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Rep. Will Hurd to keynote Black Hat draws ire for women’s rights voting record

A decision to confirm Rep. Will Hurd as the keynote speaker at the Black Hat security conference this year has prompted anger and concern by some long-time attendees because of his voting record on women’s rights.
Hurd, an outspoken Texas Republican who has drawn fire from his own party for regularly opposing the Trump administration, was confirmed as keynote speaker at the conference Thursday for his background in cybersecurity. Since taking office in Texas’ 23rd district, the congressman has introduced several bills that would aim to secure Internet of Things devices and pushed to reauthorize the role of a federal chief information officer.
But several people we’ve spoken to have described their unease that Black Hat organizers have asked Hurd, a self-described pro-life lawmaker, given his consistent opposition to bills supporting women’s rights.
An analysis of Hurd’s voting record shows he supports bills promoting women’s rights only two percent of the time. He has voted against a bill that would financially support women in STEM fields, voted in favor of allowing states to restrict access and coverage to abortions, and voted to defund Planned Parenthood.
Many of those we spoke to asked to be kept anonymous amid worries of retaliation or personal attacks. One person who we asked for permission to quote said Hurd’s voting record was “simply awful” for women’s rights. Others in tweets said the move doesn’t reflect well on companies sponsoring the event.


wow, this is disappointing. @HurdOnTheHill https://t.co/lnIuT5jOrr
— yan (@bcrypt) June 13, 2019
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