ccc.de

One of the main challenges we faced was scaling our closely knit network of social support and backing, ensuring that everybody feels home, welcome and safe at the event. We’re simply not in bcc Berlin anymore, where everyone seemed to know everyone via two hops.

While our CERT, Security and Awareness Team scaled seamlessly and were fully operational at all times, we noticed that a growing part of people seemed just not to be familiar with our various teams and initiatives dedicated to your well-being and safety anymore. We used to introduce the various teams in individual series of blog posts every year (see below), as we expected them to be well-known, anyway. However, these blog posts just did not quite reach the prominence we hoped for. This is why we now offer a single go-to point website introducing all teams, their aims and goals, as well as the various ways to reach them.

Please take the time to study our summary at help.ccc.de and acquaint yourself with the various teams.

Introducing the arbitration board

The security and awareness teams’ main priority is to prevent and de-escalate any potential conflicts to make Congress enjoyable for everyone. In case of violations of our principles, we have always been well-prepared to ban people from our events. We acted quickly and decisively in the few cases when such a response was necessary.

In very rare cases however, we were approached by attendees who asked us to ban another individual for an alleged transgression which took place outside of our event, e.g. months before or at a place outside of our authority. These cases have also been investigated and handled by the different teams to the best of their abilities. However, we have recognized that we did not have the appropriate processes and procedures in place to handle such cases with caution and thoroughness – in particular while preparing and running an event of this size with thousands of other issues on our minds.

This is why we have nominated a dedicated body to handle such cases with the necessary patience, accuracy and discretion. The new-formed arbitration board aims at ensuring that everyone can feel safe and secure at our events and is authorized to issue sanctions in case of transgressions. Members of the arbitration board are appointed by the CCC board. They enjoy the community’s trust and are experienced in resolving and dealing with conflicts. They are supported by experts in psychiatry, psychology and systemic counceling.

Please take the time to familiarize yourself with the arbitration board’s goals, self-conception and rules of procedure.

Our principles

We would like to also seize this opportunity to repeat and emphasize our principles, which are the main pillar of the unique atmosphere of openness we cherish at our events. We encourage all attendees to call to mind these self-explanatory requirements to create a safe and welcoming atmosphere for every attendee.

We are dedicated to providing a safe, secure and enjoyable experience for everybody attending our events, regardless of age, gender, sexual orientation, origin, or physical appearance. Lifeforms who refuse to share this openness towards others are not welcome at our events.

Upholding beliefs and values founded in humanism, enlightenment, antifascism and principles laid out in the hacker’s ethics, we are unwilling to tolerate any sexism, racism, discrimination or harassment at our events. If you witness any such behaviour at any of the CCC gatherings, please speak out, back up anyone who has been the target of such behaviour, and encourage your peers to do the same. You can rely on support by our Awareness, CERT and Security teams.

You can find these principles explained in detail here.

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