November 6, 2023
Recently, a dispute arose during a Trace Labs OSINT Search Party event involving a judging dispute and subsequent public complaints by a participating team. This statement aims to address the concerns raised.
We strive to create a respectful, fun and safe environment for our community to practice OSINT for good. We always want to hear from our community if that isn't happening and will take steps to correct the situation. We also understand that conflict is an inevitable byproduct of competition. With that being said, we also expect everyone involved in our events (judges, contestants and staff) to treat each other with respect.
The complainant team in this case immediately made use of threats, verbal abuse, and bullying against Trace Labs and their staff, which is intolerable regardless of their judge’s behavior. Despite this, Trace Labs staff immediately began investigations into their judge and established communications with the team to plan a conference call to talk through what happened. Trace Labs efforts were ignored by the team for several days until they notified us they chose an escalation path through the conference. We communicated that we would work with their chosen escalation path and engage with them once concluded.
We will continue to investigate and make disciplinary decisions based on provable facts. Our focus is on a thorough examination and rectification, ensuring any misconduct, including that of the judge, is acknowledged and dealt with in a manner consistent with our organizational values and standards. Investigation details for the behavior of both the judge and this team have been provided to the conference. The conference reinforced that justice and investigation take time.
Trace Labs emphasizes the importance of adhering to the code of conduct and other social norms, and is committed to maintaining a professional, respectful, and safe environment for all participants. Trace Labs will communicate further details publicly only if necessary for the safety and awareness of our community, and after sufficient communication or communication attempts with all interested parties.
We thank you all for your continued patience and support of our mission.
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