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Stallman: Thousands Dead, Millions Deprived of Liberties

CmdrTaco posted more than 13 years ago | from the well-said-man dept.

News 1632

Hobart noted that Richard Stallman has written a very well said piece on the civil liberties that we will no doubt be deprived of following the recent terrorist attacks on the US. I know RMS takes a lot of heat for being out there sometimes, but this is a really well said bit and worth a read.

Thousands dead, millions deprived of civil liberties?

By Richard Stallman

The worst damage from many nerve injuries is secondary -- it happens in the hours after the initial trauma, as the body's reaction to the damage kills more nerve cells. Researchers are beginning to discover ways to prevent this secondary damage and reduce the eventual harm.

If we are not careful, the deadly attacks on New York and Washington will lead to far worse secondary damage, if the U.S. Congress adopts "preventive measures" that take away the freedom that America stands for.

I'm not talking about searches at airports here. Searches of people or baggage for weapons, as long as they check only for weapons and keep no records about you if you have no weapons, are just an inconvenience; they do not endanger civil liberties. What I am worried about is massive surveillance of all aspects of life: of our phone calls, of our email, and of our physical movements.

These measures are likely to be recommended regardless of whether they would be effective for their stated purpose. An executive of a company developing face recognition software is said to be telling reporters that widespread deployment of face-recognizing computerized cameras would have prevented the attacks. The September 15 New York Times cites a congressman who is advocating this "solution." Given that the human face recognition performed by the check-in agents did not keep the hijackers out, there is no reason to think that computer face recognition would help. But that won't stop the agencies that have always wanted to do more surveillance from pushing this plan now, and many other plans like it. To stop them will require public opposition.

Even more ominously, a proposal to require government back doors in encryption software has already appeared.

Meanwhile, Congress hurried to pass a resolution giving Bush unlimited power to use military force in retaliation for the attacks. Retaliation may be justified, if the perpetrators can be identified and carefully targeted, but Congress has a duty to scrutinize specific measures as they are proposed. Handing the president carte blanche in a moment of anger is exactly the mistake that led the United States into the Vietnam War.

Please let your elected representatives, and your unelected president, know that you don't want your civil liberties to become the terrorists' next victim. Don't wait -- the bills are already being written.


Copyright 2001 Richard Stallman

Verbatim copying and distribution of this entire article are permitted in any medium provided the copyright notice and this notice are preserved.

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

first post, i think (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2310611)

Yep, I won!

I would like to comment.... (0)

Mr. Wanker (522299) | more than 13 years ago | (#2310632)

but I am busy right now.

Re:first post, i think (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2310781)

once in awhile I think of things to say in response, this is one of those times.

shut it. TIA.

CB

Taking advantage of the situation? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2310618)

Is RMS taking advantage of the situation in order to be heard?

That is my opinion, and out of fear of severe spamming, I post anonymously.

RSM's crimes against Goatanity (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2310633)


Rabid Linux Geek: 'Evening, squire!
Squire: (stiffly) Good evening.
Rabid Linux Geek: Is, uh,...Is your wife a goer, eh? Know whatahmean, know whatahmean, nudge nudge, know whatahmean, say no more?
Squire: I, uh, I beg your pardon?
Rabid Linux Geek: Your, uh, your wife, does she go, eh, does she go, eh?
Squire: (flustered) Well, she sometimes "goes", yes.
Rabid Linux Geek: Aaaaaaaah bet she does, I bet she does, say no more, say no more, knowwhatahmean, nudge nudge?
Squire: (confused) I'm afraid I don't quite follow you.
Rabid Linux Geek: Follow me. Follow me. That's good, that's good! A nod's as good as a wink to a blind bat!
Squire: Are you, uh,...are you selling something?
Rabid Linux Geek: SELLING! Very good, very good! Ay? Ay? Ay? (pause) Oooh! Ya wicked Ay! Wicked Ay! Oooh hooh! Say No MORE!
Squire: Well, I, uh....
Rabid Linux Geek: Is, your uh, is your wife a sport, ay?
Squire: Um, she likes sport, yes!
Rabid Linux Geek: I bet she does, I bet she does!
Squire: As a matter of fact she's very fond of cricket.
Rabid Linux Geek: 'Oo isn't? Likes games, eh? Knew she would. Likes games, eh? She's been around a bit, been around?
Squire: She has traveled, yes. She's from Scarsdale. (pause)
Rabid Linux Geek: SAY NO MORE!!
Rabid Linux Geek: Scarsdale, saynomore, saynomore, saynomore, squire!
Squire: I wasn't going to!
Rabid Linux Geek: Oh! Well, never mind. Dib dib? Is your uh, is your wife interested in....photography, ay? "Photographs, ay", he asked him knowlingly?
Squire: Photography?
Rabid Linux Geek: Snap snap, grin grin, wink wink, nudge nudge, say no more?
Squire: Holiday snaps, eh?
Rabid Linux Geek: They could be, they could be taken on holiday. Candid, you know, CANDID photography?
Squire: No, no I'm afraid we don't have a camera.
Rabid Linux Geek: Oh. (leeringly) Still, mooooooh, ay? Mwoohohohohoo, ay? Hohohohohoho, ay?
Squire: Look... are you insinuating something?
Rabid Linux Geek: Oh, no, no, no...yes.
Squire: Well?
Rabid Linux Geek: Well, you're a man of the world, squire.
Squire: Yes...
Rabid Linux Geek: I mean, you've been around a bit, you know, like, you've, uh.... You've "done it"....
Squire: What do you mean?
Rabid Linux Geek: Well, I mean like,....you've SLEPT, with a lady....
Squire: Yes....
Rabid Linux Geek: Do they run Linux?

Re:Taking advantage of the situation? (0)

seann (307009) | more than 13 years ago | (#2310649)

don't be a wussy whore.
I'll say it for you.

Is RMS trying to get attention?
That was a very short article.

Re:Taking advantage of the situation? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2310653)

Probably. No one would listen to him otherwise.

Re:Taking advantage of the situation? (2, Insightful)

gorgon (12965) | more than 13 years ago | (#2310673)

I don't think so. If he were taking advantage of the situation, he probably would have tried to push the Free Software position. Instead he stuck very close to the topic at hand and possible repercussions.

Re:Taking advantage of the situation? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2310711)

See, it's funny 'cuz a) RLG is clueless about women and b) the only way he relates to anything is as to whether or not they run Linux!

Re:Taking advantage of the situation? [not] (4, Insightful)

uqbar (102695) | more than 13 years ago | (#2310720)

No, he is warning us that others will take advantage of this situation. Already televangelists like Jerry Fawell are linking the attacks to "pagans, homosexual, abortionists," etc. Such claims are absurd and pathetic - and more than a little indicative of how similar religious fundamentalists like Bin Ladden and Fawell really are in their intolerance.

Lots of folks will exploit this tragedy to advance their own agenda. But RMS isn't among them - his warning is truly linked with the events and he is being sincere in his fears.

RMS is as bad as the politicians (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2310740)

He is using this occasion (just like RMS) to push his own agenda. At least the politicians are trying to do something about terrorism, these libertarian types just want to lay back, so America can keep taking it up the ass.

really what the fuck does he know about constitutional law? he is just a no nothing geek.

Another Unpopular Position Taken By RMS... (1)

Fleet Admiral Ackbar (57723) | more than 13 years ago | (#2310628)

...and another correct one.

Unpopular? (1)

waldoj (8229) | more than 13 years ago | (#2310759)

Yeah, I bet there will be a huge uproar here on Slashdot in response to his radical suggestion that the suspension of our civil rights might be a bad idea. How brave of him!

-Waldo

Isn't it (0)

Guillaume Ross (517391) | more than 13 years ago | (#2310630)

GNU/Liberty-GNU version GNU?

I'm ashamed to say it, but I agree with RMS (4, Interesting)

bconway (63464) | more than 13 years ago | (#2310631)

Does it bother anyone besides me that Congress is using the terrorist attacks as a blank check to take away civil liberties? As we all know, a bill has been proposed that would require back doors in all encryption products, which is NOT okay in my book. I'm all in favor of heightened security carried out in an intelligent manner, and I'm willing to give up some liberties for security, but the way this whole thing has been blamed on the internet is completely ridiculous.

Re:I'm ashamed to say it, but I agree with RMS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2310660)

Its a kneejerk reaction of the government in the time of crisis. Its politicians acting so that they will re-elected. It won't pass. Its politics (a pun in-of itself). Bush has said time and time again that we are a free country, and we'll stay that way. If you guys seriously have a cow about something like this evertime it happens, you'll die by age 30 of a coronary.

Re:I'm ashamed to say it, but I agree with RMS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2310681)

I fully agree. But there is still one question left unaswered about the coming Corporate police state...
"Does it run Linux?"

Re:I'm ashamed to say it, but I agree with RMS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2310721)

what corporate police state. stop watching so much sci-fi.

Re:I'm ashamed to say it, but I agree with RMS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2310688)

why does everyone think that the government has been itching to do this all along and is using this as an opportunity to screw everyone over?

Re:I'm ashamed to say it, but I agree with RMS (4, Insightful)

Doctor_D (6980) | more than 13 years ago | (#2310747)

Yeah, it bothers me that lawmakers and policymakers are going bonkers with "security measures." I'm honestly questioning the motivations of these measures. I mean, the "heightened security" that we've had at the airports since the WTC bombing where at the airports asked those three stupid questions. Honestly who in their right mind would say yes? Honest citizens won't simply because it's not true. Criminals with no iq whatsoever would say yes, but if they are wanting to bring a bomb on board an aircraft, you simply wouldn't say yes to the questions.

It seems to me in this hysteria people are looking for a good scapegoat, wheter it be flight training schools, MS's Flight Simulator, contruction at Logan Airport, some middle eastern terrorist (that the US supported at one time), strong encryption, Quake, or whatever. Unfortunatley many people here in the US will say "There needs to be a law for <blank>" and then go back to downing a six pack and watching TV.

Re:I'm ashamed to say it, but I agree with RMS (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2310760)

What "civil liberties" is Congress trying to take away with their blank check? The liberty of a private conversation via encryption?

If you are nervous about someone reading your e-mail, what are you hiding?

Re:I'm ashamed to say it, but I agree with RMS (2)

sharkey (16670) | more than 13 years ago | (#2310770)

Does it bother anyone besides me that Congress is using the terrorist attacks as a blank check to take away civil liberties?

Bother, yes. Suprise me? No. There are certain members of Congress who will exploit any tragedy, sacrifice any human life and trample the rights of any citizen to pursue their own political agendas.

I personally wouldn't call it "using" the terrorist attacks, but rather "Dancing on the graves" of all those who died last week.

We lose liberty, we lose America (2, Insightful)

Uttles (324447) | more than 13 years ago | (#2310634)

America is the land of the free, with liberty, and justice for all. If we take away this liberty to "prevent further terrorism," we will take away America, and we will be left with a shell of what we used to be. This country isn't perfect, we don't always do everything right, but our principles are some of the most pure in the world, and if we change those so that we can protect ourselves, we will kill ourselves, and there will be no America.

Re:We lose liberty, we lose America (1)

Dog and Pony (521538) | more than 13 years ago | (#2310733)

Funny how americans actually seems to think that is true. :)

Well, anyways, RMS goes a bit too far maybe, he usually does, but as always, he has some validity to his points that are hard to not agree with.

Re:We lose liberty, we lose America (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2310771)

your principles are the most pure?

you mean the most powerful ethnical purification (redskins for example)?

Don't use and abuse of any absolute terms.

Re:We lose liberty, we lose America (3, Informative)

Uruk (4907) | more than 13 years ago | (#2310782)

America is the land of the free, with liberty, and justice for all

Check that, it's the land of liberty and justice for all those who can afford it. I mean, does anybody really doubt that after seeing Rodney King's attackers walk, after seeing OJ walk, and after seeing mentally retarded people with no money for expensive lawyers get the chair in Texas despite obvious mental incompetence? Does anybody really think that it's "liberty and justice for all" in a place where a respected journalist [mumia.org] gets the death penalty and the courts won't even listen to an appeal WHEN SOMEONE COMES FORWARD AND COPS TO THE MURDER that the journalist was accused of?

When you can get ass-raped in a police station bathroom by a racist motherfucker with a gun, is it really freedom and justice for all? What about when unarmed people get shot in the back whlie running away?
One of my biggest problems with all of this WtC stuff is the UGLY NATIONALISM that it has bred. People who knew that the US government didn't have their best interests in mind on Monday now slap flags on their cars and sing patriotic hymns as if just because we were attacked we're suddenly in the right about everything. Well I've got news for you. Just because Lee Harvey Oswald was killed doesn't mean that he was a great guy that deserved our support.

America is what it is. The people are going to get EXACTLY as much as they're willing to put up with. America will be america even if we turn into a jackbooted fascist state (which I don't think is that likely). The only difference is that we'll have a few fewer assholes singing patriotic hymns that were written by rich white slaveholders.

please RMS (2, Flamebait)

gol64738 (225528) | more than 13 years ago | (#2310636)

RMS, i respect your opinion when it comes to software, but please don't voice any other political opinions. the remark about our 'unelected president' makes your peice look stupid anyways...

Re:please RMS (1)

Pov (248300) | more than 13 years ago | (#2310668)

Agreed. There might have been a good point here, but now I'm forced to throw out most of what he said because he's thrown his motives into doubt, and thus the credibility of his facts and interpretations.

Re:please RMS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2310746)

Well, I didn't elect him - I didn't even vote for him! Or anyone else, for that matter - fucking town office "lost" my voter registration.

Re:please RMS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2310790)

well i didn't vote for clinton either time he got elected, and i didn't bitch about it at all for his entire 8 years in office. SHUT THE FUCK UP ABOUT THE ELECTION. gwb is the pres. deal with it.

Re:please RMS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2310766)

I agree with you guys completely. It seemed reasonable until he tossed in the comment obviously taking a pot shot at Bush.. something we definantly don't need right now.

Re:please RMS (2)

eAndroid (71215) | more than 13 years ago | (#2310768)

C'mon, we needed at least one flame-war capable Stallmanism in there!

Re:please RMS (1)

ajm (9538) | more than 13 years ago | (#2310774)

That's called "throwing the baby out with the bathwater". You don't need to agree with all of the opinions to see that what he's saying about the civil liberties aspects of this are true. I take it from you comment that you have a different opinion about Bush and therefore will disregard the opinion of everyone else about everything else if they don't share your opinion in this one area.

Re:please RMS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2310776)

Yep, he won the election fair and square - 7 to 2.

Re:please RMS (2)

Sir_Real (179104) | more than 13 years ago | (#2310777)

I have to agree... I hate that Bush is in office, but this statement utterly nullifies any kind of rational argument.

Re:please RMS (3)

UberOogie (464002) | more than 13 years ago | (#2310778)

Excellent point.

Even when a pundit seems to have a point, it immediately looses credibility as soon as the inevitible political cheap shot is thrown in.

This is what made Katz' last article so disturbing. 5,000 dead, and he's railing on "old media" and taking cheap shots at Bush.

This is a problem inherant in OS advocacy as well: Good ideas get lost because some pedantic or childish taunt thrown into the whole to make it seem less serious.

Re:please RMS (0)

l33t j03 (222209) | more than 13 years ago | (#2310785)

Worse is the remark about the ticket agents' 'face recognition' not keeping the terrorists off the plane so computer based face recognition would not either.

I can picture some $5/hour ticket agent spending late nights studying the faces of all known terrorists.

funny... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2310638)

Copyright 2001 Richard Stallman
Verbatim copying and distribution of this entire article are permitted in any medium provided the copyright notice and this notice are preserved.


I find RMS copyrighting a stupid speech a little hypocritical (not to mention egotistical).

Re:funny... (1)

RogrWilco (522139) | more than 13 years ago | (#2310685)

This is only to prevent it from taking it out of context. Let a PR guy have that speech and see what he comes up with.

...the deadly attacks on New York and Washington will lead to far worse... use military force in retaliation for the attacks.

Without the liscence, it's just waiting for the chopping block

Re:funny... (1)

ahde (95143) | more than 13 years ago | (#2310689)

Isn't that alot like the BSD vanity virus?

woo haa (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2310639)

First Post!

sweet!
this is the first thing athat hai w nfih e anhl;hewf ahaoih efwaha aiehf anjioe a foah e aoieh pashf;a fiuha fh poaeh f

Re:woo haa (1)

!recycle (467325) | more than 13 years ago | (#2310682)

wow you are way off. Get ready to be modded down ac.

Stallman is an asshole (-1)

Holy Mackarel (451501) | more than 13 years ago | (#2310644)

I mean it.

Wasted words (1)

ahde (95143) | more than 13 years ago | (#2310646)

This would have gone over much better if it didn't have that last line. Now, over half of Americans that reads Stallman's message will discount the entire message because of one politically motivated, inflammatory, and false phrase.

Re:Wasted words (1)

justruss (128099) | more than 13 years ago | (#2310678)

half of america didn't even vote in last year's election.

russ

Over half? (1)

matty (3385) | more than 13 years ago | (#2310692)

Fewer than half voted for Bush, you know. Or did you mean something else?

(Mods: this is not a Troll or Flamebait, I'm actually asking a serious question.)

Re:Over half? (1)

HeghmoH (13204) | more than 13 years ago | (#2310751)

It's not what he meant, but a lot of Democrats are also pretty god damned fed up with the people still whining about the election.

Re:Wasted words (0)

l33t j03 (222209) | more than 13 years ago | (#2310698)

And 49% more will discount it once they see his photo.

Re:Wasted words (1)

nate1138 (325593) | more than 13 years ago | (#2310726)

100% correct. I especially dislike the way he says "Your unelected president". He is American, right? Doesn't that make Bush "Our (un)elected president".

Keep an eye out. (1, Insightful)

Grizelmac (324388) | more than 13 years ago | (#2310648)

Of course we don't want to lose any civil liberties from this attack. However, justice requires that we do everything we can to find an punish those that did this.

Secondary damage is going to occur. We Americans need to fight for what we care about, both within our borders and without.

ars

Spot on.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2310650)

My first thought when the towers went boom, was, oh dang, what kneejerk reaction are governments gonna have and turn their respective countries one step closer to being a police state...

(first post, btw... woohoo!)

Re:Spot on.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2310679)

Wow, is that what you thought. I was thinking on the lines of those poor people that are dieing at that very moment and about to die in the days to come.

What a cold bastard!

Re:Spot on.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2310717)

If that was your first thought then you are in serious need of a psychiatric evaluation.

Bunk (0, Flamebait)

mbrod (19122) | more than 13 years ago | (#2310654)

If they want to pass some effective legislation they need to loosen up restrictions on the CIA.

Allow them to have assasination teams working covertly that any time they see people consorting with these groups, kill them.

If the heads of states of these countries consort with them, kill them too.

We have a lot of really good snipers all itching to do it, let them do it.

RMS (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2310656)

RMS CAN LICK MY FUCKING BALLZ!!

hahahahahhahahahahahahahahah

ROFL

Elected President (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2310659)

Interesting comment and I agree. To bad Stallman doesn't understand or refuses to believe how a U. S. President is elected.

Re:Selected President (1)

alfredo (18243) | more than 13 years ago | (#2310757)

Let's you elect a president by having your brother fix the election in an important state, then have partisans on the court make sure it is final.

Copyright?!?! (1)

NineNine (235196) | more than 13 years ago | (#2310663)

What in the hell is he thinking? He's copywriting this little blurb? What a damn hypocrite!

Re:Copyright?!?! (1)

Tsian (70839) | more than 13 years ago | (#2310674)

Please, tell me how this is hypocritical... Is it that it is against the GPL? It Isn't... GPL work is copyrighted too... so how is this hypocritical?

Read... all the way to the end (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2310680)

Read the rest:

Verbatim copying and distribution of this entire article are permitted in any medium provided the copyright notice and this notice are preserved.

Extremely similar to GPL.

Re:Copyright?!?! (2)

Uruk (4907) | more than 13 years ago | (#2310709)

The GPL uses copyright to protect creations.

I think that he would rather that copyright didn't need to exist, but since it does exist, you may as well use it to enforce the distribution terms that ensure freedom for people.

Ask him about the distribution license for this article. That, and read up on the FSF so you're not so grossly underinformed about what RMS actually believes about copyright.

Re:Copyright?!?! (1)

IPFreely (47576) | more than 13 years ago | (#2310715)

It's copyrighted whether he states it or not. Copyright law says everything is copyrighted when it is written. (Even your little blurb)
RMS is only reminding you of that, not establishing it.

Re:Copyright?!?! (1)

Snootch (453246) | more than 13 years ago | (#2310787)

What in the hell is he thinking? He's copywriting this little blurb? What a damn hypocrite!

Not really. That notice neatly ensures that no-one can quote it out of context, as they are obliged to put in all the context. It's an astute move, and I'm sure natural to someone who has tangled with legal issues as much as RMS has.

To summarise: Give him a break! There may be things that he does or says that you do not agree with, but this is just petty.

FUCK you (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2310664)

Yes, that's right. RMS is a faggot communist piece of shit. FUCK YOU.

An eye for an Eye!! (2, Insightful)

kermyt (99494) | more than 13 years ago | (#2310665)

A tooth for a tooth!! sounds like we will all be blindly gumming our food soon.

Root Mean Squared -- The Real RMS (1, Offtopic)

webword (82711) | more than 13 years ago | (#2310667)

I still think Root Mean Squared when I see RMS. Obviously, I am RMS challenged because RMS stands for Really Mean Sausage. Duh!

100% correct. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2310676)

This is totally correct.

It's already beginning (1)

liquidsin (398151) | more than 13 years ago | (#2310677)

I thought Ashcroft used to be in favour of saving some of our privacy. But now he's trying to open up regulations on surveillance, and may make it easier for authorities to get wiretaps. read this for more [cnn.com]

Re:It's already beginning (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2310749)

yes TO CATCH CRIMINALS. othewise the government doesn't give a fuck about your personal life. geez relax with all the big brother gloom and doom. this is still the usa, not some totalitarian dictatorship.

I, for one, welcome unversal surveillance!! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2310772)

That will open up whole new vistas to troll!

But there is still one burning question about the system used to implement this : "Does it run Linux?"

Face Recognition. (2, Insightful)

chinton (151403) | more than 13 years ago | (#2310683)

Given that the human face recognition performed by the check-in agents did not keep the hijackers out, there is no reason to think that computer face recognition would help.

Because, we all know that check agents stay awake at night trying to memorize the faces of all know criminals and terrorists, and can name them on sight... Of all of the arguements against face recognition software this has to be the lamest one I have ever heard.

I can't calculate PI to 1000 digits in my head, I guess my computer can't either...

Facial Recognition (2)

waldoj (8229) | more than 13 years ago | (#2310684)

Given that the human face recognition performed by the check-in agents did not keep the hijackers out, there is no reason to think that computer face recognition would help.

Um...yeah, see, that's not true. I'm capable of remembering, what, a few thousand faces? Tens of thousands? A facial-recognition system can (reportedly) distinguish millions.

-Waldo

Sign the petition (5, Informative)

claus.wilke (51904) | more than 13 years ago | (#2310686)

There is a petition to sign. Current count already over 85000.

`In the aftermath of the ruthless attack on the World Trade Center and
Pentagon, we implore the leaders of the United States to ensure that
justice be served by protecting the innocent citizens of all nations all
over the world.

We demand that the President maintain the civil liberties of all U.S.
residents, protect the human rights of all people at home and abroad, and
guarantee that this attempted attack on the principles and freedoms of the
United States will not succeed.

We plead for a thorough investigation of the terrorist events before any
retaliation.

We call for PEACE and JUSTICE, not revenge. LET THERE BE PEACE ALL OVER
THE WORLD!`

http://www.care2.com/go/redirect/2/2400

This reminds me of... (0)

Gnight (163400) | more than 13 years ago | (#2310696)

"They that can give up essential liberty to obtain temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety."
-- Benjamin Franklin

Re:This reminds me of... (1)

whizzird (129373) | more than 13 years ago | (#2310788)

I love that quote. I've been sending it around for the last week. Unfortunately most people are all too willing to give up their liberties for a false sense of security.

Too much data (2)

dimator (71399) | more than 13 years ago | (#2310697)

surveillance of all aspects of life: of our phone calls, of our email, and of our physical movements.


The head of the CIA has already said that their ability to retrieve information has far surpassed their ability to analyse it. And that's just from "regular" information channels, spies, probes on suspected crazies, etc.

Do you really think if they tapped "all aspects of life" that they have the manpower to analyse it? Does anyone realise how much information that is?

RMS IS A FUCKING FILTHY DIRTY GNU HIPPIE! (-1)

NiGGeRZ_R_SMeLLy (456917) | more than 13 years ago | (#2310701)

this guy is a fucking acid droppin', skin flute playin', smelly old bastard. he's past his time. give it up, RMS, you filthy fuck!

the fear of "being soft on" terrorists (1)

4n0nym0u53 C0w4rd (463592) | more than 13 years ago | (#2310702)

One challenge in all of this is that our elected representatives don't want to be seen as being soft on terrorism.

What happened was terrible, steps must be taken to protect us, but for some authorities to take advantage of the pain and suffering of others to pass through their pet legislation is sickening.

Don't try to cripple crypto, it won't do anything except erode the rights of people who aren't terrorists. Real terrorists will use non-crippled systems, while those who use off the shelf groupware or banking software will be stuck with the crappy stuff.

Don't let the authorities conduct wiretaps (phone or computer) without warrants. If someone is really a suspect, then you should be able to get a warrant.

But sure, increase security checks at airports, designate more money to terrorism prevention, take appropriate action against those who did this. Just don't try to erode our rights while using this as a smokescreen.

I guess I'm lucky, because my representative [slashdot.org] , Lynn Rivers seems to get it...

Has RMS heard of computers? (2)

Hairy_Potter (219096) | more than 13 years ago | (#2310706)

Given that the human face recognition performed by the check-in agents did not keep the hijackers out, there is no reason to think that computer face recognition would help.


Gosh, do you think maybe a computer can scan millions of faces a lot quicker than a $6.00/hour bored rent-a-cop?

Freedom & Security are always a trade-off (2)

q2k (67077) | more than 13 years ago | (#2310707)

And what better time for government to propose legislation that limits freedom than right after a national tragedy that has everybody scared. A Washington Post poll this weekend found that 60% off Americans would trade freedom for security right now. I appreciate RMS's effort, but I fear this battle has already been lost.

He just had to say that, didn't he (2, Flamebait)

Kostya (1146) | more than 13 years ago | (#2310712)

Please let your elected representatives, and your unelected president, ... [emphasis mine]

Yeah, that was real helpful. What a dork. And he wonders why he is marginalized so often. Restraint could get him much further in this world.

Later (0)

epodrevol (219315) | more than 13 years ago | (#2310714)

Maybe RMS should worry about this after we exec the bastards who sent planes ripping through office buildings and killing his kith and kin.

My liberties being robbed scares me too, but not as much as the fear of getting dead because of ignorance of the situation.

Live Free or Die (1)

Quinn (4474) | more than 13 years ago | (#2310719)

There are safer countries in the world.

There are cleaner countries in the world.

There are healthier countries in the world.

There are smarter countries in the world.

There is no other country more /free/.
I don't care about God, or politics, or particularly about saving spotted owls or avoiding a greenhouse apocalypse. For me, America is one thing--Freedom.

I'm willing to fight and die for America, but if its captains gamble away our real and precious right to freedom on a longshot of safety against madmen, well, then it just isn't America anymore.

Out there is right (2)

Wyatt Earp (1029) | more than 13 years ago | (#2310722)

1. "Given that the human face recognition performed by the check-in agents did not keep the hijackers out, there is no reason to think that computer face recognition would help."

Jeez, that's like saying that a human can't keep track of 20,000 messages at a time so computers can't either. No honestly, while I do not agree with face cams on the street or in public places, I can agree with them in airports, because it's been widely held that it isn't unconstitutional to withhold some civil liberties to protect the Public.

2. "Meanwhile, Congress hurried to pass a resolution giving Bush unlimited power to use military force in retaliation for the attacks. Retaliation may be justified, if the perpetrators can be identified and carefully targeted, but Congress has a duty to scrutinize specific measures as they are proposed. Handing the president carte blanche in a moment of anger is exactly the mistake that led the United States into the Vietnam War."

That's just out and out bullshit too. That's not what led the United States into Vietnam, that's what got Marines there, but the Gulf of Tonkin resolution and Congress's recent vote are not the same. The Gulf of Tonkin was a slippery slope into war, Congress basicly voted for war, just like they did in 1812, 1846, 1861, 1898, 1917 and 1941. Not the same as the Gulf of Tonkin.

3. "But that won't stop the agencies that have always wanted to do more surveillance from pushing this plan now, and many other plans like it. To stop them will require public opposition."

Stallman must have missed US Government class in high school and college. Just because Congress votes on something and the President signs it, doesn't mean it will be there forever, the Supreme Court will decide that. There are some wacky congress-critters out there, but I doubt that this long battle about crypto and people tracking will slip in under the guise of "Public Safety".

That was one big FUD piece there, and yep, I think Stallman was out there.

RMS is right... (1)

xKlintx (256608) | more than 13 years ago | (#2310728)

I've already heard comments on TV about "increased wiretapping authority" and about how "they don't want to impede anyone's civil liberties, but we aren't going to be able to have all the freedoms we used to." I mean, those aren't verbatim, but they're close. God Bless America.

Government Back Doors (1)

RedWolves2 (84305) | more than 13 years ago | (#2310730)

I don't go for any of those back door shenanigans ;-)

What's the bid deal (1)

alen (225700) | more than 13 years ago | (#2310734)

about face recognition? It performs the same job as a human being, but better. I don't know very many people who can remember 100 faces of people they've only seen photos of.

No matter how many US Marshalls you hire and no matter how much you pay them a computer will be better at face recognition than a human being. Maybe that's why Las Vegas is using that technology.

When the government passes a law that they can wiretap my communications without a search warrant then I'll worry. But then the Supreme Court will probably strike it down.

But if you read the constitution the government can read all of your communications and seize anything they want if a jusdge grants a search warrant.

Obvious, but not redundant (2)

eAndroid (71215) | more than 13 years ago | (#2310736)

I'm glad RMS said this - and so tactfully! We are all afraid of these very things happening. As members (most of us) of the open source community our representetives, as it were, need to express how we feel.

Sure, RMS, ESR and Linus were never voted in, aren't always in agreement and have as much opposition as support within the OSS community however they are the people that CNN, Cnet and the like quote as being our collective voice. Even if slashdot has modded similar posts up to 5 numerous times those posts aren't going to be read by your congressman unless they are typed out on nice paper by someone like RMS.

And to RMS, thank you. When these rights are taken away atleast we can say, "told you so."

My comment (1)

darthaya (66687) | more than 13 years ago | (#2310741)

This article is definitely -1, troll.

Hitler (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2310744)

"1933 - on January 4th at a meeting between German entrepreneurs and Hitler the entrepreneurs promise to pay off the Nazi election debt as long as Hitler promises to keep out of the way of the German industry. on January 30th, German President Hindenburg appoints Hitler as chancellor. Hitler calls a snap election in March, winning the Nazi party the largest number of seats. On March 23 he passes the "Enabling Act" giving him absolute dictatorial powers for four years. Also in March, the Dachau concentration camp opened. Hitler goes against the Versailles Treaty and begins to rearm Germany. In May labor unions are outlawed."

The source. [smokylake.com]

65 H4x0r 33 f04t00N

Down with RMS! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2310745)

I hope a building falls on your arab-loving head, you pinko pigfucker.

Hm ... 6 days, took longer than I t hought... (2, Insightful)

johnlcallaway (165670) | more than 13 years ago | (#2310753)

... for the Stallman's to strike back. "Oh no, I don't want anyone to know that I went into Kmart today".

Face it Richard, no one really cares about where you or I go, or what we did today, our lives just aren't that important. That placed on the fact that there is absolutly no law that currently prevents face recognition software from being used, either in public or private sectors, makes your little diatribe about it just an excercise in scaring people about the new laws.

And I seem to recall that President George Bush did not need Congress to OK his sending thousands of troops into Saudia Arabia. The President is the Commander-in-chief and not Congress in order to provide for swift deployment of forces when needed. So the Congress blank-check bit is also little weak for an argument.

So, this gets to the phone taps. The FBI want's to be able to tap any phone a specific person can use, instead of having to get one for each phone. I do have to agree that that sounds a little over-zealous, and could provide a carte-blance to tap the entire cellphone network. But just remember that any evidence recovered that does not pertain to the specific charges cannot be used. Yes, they could listen to your phone call just because you happend to let that guy who is under suspicion use your cell once three years ago. But if you confess you stole burritos from 7-11, they cannot use your phone call in court. And having worked for a mobile phone company and occasionally have to listen to phone calls to monitor the system, I can tell you that most phone calls are boring beyound belief.

So what was your point again???

OK ... I'm done ranting.

Freedom or Death: Take Your Pick (2)

Proud Geek (260376) | more than 13 years ago | (#2310754)

One thing that is painfully obvious from the other countries that have to deal with the constant threat of terrorism is that some liberties do have to be surrendered. More government knowledge and control of what we do is something that we have to accept.

Really, if we continue with our current system there is no doubt that this could happen again. To all the people who say, "Give me freedom or give me death," this is the time to make your choice. Stand on the side of continued complete freedom and invite the terrorists in with open arms. Or give up a few freedoms and help stop the next attack before it starts.

We haven't dealt with this before, but other countries like UK and Israel have, and their experience is clear: the choice really is between death and loss of freedom. I'm firmly in the camp of living, and I hope that people like Richard Stallman realize their folley and join me before we get hit again!

I'd agree but.... (1)

bigpat (158134) | more than 13 years ago | (#2310755)

"They" will trace this account and start spying on me.

Seriously though, I think we must not let any terrorists, dissuade us from expressing ourselves in this forum and others. That is our best defense against the enemies of freedom both foreign and domestic. We must refuse to be accomplices to the erosion of liberty.

unelected president??? (1, Flamebait)

chuy (66622) | more than 13 years ago | (#2310756)

Who the hell is RMS talking about? If he is somehow saying that GWB is not our rightfully elected president then why doesn't he just write his little paragraph about that. This is the sort of C### that really gets me mad.

From what I have heard, every possible Democrat group went down to Florida and did their own recount and guess what..... GWB really won. So, I suggest that RMS just get over the election and keep his comments to our liberties.

With all that said, I tend to agree with RMS's position and I for one will be contacting my representative to voice that opinion.

PS. At one time I considered RMS a bright engineer but now I think he is just a jackass!!!

Not The Time For Anti-Patriotic Rhetoric (1)

Tigerfoot (232345) | more than 13 years ago | (#2310761)

Other's have commented on your "unelected president" remark, but I'll go further to express my view that this is an anti-patriotic, and un-American statement in this time of crisis. Even our president's (and he is our president whether you voted for him or not) bitterest political rivals have rallied around him as a central point of leadership. Introducing factious sentiment at a time when unity is critical is an un-American viewpoint.

Where to draw the line? (1)

thetechweenie (60363) | more than 13 years ago | (#2310764)

I have been worried about these issues. However, where should we really draw the line. I'm worried that our country may be willing to give up some of our rights, for a false sense of security. How would the face recognition software help? If it's deployed widely, then they will just get around it. If you can't get through an airport without being "scanned", then they will just find other ways to enter the country. Would this really be worth it? I'm not sure the solution for this problem will be easy, but the general public is looking for a fast fix. It will be interesting to watch what happens over the next few months.

RMS lost of credibility (1)

mhamel (314503) | more than 13 years ago | (#2310769)

I, for one, am pretty much against regulation of encryption. But I do not want to fight any moral battle with peoples holding the flag of hate and self defence with guns.

I am french canadian. Viewed from here, the United-States are a very violent place indeed. Any hope to cure that by having everybody carry a gun goes so much against common sens that it is has hard to understand has terrorism (Fighting crime by terrorising the criminals with commun paoples guns has commun roots with terrorism).

I am a strong supporter of freedom, but not of freedom where everybody is affraid of it's brother. RMS showed us this week that he was not a leader to follow anywhere. Make your mind about encryption with earth and intelligence. Most of all, don't blindly follow the ideas of a guru of violence. Love of difference is hard to keep growing, but it just make the fight more important.

Small price to pay (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2310780)

I am shocked to hear many of the comments written by people regarding this issue. Where in the laws of the universe is a person's privacy guarenteed? Where is a person promised freedom? Where is democracy promised? Nowhere. Freedom is not a right, it is a privalege. As such, it comes with certain responsibilities, as well as certain costs. First, as citizens of a free and democratic society, we have the responsibility to do all that we can to uphold the laws and values that our nation was founded on. I would be remiss if I failed to mention the wonderful acts of kindness and support that I have seen throughout our nation over the past week. On this front, we have succeeded. Secondly, however, the cost involves making sacrifices for the greater good. Yes, it is intrusive for the government to require a backdoor to all encryption schemes. But, if this technology is used properly by the government, the average American shouldn't have to worry. Yes, it is true that the government could misuse this power and target innocent individuals. But, we must have faith in our elected officials. How many lives could have been saved had this technology been put in place? The government has long known that terrorist organizations use encrypted communications to plan attacks. Could 5,000 innocent men, women, and children have been spared a terrible, agonizing death? If there is even the most remote chance, I feel that it is worth it. To say that the lives of our fellow Americans are less valuable than a citizen's right to send encrypted e-mail is nothing less than selfish. It is a small price to pay to help our nation keep us safe.

Short term bad, long term maybe good? (2, Insightful)

YouAreFatMan (470882) | more than 13 years ago | (#2310789)

I noticed that the Chicago Tribune had an article about the tension between security and liberty [chicagotribune.com] today. IMHO, whether or not Congress will move to restrict civil liberties right now is not as important as whether or not civil liberties are even being discussed. Whether or not they are even on the radar or the average person.

It is very likely civil liberties will be hedged for a short time. But now, the debate is on the front page of the newspaper rather than the techno-backwaters of Slashdot. People will notice the loss of their freedom. Up to now, freedom was being eroded and few noticed or cared.

I think that the short-term consequences, sadly, will include depriving U.S. citizens of civil liberties in the name of safety. But I think the long-term consequences are a heightened awareness of the balance and tension between security and liberty.

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