Der 33 Jahrerückblick

Technology and Politics in Congress Talks, from 1984 to now

Mel & Maxigas @ 33C3

2C3 (1985) video:

ARD Tagesschau


  • Before 1992:
    • Congress archive
      • 403 Forbidden →
    • Datenschleuder archive,
      • scanned PDFs without OCR, reviews, …

Datenschleuder #7 (1984)

Datenschleuder #37 (1991)

Congress 1990 review.

  • After 1992:

    • Human readable HTML schedules: scraping “no regex harmed”

  • After 2002:

    • Machine readable dumps: iCal, XML

→ repository:



  • For Technology (e.g. technique only): t
  • For Politics (e.g. societal implications too): p
  • For Others: o
  • For Nontalks: n
  • For Unknown: u


  • 2307 talks in CSV
  • 3 humans categorise
  • Not according to conference tracks!
  • Categories try to reflect the research question

Tech vs. politics

  • Almost all congress talks include technique.
  • Technique can be (social) engineering, psychology, finance…
  • Law is the most problematic, but:
    • does the talk include how the law shapes society?
  • Political talks refer to social groups and/or society as a whole.


  • Undefined talks:
    • 13C3 (1996): “THC++”, no abstract
  • Not talks:
    • Hacker jeopardy, radio, theatre, DJ set…
  • Controvertial talks:
    • 25C3 (2008): “Objects as Software: The Coming Revolution”

How physical compilers (CNC machines, laser cutters, 3D printers, etc) are changing the way we make things, how we think about the nature of objects. This talk will focus on the future of digital manufacturing, and how self-replicating machines will make this technology accessible to everyone: ushering in a new era of technological advance.

Preliminary results


What is the CCCongress?

→ More tech talks but almost as much as political.


  • Numbers go down after 2007: Why?
    • No correllation with the change of venue…

Potential findings

  • More participants does not mean more talks.
  • 1989: report in the Datenschleuder says that

"there was only a small part of the congress that was dealing with hacker-specific topics."

Future work


  1. Hack on the repo:
    • Improve the code,
    • categorise talks,
    • fork and repurpose…
  2. Point out more data sources:
    • Mentions of a printed Congress Paper?
    • Mentions (1989) of an electronic newspaper?
    • Mentions (1991 Datenschleuder #34) of a Chaos Archiv?
  3. Talk to us!
    • Discussion: Day 3 (29th) 16:00 @ Room A.2

Next steps


  • Merge three categorised datasets (Fumiko, Mel, Maxigas).
  • Complete the dataset & clean up the code.
  • Categorisation is only the first step.


  • Qualitative (interview, focus group) data to complement quantitative results.
  • Statistics as a consistent starting point for discussions.
  • More interesting questions: relationship, co-articulation, etc.

Thank you!

Questions, comments, etc.? Talk to us or…

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