While I’ve only met Nick a couple of times, his name rings across the global hacker community and is as recognizable as the fictional character, “Dade Murphy”. Everywhere I go, every person I talk to, Nick’s name comes up as a topic of discussion; and all for positive reasons.
Nick has spent a very large amount of time, money, and effort to grow and connect the global hacker community. From hackerspaces in Germany (Chaos Computer Club) and the Netherlands (Bitlair); to those in the US (HacDC and Unallocated Space), Nick’s positive involvement has helped to build and connect a global group of tinkerers and hackers.
The kind of harassment written about should never happen at a hacker conference. Especially when it involves entering someone’s hotel room (personal space) to leave threats. Every person involved in making that happen should be barred from major events and the community. This level of harassment goes above and beyond even the most egregious and common disagreements, and should never be tolerated.
There are just and legal avenues to pursue defamation of character in this world. While I don’t know Mr. Applebaum (and have never met him), I can recommend that if he felt wronged by those involved he should have went through the appropriate channels, not go on a personal and threatening tirade against a single individual.
Nick is vital to the community. His name connects disparate communities across the world to make everyone feel like one. Where each group feels alone in their corners of the globe, it is Nick’s name that makes them see the greater good of what they are striving to achieve.