OpenBSD loses DARPA funding - for "anti-war comments"

Discussion in 'Current Events' started by melchior, Apr 22, 2003.

  1. melchior macrumors 65816

    melchior

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    #1
    the "war is good" perspective

    "de Raadt decided that it would be a good idea to use the publicity surrounding the deal to condemn the war in Iraq. Perhaps logic outside of what happens inside the OpenBSD kernel isn't his strong suit. "

    the slightly more unbias perspective

    "Canada's Globe and Mail quoted him as saying: "I actually am fairly uncomfortable about it, even if our firm stipulation was that they cannot tell us what to do. We are simply doing what we do anyways - securing software - and they have no say in the matter. I try to convince myself that our grant means a half of a cruise missile doesn't get built." "

    the original article where he says the bad things.

    although they don't quote the bad things. so i wonder what he really said. being "sickened" by war should not be a punishable offense...

    "He calls the war in Iraq an oil grab" did he really say "i think the war in iraq is an oil grab" or did he say "i i am unsure of our motivations to go into iraq. is it just an oil grab or is it really for the people"

    well i am bias too. my bias is that i think DARPA have some real anal retention problems. how did they ever let the internet start?!
     
  2. Groovsonic macrumors regular

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    #2
    To me, this is a fantastic example of free speech in action.

    He had the total right to say whatever he wanted about the war. He excersised his right to free speech.

    The people that pulled the funding had every right to pull their money. They expressed their right to free speech.

    Isn't America great?

    This is happening all over. Look at the case of the Dixie Chicks. I don't particularly hate (or love) their music. They excersised their rights to speak out against Bush.
    In response, some country music fans stopped buying their music, and called radio stations and asked them to stop playing their songs. They used their right of free speech.
    Agree with what they said or not, you should agree they had the right to say what they want. Likewise, nobody has to play their music or buy their CDs. Freedom is beautiful.

    Some people have called this censorship, or harmful to free speech. I disagree. Nobody says the Dixie Chicks have to stop saying what they think, but just as they have the right to say what they want, everyone else has the right to do the same, and show their disaproval by not buying their CDs and calling radio stations.

    I think it is free speech working at full capacity.

    (sorry for the slightly off topic rant, but the thought fits the topic.)
     
  3. wsteineker macrumors 6502a

    wsteineker

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    #3
    Pathetic

    It's just so sad that the current administration has fostered this climate. OpenBSD is an important OS if only from a security perspective. It's also one of the "free-est" OSs out there in terms of true innovation. I for one don't see how anyone's anti-war feelings should affect scientific or research funding.

    And groovsonic, you miss the point. Freedom of speech is not there so that a crowd of bullies can gang up on unpopular ideas and take out their frustrations. It's sole goal is to protect those unpopular ideas, as the ideas of the majority protect themselves. This is a sad day for civil liberties.
     
  4. kylos macrumors 6502a

    kylos

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    #4
    Right on, Groovsonic. He feels uncomfortable about his funding source and says so publicly? He should expect to lose funding. Why should the DARPA fund someone who feels uncomfortable with them?
     
  5. NavyIntel007 macrumors 65816

    NavyIntel007

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    #5
    What I think is funny is that in both cases, the DARPA and the general public are suppose to continue buying these products because if we don't it's a violation of free speech. They don't understand that, although you can say whatever you want, people have the right not to listen and more importantly not support your right.

    I don't consider the Dixie Chicks using their right for free speech. They basically made a statement to an audience that would agree with them. You think they would have said that in Texas? in New York City? I have much more respect for Hollywood that will express their opinions because they actually have opinions and don't just say things to get a rise out of people.
     
  6. wsteineker macrumors 6502a

    wsteineker

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    #6
    Hold on there, big shifter. Nobody is being forced to buy anything. In the case of the Dixie Chicks, I'd say it's more than ok to organize a boycott, stage protests, whatever. They're a for-profit entity and you're spending elective dollars to support them. It's not like too many people agree with you, though, as their album Home is back atop the country charts.

    The beef I've got with DARPA is that OpenBSD is a non-profit research project that is funded by a program that IS subject to a higher standard than a grassroots protest movement. DARPA should not just stop funding an organization based solely on the beliefs of one of the organizations members, especially if the project in question is unarguably successful (like OpenBSD).

    What you're saying is silly. It's like saying that anyone who questions the status quo should just get shut down. Do they still teach that whole flat earth heliocentric universe thing at your school? If not, I'd think you'd be a little more inclined to defend the right of scientific exploration despite the opinions of the explorers.
     
  7. NavyIntel007 macrumors 65816

    NavyIntel007

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    #7
    No, I didn't say that at all. See you flipped the script on me and said just that a government agency HAS to support someone. You're emplying that a government agency does not have the right to spend money where it wants. When it comes to free speech one should look before they leap.
     
  8. wsteineker macrumors 6502a

    wsteineker

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    #8
    Nope. Government agencies aren't obligated to support anyone. That said, I have real trouble believing that it's ok for DARPA to stop funding on a project that was meeting or exceeding all of its mandated simply because of some unpopular political speech from a project coordinator. Results should be the only barometer in the research world. I find it more than a little suspect that a government agency (of the same government that purports to protect unpopular speech) would so brashly and obviously kill an insanely successful and important project in such a manner as this, dealing a major blow to free speech AND scientific advancement.
     
  9. MacRumorSkeptic macrumors regular

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    #9
    Pathetic

    It's just so sad that the current administration has fostered this climate. OpenBSD is an important OS if only from a security perspective. It's also one of the "free-est" OSs out there in terms of true innovation. I for one don't see how anyone's anti-war feelings should affect scientific or research funding.

    And groovsonic, you miss the point. Freedom of speech is not there so that a crowd of bullies can gang up on unpopular ideas and take out their frustrations. It's sole goal is to protect those unpopular ideas, as the ideas of the majority protect themselves. This is a sad day for civil liberties.


    The constitution protects us from government censorship not people or businesses. If we live in a free country you should be able to stop funding to anything for any reason unless it violates a contractual agreement.
     
  10. Groovsonic macrumors regular

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    #10
    Shut down by whom?

    There are pretty much always consequences for speech. If the guy was so concerned about his project, he should have considered that before he said what he said. There are very few, if any, consequence free actions.

    Now, I'm not saying people should be afraid to speak their minds, but they should excersise that right wisely.

    (here is a completely hypothetical situation)
    Lets say I am one of the administrators for the Red Cross, A good non-for-profit mandkind benefiting orginization. Lets say I make a public statement saying I think the catholic church is corrupt and evil and is stupid. I, as an American citizen, have every right to say this, but I would certianly be prepared to expect a backlash from catholics. There would be consequences for not just me, but for the red cross. Some Catholics would start giving their charity money to other orginizations instead of the red cross. The red cross would suffer because of my lack of discretion.

    I think this is a reasonable analogy.

    (P.S. I mean no offense to Catholics or people working for the Red Cross.)
     
  11. Groovsonic macrumors regular

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    #11
    Re: Pathetic

    Oh, so the 1st amendment is only there to protect "unpopular" ideas? People in the majority should just shut up and get out of the way of the vocal minority? I don't get what you are saying.
     
  12. wsteineker macrumors 6502a

    wsteineker

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    #12
    Re: Re: Pathetic

    I'll address this one first. The first amendment is, in fact, there for the benefit of the minority. The majority needs no protection other than its status as the majority (despite the fact that the first amendment does protect them too). The sole purpose of the first amendment is to ensure that a vocal minority can exist. Period. I'm not saying that those of a majority opinion are obligated to shutup and move along, as that would be antithetical to the spirit of the first amendment. What I AM saying is that the majority has a burden in a free country such as our to RESPECT unpopular speech. That does not in any capacity mean shutting down the projects of those who speak out, especially when those projects are, as i mentioned, insanely successful and unrelated to the aforementioned (semi)political speech. Where's the respect in that?
     
  13. springscansing macrumors 6502a

    springscansing

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    New York
    #13
    The bottomline is that de Raadt is a moron when it comes to politics, and DARPA just probably found him infinitely annoying. I'm sure there's more to the story than one comment...
     
  14. wsteineker macrumors 6502a

    wsteineker

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    #14
    Yeah, there are consequences for speech. My question is: are those consequences too extreme? Should the status of a project that was in no capacity linked to the exercise of free speech be subject to renewal criterion including said speech? I should think not. Moreover, I would truly like to know what sort of funding contract existed between DARPA and the OpenBSD team. I am fairly sure that they were only obligated to perform, and perform they did. There is no reason for anyone to believe that this funding was cancelled for any other reason than the exercise of protected speech. That's the basest form of politics, something DARPA used to be above.

    The Vatican has no hand in US policy, and as such cannot do damage to the standard of civil liberties in the US. Were the Vatican a branch of the US government I would say that they should not be able to so easily remove funding. As it stands, there are crucial differences between the analogy you provide and the existant circumstances that cause the two to be dissimilar.
     
  15. Groovsonic macrumors regular

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    #15
    I think you missed my point.

    Also, I never brought the vatican into this. I said 'some catholics'.

    The point is that if you want to continue receiving benefits that the provider is not obligated to provide, you should be careful not to offend the provider, because the provider can pull funds whenever they want, and that is their right, just as much as it is your right to say anything.

    In other words, you shouldn't bite the hand that feeds you.
     
  16. wsteineker macrumors 6502a

    wsteineker

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    #16
    Ok, fair enough. You should expect a backlash from some Catholics, just as the OpenBSD team should have expected a backlash from some pro-war Americans. DARPA should have been more professional, however, as I have illustrated in the above posts.
     
  17. Gelfin macrumors 68020

    Gelfin

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    #17
    DARPA presumably chose to invest in the OpenBSD project because of the potential technical value of the project for defense applications, and given the security of OpenBSD, one would think this a good choice.

    OpenBSD presumably accepted DARPA funding with knowledge and assent that their work would be used for defense research.

    What about this scenario, about the practical concerns that motivated this funding, has changed as a result of the project's leader disapproving of American military action in Iraq? Has he threatened to compromise the code's viability as a secure OS platform in order to spite the U.S. DoD? Does DARPA have any less reason to believe that OpenBSD is a good example of a secure open source operating system?

    While this may not technically be a violation of the United States' First Amendment (especially since de Raadt is Canadian), the reason we have the First Amendment to start with is a fundamental belief that everyone's mind is his own, and that opinions are not in themselves harmful, except to the degree that they might prompt harmful actions, and then it is the actions which are criminal, not the opinions. DARPA certainly has the right to grant or revoke funding for any reason or none, but in this case they are punishing someone for his political opinions, and in the process harming the objective goals of their own research project.

    This behavior strikes me as irrational and unsavory, and exemplary of a recent trend in the United States with which I am most uncomfortable. As an example, I have heard the word "traitor" spuriously applied to U.S. citizens more times in the past year or so than I think I ever heard the word at all in my entire life prior.

    We as a society need to calm the hell down. To my way of thinking, no matter what my opinion of the specific circumstances, it should always be socially traumatic for a civilized people to go to war. Tolerance of people who object to the policies of the current administration is not going to lead to more airplanes flown into buildings, and neither will suppressing such objections prevent it. This "my way or the highway" tone the public discourse has taken is, however, going to lead us to a place none of us, as a society, want to be.
     
  18. wsteineker macrumors 6502a

    wsteineker

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    #18
    Gelfin said it better than I have managed to do so far. Good job, man. :)
     
  19. hmmfe macrumors regular

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    #20
    Re: Re: Re: Pathetic

    The first amendment is there for the benefit of society. While the minority (whoever they are?) disproportionately benefits from the Bill of Rights, that fact does not translate to your above statement. The 14th amendment was put in place to prevent unequal protection of the laws. Creating arbitrary classes of citizens - those that represent the majority view and those that represent the minority view - for the purpose of applying legal protections in a differential way is strictly prohibited.
    No, the 1st amendment is there to protect the ideal (and secure the benefits) of free and open discourse by all members of society. A strong, vocal minority is a symptom of the 1st amendment not the goal.
    Where did you get such a silly notion?
     
  20. hmmfe macrumors regular

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    #21
    Re: Re: Re: Pathetic

    sorry for the double post...
     
  21. MrMacMan macrumors 604

    MrMacMan

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    #22
    Bah, another Terrible move by the DARPA. (Biggest being 'The EYE' [[​IMG] ] or TIA, Total information awareness)

    Stopping funding to OpenBSD will be a terrible move, because if you want to be secure, you don't go with Microsoft.

    Everyone knows this, for whatever reason, bugs, loopholes, glitches, backdoors.

    But killing this is just STUPID. If I a worker at apple is (random hate generator) Islamic. And I (don't) am accused of being Islamic will the government suddenly go after apple? Will they say apple has Islamic links, will they boycott apple products?

    Grade A BS
     
  22. lmalave macrumors 68000

    lmalave

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    #23
    Re: Re: Re: Pathetic

    The Constitution is a legal document, it says nothing about respect, nor do I think that was the intention of its framers. The Constitution is about what the government can and can't do. The government can't prevent prevent citizens from free expression. That's about it.
     
  23. charboneau macrumors member

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    #24
    That's not quite an accurate description of what happened. ClearChannel which owns 1200 radio stations and controls a large percentage of billboard advertising and concert events also has close ties to the Bush administration. A corporation with near monopoly powers stopped playing the Dixie Chicks and organized anti-Dixie Chicks events. It's a rather chilling, though essentially legal as far as I know, use of corporate power to punish artists whose politics differ from the ClearChannel agenda.

    Of course, FCC ownership regulations which encourage local ownership would be nice. ClearChannel wants to get into TV.
     
  24. charboneau macrumors member

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    #25
    Seriously.
    Can you imagine someone doubting the intentions of
    Operation
    Iraqi
    Liberation?;)
     

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