OpenBSD Journal

The Emerging DARPA Reasoning

Contributed by jose on from the shedding-some-light-on-this? dept.

It seems that as more pressure is applied to the story, more facts are coming out about the whole DARPA cancellation of funding. Theo just posted a message which contains a quote from a DARPA spokesperson on the subject which states that the U.S. government is concerned that Open Source enables terrorist nation-states.

This has increasingly dire implications for all Open Source projects, not just OpenBSD. If the U.S. wants to insist that clear, open development of technologies leads to the bad guys getting a leg up on the good guys, we've all taken a big step backwards in how the world works.

Oh, and it's even taken to a backstabbing series of events in getting the hotel cancelled.

If you want to complain to people at UPenn, you have a few venues. The first is The Daily Pennsylvanian , where you can openly write about how the University, founded by Ben Franklin (an American who strongly advocated free speech and open discovery of ideas), is participating in a debacle of events. The second is Mark West , an administrator at UPenn who was partly involved in controlling the POSSE project at UPenn. The third person is Jonathan Smith , who was very crucial in the POSSE/UPenn side of the DAPRA funded project.

If you do write (and you're encouraged to apply some pressure) remember to be clear, extremely professional and courteous, and focused on being a good advocate for OpenBSD and Open Source projects like POSSE. Being childish will only hurt the project and future endeavors.

(Comments are closed)


Comments
  1. By Anonymous Coward () on

    Does it make sense to post a link to standard letter(s) for lobbying The Daily Pennsylvanian and/or UPenn relevant staff?

    Comments
    1. By Anonymous Coward () on

      It is better to send a fully personal letter that an standard letter.

      Although it seems to make sense to post a standard or even example letter, as many people will cover the same ground, the reality is that many organizations treat mass mailing of similar letters as spam (postal or email).

      The thinking is that if people care enough to craft a personal message, they care enough about the issue at hand. It is relatively easy to send a stock letter, and so it doesn't weight as much. If you have every written someone and received a form-ish letter in return, you understand the impact.

      If you feel strongly about this issue, take the time to write a well thought out, original letter. It will be more effective and carry more weight.

    2. By Anonymous Coward () on

      "Walker sent out a new e-mail, saying DARPA had shut down a "security fest" portion of the project because of world events."

      My take is that the grant was pulled due to the potential ( no matter how remote ) that someone at the hackathon might someday end up doing something that would end up embarrassing the person at DARPA that sanctioned the funding in the first place. Lone hackers scare the crap out of your average person at DARPA, unfortunately noone at DARPA understands that Microsoft represents a MUCH bigger threat to the security of the US government than any lone wolf hacker.

      Welcome to government bureaucracy. Or
      He that giveth can taketh away.



  2. By Anonymous Coward () on

    Start Troll 64.124.106.212

    If you do write (and you're encouraged to apply some pressure) remember to be clear, extremely professional and courteous, and focused on being a good advocate for OpenBSD and Open Source projects like POSSE. Being childish will only hurt the project and future endeavors.

    Who does this sound like?

    End Troll 64.124.106.212

    Do as I say not as I do!

  3. By Anonymous Coward () on

    If the U.S. wants to insist that clear, open development of technologies leads to the bad guys getting a leg up on the good guys, we've all taken a big step backwards in how the world works.

    But isn't that true? Recent exploits appearing in the wild long before fixes were known seem to indicate that it is.

    Comments
    1. By Nate () nate@my-balls.com on mailto:nate@my-balls.com

      No, if anything it places the "good guys" and "bad guys" on the same level.

      In an open enviroment all players are equal, equally bug ridden or virally infectable. There is no means to get a leg up, unless your side is smarter then the other side and use the software in the most secure manner possible.

      But then, who are the bad guys and who are the good guys? Give grey a chance.

    2. By Alick () alicll@aol.com on mailto:alicll@aol.com

      in the process of several weeks spent in the MIddle East trying to support an American reporter in Baghdad, my wife, I have become particularly attuned to the reasons for war and what animates American policy these days. I have to say that I am shocked, appalled and disgusted.

      If we can for just a moment get around the self-imposed filter of jingoism and inane anti-French jokes (God help me, I who sent the French to Coventry after Rainbow Warrior and stayed the course since) we have to recognize that there is a nasty pattern of "dissent control" at work in this country. There are two issues at work that you have to decide upon:

      a. bring those who equate Microsoft type big business solutions with patriotism and sensible business to account for their policies and actions - write your Congressman. Short of money its the only thing that focuses their attention.

      b. the right to dissent and to say no I do not agree is a quintessentially American right; 911 did not abrogate it, that terrible event simply made it more important to ensure the freedoms established in blood are not hijacked by those that do not understand the Constitution. Write your Congressman and Senator, tell him it is not right for American legislators to cast a fearful backwards glance at the flag every time he or she is challenged on what is basic and what is right.

      The flag is a symbol of what we stand for and not an excuse for an absence of critical thought. If it is we have lost, and Osama bin Laden has won, before we start.

      Software, American software, is this generation's contribution to human advancement and to a better stronger America do not let it be perverted. DARPA money is taxpayer's money, public money, your money. DARPA funds should not be used to further some neo-MacCarthyist agenda. Write the Congress - both houses.

      Make the system work. Reaffirm to Ben Franklin that patriotism, commonsense and a enlightened self-interest can co-exist in the same human breast.

  4. By Anonymous Coward () on

    I think between the latest postings to misc@, and now this, all of you have brought this issue to a new level of childishness. Kudos to the few who have remained professional, I applaud your efforts.

    Comments
    1. By Anonymous Coward () on

      i agree 110%. all we need now is for each side to start name calling and slinging dirt at each other.

  5. By Anonymous Coward () on

    The DARPA quote:

    "I wanted to update you on the situation with the Univ of Penn. project. As a result of the DARPA review of the project, and due to world events and the evolving threat posed by increasingly capable nation-states, the Government on April 21 advised the University to suspend work on the "security fest" portion of the project."

    It is up to the Gentile Reader to decide what, if anything, that means.

    Comments
    1. By Anonymous Coward () on

      It is safe to read it as "It doesn't matter what reason we give, OpenBSD will never see this money again".

    2. By Matthew Sullivan () sullivan at mythos dot cc on mailto:sullivan at mythos dot cc

      Exactly! There is nothing in that quote that says DOD feels that Open Source helps terrorists. It could be that DOD's funding priorities have changed. Furthermore even if the funding revocation was due to Theo's comments, that's understandable. Only a small percentage of people that want DOD money actually get it. If you have a choice between two equally worthy projects and one project leader will praise you and the other will condemn you, which would you chose?

    3. By Pete () on

      I'm ever more glad that OBSD is developed outside the US, to abstract (if not isolate) it from the US petty ill informed politics.

      I for one salute Theo's baby mulching attitude. Too bad if the 'other side' are informed & astute enough to take advantage of superior open souce security computing, while presumably DARPA et al. avoid it as per their funding policy...

      My funding will ofcourse remain with the project :->

      Comments
      1. By Anonymous Coward () on

        what the hell!!!!????

        The whole point is that the funding was coming from the US Government. Theo bit the teet that feeds him and got slapped.

    4. By Anonymous Coward () on

      Whoa there, it never said ANYWHERE in there that the Govt said Open Source supports terrorists. That's not even a plausable reading of the article.

      What I see is, "DARPA doesn't like the HackFest because it doesn't want to sponsor a bunch of people coming in from all over the world to hack on computers."

      It's saying that DARPA wants its research money being spent on the US Taxpayers that submitted it, not going to a project that is being run by someone in Canada.

      DARPA is not totally cancelling the project but instead cancelling the Security Fest. It's afraid that a terrorist or potential terroist may send delegates to the SecurityFest, learn about some bugs or some black-hat cracking, and use that information against the US. DARPA is just saying it doesn't want ITS money on that possibility.

      Whether you agree or not is a different story, but this cancellation has NOTHING to do with Open Source and EVERYTHING to do with foreign interests (Theo, as well as people coming from all over to the Hack Fest), and the DARPA branding of this project.

      Comments
      1. By margarida () on

        Are you speaking in the name of UPENN ?

      2. By Stephen Paskaluk () paskaluk@ee.ualberta.ca on mailto:paskaluk@ee.ualberta.ca

        "Whether you agree or not is a different story, but this cancellation has NOTHING to do with Open Source and EVERYTHING to do with foreign interests (Theo, as well as people coming from all over to the Hack Fest), and the DARPA branding of this project"

        How is it you speak with certainty, were you responsible for this whole situation? Perhaps you should consider your words more carefully if you don't have facts.

        "It's saying that DARPA wants its research money being spent on the US Taxpayers that submitted it, not going to a project that is being run by someone in Canada."

        So they just figured out after 18 months that Theo lives in Canada? Or that there are many developers all over the world? I doubt that, and I would hope an obviously patriotic American gives more credit to his government than that.

        Also, if you would have been paying close attention, it was the US Air Force that handed down the order to cancel funding, not specifically DARPA. What difference that makes, I won't pretend to know, since I don't no exactly how the US miliary is structured. But certainly one who speaks so certainly, and would have us beleive their word as fact, should have their own facts straight.

        "What I see is, "DARPA doesn't like the HackFest because it doesn't want to sponsor a bunch of people coming in from all over the world to hack on computers.""

        I heard the suggestion somewhere that the word "hack" could be considered a problem for the funders. I can see DARPA/USAF/UPENN wanting to avoid the negative connotations of the "DARPA funds hackers" headline, since most readers equate hackers to crackers.

        "DARPA is not totally cancelling the project but instead cancelling the Security Fest. It's afraid that a terrorist or potential terroist may send delegates to the SecurityFest, learn about some bugs or some black-hat cracking, and use that information against the US. DARPA is just saying it doesn't want ITS money on that possibility."

        I seem to recall seeing somewhere that no further costs were to be incurred for the project, though I don't feel like wading through the mass of political specutlation on the mailing lists to find that. The hackathon does not appear to be the only casuality.

    5. By Anonymous Coward () on

      It is up to the Gentile Reader to decide what, if anything, that means.

      What, no Jews or Mormons are allowed to decide?

      Sorry, I find humour in dark moments by picking on innocent spelling errors =)

      Comments
      1. By Wastelander () beck@openbsd.org on mailto:beck@openbsd.org

        Never undersestimate the power of a dark clown :)

      2. By Anonymous Coward () on

        >> It is up to the Gentile Reader to decide what, if anything, that means.

        >What, no Jews or Mormons are allowed to decide? I think that the Jews consider Mormons to also be Gentiles, don't they? And vise-versa? So, I think that everyone is included, if you only look at it wrong. Or right. Better yet, don't look.

    6. By Anonymous Coward () on

      It is up to the Gentile Reader to decide what, if anything, that means.

      What about the Jewish Reader? Can they take a guess, as well?

      I'm just wondering if there is something specifically religious about the OBSD project I'm unaware of.

  6. By not ben franklin () on

    The summary as I see it:
    DARPA sees a leader who makes anti-war comments, bringing together 60 programmers that may think likewise. If OpenBSD is going to be used in the government, it will take more than 2 million dollars to audit it for back doors. (Think NSA and the encryption machines in Europe after WW2.) That doesn't make sense, as a defensive measure but beaucracy does dumb things.

    So how about a DARPA manager is miffed at the quotes and cuts the money, staying behind the faceless DARPA front. UPENN folds so as not to jeopardize future grants. Any idea how much in other grants DARPA gives UPENN?

    WHATEVER!! The money is not going to come back, the promises are broken, get in the fundraising mode:

    o sell more CDs (would take 100 per day for a week to raise 15K$ at a $25 profit)
    o emphasize PayPal in a major way.
    o talk won't cook rice, 300+ comments on it here, yet CVS reports that there have been about 10 donations after all this began.
    o check for other sponsors/underwriters/govts.

    I'm going to order multiple 3.3 CDs, and make a donation to the "Bring the worlds best Hackers to Canada fund" if it gets announced.

    Shut up and keep hacking!!! I can get whining anywhere, where else can I get a secure OS?

    Comments
    1. By Anonymous Coward () on

      "emphasize PayPal in a major way"

      No, forget about his shit. Paypal makes a lot of trouble to his customers...

      Comments
      1. By Anonymous Coward () on

        indeed - i wouldnt touch paypal in a million years.

    2. By Anonymous Coward () on

      WHATEVER!! The money is not going to come back, the promises are broken, get in the fundraising mode:

      o check for other sponsors/underwriters/govts.


      We could try and squeeze a few sponsorship bucks out of maybe: Palestine, North Korea, Communist China...

      Hell, even Al-Quaida need a secure OS, we could ask for a bit of their cocaine money.

      Seriously tho, if the US cuts the money they cut the influence as well. Let the very terrorists call the shots for a few new features in the OS; it's still the same free open, and non-terrorist product, whoevers paying for it.

    3. By Anonymous Coward () on

      Latest article says $7000 in donations so far.

  7. By Anonymous Coward () on

    Oh, and it's even taken to a backstabbing series of events in getting the hotel cancelled.

    And of course, Theo accepting DARPA's funding, then using a public medium focused on OpenBSD to denounce DARPA, the war, and the US govt wasn't backstabbing... And trying to leech off of the existing contract between UPenn and the Hyatt... And his current campaign against several individuals at UPenn who were in the past in favor of support for OpenBSD... Do we really want to discuss morals? Morals were thrown out the window a long time ago.

    Sure, the money wasn't there to buy his opinion, but DARPA is certainly well within their rights to pull funding if they feel it is not in their best interests. Ask yourself, would you co-operate or fund a project who is using the media to slander you? So what red-blooded American would want their tax dollars spent in support of someone, who is highly critical of their actions, while the US economy is " tanking "? Certainly DARPA wouldn't win any popularity points with the American public by continued funding.

    Theo's " uncomfortable " feelings about DARPA funding should be appeased now. So what is the problem? Peter Valchev just wants to " have fun " with the money from hardworking American tax payers? Someone change this whining brat's diaper, please.

    If UPenn has to pay 80% of the bill for the hotel due to cancellation, aren't the OpenBSD developers getting off really easy, even with their own inconviences? Isn't a few lives at UPenn now being disrupted by all this? But somehow they should be " obligated " to still allow the OpenBSD developers to use the hotel they're paying for? IMHO, the OpenBSD developers are getting exactly what they've asked for, as immature as the whole thing is.

    I recommend that everyone just sit back, wonder how Sun Microsystems fits into this whole thing, and let the OpenBSD crew solve the problems they have created for themselves.

    Comments
    1. By Anonymous Coward () on

      I agree. Theo was plainly stupid to make those comments to the Canadian newspaper and now the OpenBSD project has to suffer the consequences. If he felt that way, he should not have accepted the grant in the first place.

      What is concerning me is that Theo's comments are going to cost me personally in terms of having to make an extra donation to prop up the project.

      Theo seems to make a habit of insulting people, previously without any financial consequences.

      Comments
      1. By but () on

        the war was after they take the grant
        so who knows about the future war for oil

    2. By Anonymous Coward () on

      Theo's better at coding than hand wringing.

    3. By Clint Rice () clintrice@woh.rr.com on http://www.fohrizzle.com

      To answer your question:
      "So what red-blooded American would want their tax dollars spent in support of someone, who is highly critical of their actions, while the US economy is "tanking"? "

      Last time I checked my blood was red and I am American. Yet the government seems to be in essence critical of my want of privacy and liberty, and liberty being defined as "The right and power to act, believe, or express oneself in a manner of one's own choosing." Yet my tax dollars go to support many things I do not believe in, such as war and the DMCA. It is the right of every American, no matter how public or private their life is, to express themselves and be critical of the government actions. As far as you say "DARPA is certainly well within their rights" then maybe you should think about this. What if a certain nationality tends to be against a certain political party, is it within their rights to cut aid to that group should they become the controlling party?

      Dissenters and Supporters both pay taxes, so funding that comes from taxes should go to both groups and not be contingent upon whether you speak your mind or not.

    4. By Graham () graham@jahiel.net on mailto:graham@jahiel.net

      So what red-blooded American would want their tax dollars spent in support of someone, who is highly critical of their actions, while the US economy is "tanking"?

      *raises hand*

      Dissent is fundamental to a free and open society, which the US claims to be. As a US citizen and taxpayer, I'd MUCH rather have my tax dollars fund open-source software produced by a bunch of people who actually think and speak potentially unpopular (but hopefully well-reasoned) things than, say, missiles produced by amoral dollar-hounds.

      Certainly DARPA wouldn't win any popularity points with the American public by continued funding.

      I absolutely and vehemently disagree, unless of course by "the American public" you mean "the small but powerful reactionary neoconservative segment of the American public". As a member of the American public, I'd be much more impressed with DARPA if they resumed funding than I am right now.

      -Graham

      Comments
      1. By Anonymous Coward () on

        "I'd MUCH rather have my tax dollars fund open-source software produced by a bunch of people who actually think and speak potentially unpopular (but hopefully well-reasoned) things than, say, missiles produced by amoral dollar-hounds.".... therin lies the problem. Theo seems to rarely make well reasoned statements about anything outside of coding.

    5. By AnonAndOnAndOn () on

      If UPenn has to pay 80% of the bill for the hotel due to cancellation, aren't the OpenBSD developers getting off really easy, even with their own inconviences? Isn't a few lives at UPenn now being disrupted by all this? But somehow they should be "obligated" to still allow the OpenBSD developers to use the hotel they're paying for? IMHO, the OpenBSD developers are getting exactly what they've asked for, as immature as the whole thing is.

      1. Their own 'inconviences' amount to non-refundable plane tickets purchased with their own money, and the loss of productivity for the project that the Hackathon provides.

      2. You make it sound like UPENN are being hard done by this - ignoring the fact that they've gone out of their way to make things difficult. Obligated? No, but it would be courteous not to go out of their way to ensure the 80% deposit was no use to anyone, regardless.

      Comments
      1. By Anonymous Coward () on

        1. Their own 'inconviences' amount to non-refundable plane tickets purchased with their own money, and the loss of productivity for the project that the Hackathon provides.

        That's exactly what I was referring to. Perhaps, 'inconviences' wasn't strong enough of a word. Still, UPenn will suffer a monetary loss as well. The OpenBSD crew get off very easily by not being responsible for the 80% of the hotel bill as well (at least from what has been said, I still do not see any mention of legitimate contracts, etc).

        2. You make it sound like UPENN are being hard done by this - ignoring the fact that they've gone out of their way to make things difficult. Obligated? No, but it would be courteous not to go out of their way to ensure the 80% deposit was no use to anyone, regardless.

        No, UPenn isn't the victim. I merely wanted to point out that maybe UPenn wouldn't have gone out of their way to cancel the hotel reservations had Theo and crew took a different approach. Urging people to call their phones, e-mail them, send faxes... We don't even know for sure how responsible they were with the funding being cut (this is not referring to the current hackathon situation, we know who is responsible there). So, you could say not letting OpenBSD use the hotel is retaliation.

        Yes, as I've stated, the whole thing is immature.

    6. By Anonymous Coward () on

      Just to be clear, I realize how important it is to be able to criticize the government and it's actions. I also do not blindly agree with everything that the government does and says. However, given the behavior and mannerisms in which this situation is being dealt with, especially the exagerations, I have no sympathy for the OpenBSD project.

    7. By dave () na@na.org on na

      Perhaps the Economy wouldn't be tanking if the pork barrel collectivist beaurocrats weren't so keen on redistributing citizens blood sweat and tears to the plethora of modern cartels peddling expensive ubiquitous technology. About 90 percent of the SW normal people use fall in that category, and that use (and perpetual waste) is sealed in back room deals with IT "strategy" folks in government, education, and stratch me back good ol girl industry networks. Lets hope they can raise taxes triple to pay for it eh?

  8. By Anonymous Coward () on

    Then the NSA isn't part of the government?

    Comments
    1. By Anonymous Coward () on http://www.audioexchange.org

      Yes, but I believe they were asked to stop further development of the project. Perhaps that was by MS. I'm not trying to blame it all on Gates, but I do think that was what happened.

      Comments
      1. By mikefocke () on

        NSA is continuing to fund and explore ways of providing secure operating systems. That they finish one project and go on to another doesn't mean they aren't still interested.

        And other private companies are developing proprietary highly secure operating systems without government funding. See www.digitalnet.com for their STOP.

        One problem SELinux (and all OSS variants) face is receiving the necessary Common Criteria Evaluation which takes multi-yeara and multi-millions of dollars to prepare for if you are trying to achieve any significant EAL level (5 and above).

      2. By Anonymous Coward () on

        Yes, but I believe they were asked to stop further development of the project.



        So they were asked to stop. That means absolutely nothing.



        Dear NSA,

        Please stop further development on SE Linux. Thanks.



        See? They were asked to stop a second time. Yet the updates keep coming.

  9. By anonymous coward () on


    Well, one lesson learned is this, don't count on government money to further the interests of humanity. My eyebrows were raised when I saw the headlines about Theo getting funded by the U.S. government. Then when he said "they're funding the research not me... I don't like the war", all those sci-fi movies popped into my head where some scientist is working on something for the good of all mankind and then he's made to create a monster because his funding was from the government. There's no way a government, any government, would allow someone to make something good for everyone , how could they maintain any dominance that way?

    Oh well, life goes on and open source continues to grow. An event like POSSE may be delayed but it's certainly not "over" .

    Comments
    1. By the evil clown () sb64sb@excite.com on mailto:sb64sb@excite.com

      Why in the world would Theo accept a monetary donation from a U.S. govt. agency anyway? The man's smart enough to write the best O.S. out there, but lacking the common sense seeing who was doing the funding. Of course DARPA has the right to do whatever they want with their money, but all these pitfalls could have been avoided in the first place if Theo & co. said 'no thanks' in the first place.

  10. By Anonymous Coward () on

    OpenBSD is gay and deadly.org fucking sucks

  11. By () on

  12. By jose () on http://monkey.org/~jose/

    the IP of the person who posted the goatse.cx pic was 63.148.99.232 by the way. have fun :)

    Comments
    1. By Anonymous Coward () on

      stop it

    2. By Anonymous Coward () on

      I hate idiots that post such crap.

    3. By Darren () darren@dazdaz.NOSPAMM.org on mailto:darren@dazdaz.NOSPAMM.org

      Although he's wrong to post it, your wrong to publish his details and then highlight them. This makes you no worse than him.

      You've lost my respect as a mature site owner.

      Comments
      1. By Sam () on

        When submitting comments, you are told that your IP may be published. It was.

        Your point?

        As much as I'd rather not have the IPs published, the quality and usefulness of the OpenBSD Journal as a whole as increased as a result.

      2. By AnonAndOnAndOn () on

        As pointed out above me,
        The poster accepted his IP [details is a vague, encompassing term] would be publically bound to whatever content he choose to include at the time of posting.
        They didn't provide anything constructive, they forfieted.

      3. By Anonymous Coward () on

        Maybe you didn't laugh at Jose's post, but I sure did. I have no plans to do anything to the guy who posted the pic, but the tone of Jose's post was very funny.

        Relax. Antitroll measures don't have to be repressive--they can also be fun.

  13. By marcia wilbur () aicra@well.com or aicra@electroniclaw.org on http://www.electroniclaw.org

    Hi,

    I want to volunteer my services relevant to this matter if you are interested. In the past year I completed an internship at the FSF where I wrote letters of inquiry and a grant for funding. I have a AAS in Comp Sci and a B.S. in Tech Writing.

    Depending on the scope of the project, your interest, etc. I am more than happy to volunteer a few hours to research and writing to assist you in the attempt to secure funding.

    contact me.

    -marcia

    Comments
    1. By Nate () ntobik at hotmail on mailto:ntobik at hotmail

      Not sure what type of audience is here, but if you want your message to get out post to misc@ i know theo reads that, and a lot of others. Hope that helps

      ~Nate

  14. By Raymond () deadly@dyn.org on mailto:deadly@dyn.org

    What does the lady from DARPA say? Is the US government afraid other "nation-states" (who thinks up these Bushisms?) might use OpenBSD and that they can successfully keep the US out?

    Comments
    1. By gimp () gimpbully@yahoo.com on mailto:gimpbully@yahoo.com

      look up "nation-state", it's a real term and has been around long before bush

    2. By Anonymous Coward () on

      We talked about "nation-states" in my seventh grade history class. It's not political doubletalk, it's a political scientist's technical term.

    3. By Anonymous Coward () on

      "nation-states" isn't a Bushism.

      Christ, people.

  15. By Anonymous Coward () on

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

    Comments
    1. By Anonymous Coward () on

      Anger makes dull men witty, but it keeps them poor.
      Elizabeth I

  16. By Wesley Parish () wes.parish at NOSPAMparadise.net dot nz on mailto:wes.parish at NOSPAMparadise.net dot nz

    Now this whole issue/fight/whatever, is an example of just how stupid the whole post-9/11 thing is.

    OpenBSD isn't going away any time soon, its source code is going to be open for all and anybody to use and develop, and it still has the reputation for being the most secure OS in common use. Nothing the US government can do is going to alter that.

    If the wind is sub-zero and I see my neighbour might have a nicer, more comfortable coat than I do, is that a good reason for me to go naked?

    The real losers from this are the Amnerican taxpayers, who thus profit from having such a loser government.

    Comments
    1. By me () on

      Play with the real beast, don't cry when it turns on ya.

      Comments
      1. By Anonymous Coward () on

        Play with the real beast, don't cry when it turns on ya.

        Meaning what, I ask you?

  17. By Anonymous Coward () a_coward@cowardsRus.org on mailto:a_coward@cowardsRus.org

    Is it possible, just maybe, that the meaning of the statement is not that the OpenBSD developers are dangerous terrorist supporters, but that they might be a target themself for terrorist attack?

    Having a large number of intelligent people who are securing the nations computers resources in one place sounds like it would have a demoralizing (at least) effect on the industry... just a random idea, probably unrelated to reality in any way, shape or form.

  18. By Anon () Anon on Anon

    Whatever you do, bug Dr. Smith not Mark West. Mark is just the CIS Business Admin, he's the guy who just spends the money the way the grant owner (Jonathan Smith) tells him to. He submits hours for students, and just does a whole bunch of paperwork. Don't spam his inbox because he's just business office staff, and has nothing to do with this grant nor the cancellation of it.

    The owner of the grant, Jonathan Smith, is the guy you want to talk to.

  19. By Anonymous Coward () on

    What the OpenBSD team needs is some canadian funding....?!@?!#

    Comments
    1. By James Sutherland () jas@spamcop.net on http://sutherland.ath.cx/

      What the OpenBSD team needs is some canadian funding....?!@?!#

      Absolutely! For all the criticism the US is taking for not having funded this Canadian project as generously as expected - where is the Canadian government?

      Legally, the US government is supposed to fund US projects, not Canadian ones. (DARPA grants aren't supposed to leave the US in the first place!) The US crypto export restrictions have now gone - why not have the US funding US developers, and leave Canadian projects to be funded by Canada?

      Comments
      1. By Anonymous Coward () on

        The only possiblity for getting Government Funding in Canada was lost when Jean Charest won the Quebec election. Prior to that you *might* have got funding for converting the source into French or something ...

        But seriously, the OpenBSD project is far beneath the Canadian Gov's radar (as is computer security in general). Even getting a few thousand dollars from a University in Canada would be very tough.

        While I certainly advocate looking for funding -- I still think the most sustainable approach for the OpenBSD project is to continue to live within its means as it has in the past. It isn't a good idea to become dependant an external source of income, that as we have seen, can quickly be withdrawn. I'm sure Theo won't forget this sad life-lesson anytime soon...

      2. By Anonymous Coward () on

        I really hate to break the news, but OpenBSD (or more precisely, Theo) is only based in Canada. It is really a very international effort. If you look at the developer location map: http://www.openbsd.org/goals.html you'll note that are more American developers than Canadian. For that matter more Americans than any other single country (although I must say there are a very respectable number of Canadians considering the relative population!).

  20. By Anonymous Coward () on

    Being childish will only hurt the project and future endeavors.
    In terms that you can understand, ``Do not write the sort of e-mail that deraadt might write.''

  21. By codenode () codenode@hotmail.com on mailto:codenode@hotmail.com

    I think we have a very important turn in the open source and not only OpenBSD but all the concept. We forun has very well described the situation.

    If we would like to get back to open source the full spectrum. It should be important as a normal practice to implement features in software and to create the related security solution around. Not just to implement features and then process some function tests.

    Security can be implemented based on commun practice with public solutions and architectures. A security based on secret does not resist very long.

  22. By lysdexia () lysdexia@crackrabbit.com on www.crackrabbit.com

    A quick "Hackathon Donations" link on the OpenBSD homepage might help.

    I just went to put in my $0.02 and found that the donations are still handled in the order form for new CD's. (I never pre-order CDs because frankly, I am a bitchy little flibbertigibbet who likes to get stuff in a ~ week. I hate Xmas, too. <-snivler)


  23. By Anonymous Coward () on

    It's not surprising coming from an administration which was essentially bought and sold by major corporations and has been increasingly taking steps to gather information about its citizens and maintain control of that information. Anything which empowers the average person is not trusted. Unless larger groups, universities included, don't start putting a foot down and taking a stand against this aggression it will only get worse.

  24. By EDinNY () on

    I thought it was odd for a US Government organisation to sponsor a Hacker Fest in Canada.

  25. By Anthony Papillion () anthonypapillion@hotmail.com on mailto:anthonypapillion@hotmail.com

    I began following this story after it was published on Slashdot and am totally amazed at the heated reaction this DARPA decision has caused. It reminds me of all of the Hollywooders who go out and make anti-war statements and then whine when they lose work because of their statements. IMHO, if you are in a leadership position you put the project FIRST. Theo's political views have NOTHING to do with the OpenBSD project and he should have excercised the wisdom of keeping quiet or not accepting the money in the first place.

    Don't get me wrong, I don't agree with DARPA's decision to yank funding and I believe it is yet another blow to free speech. DARPA, as an agency of the United States government, should support the ideals and goals of the government. One of those ideals is FREE SPEECH. When we begin awarding funding based on how one chooses to excercise their free speech (in a non-criminal way) then we come dangerously close to censorship and citizen control through intimidation. I am definately not comfortable with this.

    But still, I think we all need to see this objectively. BOTH sides must share soe of the blame for this: Theo is a high profile person and he MUST learn to censor himself for the good of the project. He chose to make a statement that he knew would probably bristle a few feathers and he -- and unfortunately the OpenBSD community -- is suffering the consequences of those statements. DARPA, for their part, is acting TOTALLY un-American and going against everything we as Americans say we hold dear. It's ashamed this had to come to this. But such is life. Live and learn...

    Anthony Papillion

    Comments
    1. By Anonymous Coward () on

      How has Theo's freedom of speech been compromised (don't forget he's not even a citizen of the US, i'm ignorant to what Canada thinks of freedom of speech)? Has he been threatened that if his anti-war statements continue he'll go to prison? He'll be killed? Maimed? Two large men named Bubba and Rocko will be sent to his house to break his hacking fingers? He can no longer be anti-war because DARPA won't pay him to be? Theo's freedom of speech hasn't been compromised in the least. He only claims it has been because it will bring the sheep flocking to him.

      However, he will not be using the DARPA grant anymore as a reason to gain media attention in an effort to slam the US govt.

      Personally, I think Theo spends too much time buying into crap like www.fromthewilderness.com . It probably wouldn't be too hard to convince him that the X-Files is a real news broadcast out of some US city.

      Comments
      1. By Good Grief () on

        i'm ignorant to what Canada thinks of freedom of speech Freedom of speech? Is that like when they don't charge cover at an election rally?

      2. By AnonAndOnAndOn () on

        However, he will not be using the DARPA grant anymore as a reason to gain media attention in an effort to slam the US govt.

        A twist and exaggeration of the facts, at best. Please..

        Comments
        1. By Anonymous Coward () on

          A twist and exaggeration of the facts, at best. Please..

          Is it? Because that's exactly what happened. So it's not worded favorably to your cause... boo hoo. You should give me funding now.

          Let's speak of exaggerations... How much does the hotel rooms, etc, cost? We've seen "$15,000", "about $20,000", and now, in the latest article "over $20,000". The price seems to go up as Theo's audience grows. Where in the DARPA spoke person's quote does it call open source a collaboration of terrorists? Where does it even mention terrorism? As we all know, Theo doesn't exaggerate. Geesh...

  26. By ZZZZZ () dont@nowhere.com on mailto:dont@nowhere.com

    I'm confused? how is freedom hurt where the US gov does not fund a project?

    Can you not get funding from somewhere else? I donít see the government moving in troops to stop this.

    The security of US people is jeopardized by giving, NOT so kind nations better secrecy.

    If any of you believe that North Korea or China or Syria or Iran would not benefit from US tax dollars spent of this project you are lying to yourself.

    Comments
    1. By Anonymous Coward () on

      The key here is that not just North Korea, China, Syria, or Iran benefit. Everyone does. Everyone benefits equally. No one will gain more than the other. The DARPA spokes woman gave a bull reason that just sounds good given the current events involving the US.

    2. By 3seas () threeseas@earthlink.net on http://threeseas.net

      I'd imagine Microsoft getting off the found guilty anti-trust case is something that should be of great concern... especially considering how insecure products from MS are....

      I found it interesting how the US media hype bias of the war constantly reminded me of MS media marketing tactics.

      It seems to be getting clearer and clearer that that there is a corrupt influence going on and against open source.

      Perhaps what is really needed is detailed investigation into why the cancelations really happened.

    3. By AnonAndOnAndOn () on

      Freedom isn't hurt when 'the US govt does not fund a project'. Freedom's hurt when project funding is withdrawn on the trivial grounds of disagreeing with a project member's [unrelated?] opinions. Not that, if we're are referring to the quote I believe, it was even phrased unfavourably.

      If you really believe the rather brief and vague reasoning from DARPA was genuine;

      Whatever you do, please don't churn out another [like the xxx people before you] line about how Theo and his project is 'anti-US' and it's not in the US's interest to fund a project. US, solely == Pro war? I'm sure you can do better than devlivering a Bushism current affairs argument, as it seems all so trendy and easy to do after Sept 11.

      While busy policing the world.. US citizen's tax dollars are only to go into entities that _directly_ benefit the US, and the US only?

      I don't think the aforementioned countries are going to overthrow the US's empire, using the OSS they helpd develop - you need to ground yourself a little.

      Comments
      1. By Anonymous Coward () on

        Freedom's hurt when project funding is withdrawn on the trivial grounds of disagreeing with a project member's [unrelated?] opinions.

        What freedom was hurt? Does it change the political views of any involved party? No! If Theo needs money from DARPA to voice his opinion, that truely is sad.

        While busy policing the world.. US citizen's tax dollars are only to go into entities that _directly_ benefit the US, and the US only?

        The US isn't policing open source projects. Talk about twists... Why shouldn't US money benefit the US? Should Canadian money not benefit Canada? What a ridiculous statement.

        Comments
        1. By Anonymous Coward () on

          What freedom was hurt? Does it change the political views of any involved party? No! If Theo needs money from DARPA to voice his opinion, that truely is sad.

          It's not the first time you've said that now..
          He needs the funding to voice his opinion? Or to gain media attention to do so? Wtf?

          The US isn't policing open source projects. Talk about twists...

          You missed the point, thereby twisting it further.

          Why shouldn't US money benefit the US? Should Canadian money not benefit Canada? What a ridiculous statement.

          Of course it should. But to withdraw on the basis that it's going to help someone else as well is somewhat backwards.

          Comments
          1. By Anonymous Coward () on

            He needs the funding to voice his opinion? Or to gain media attention to do so? Wtf?

            He used the media attention it received to voice his own opinions on the war (however appropriate it may or may not have been). DARPA didn't like it for some reason or another. Maybe they didn't like being mentioned in the same article with anti-war statements. Maybe they didn't like the publicity it was receiving. Whatever. Now, he is seeing the consequences of what he said. You however, seem to think without the money, Theo can no longer hold his current political views. He no longer has the freedom of speech because it was taken away from him. He can no longer voice his opinion or ideas. All that was taken away was money in which he had yet to receive in the first place. I was merely pointing out how ridiculous your statements are. His freedom wasn't hurt in the slightest way, and even to this point, no one has been able to show how it has been.

            ... but of course, there you are with your 50 copies of the latest Dixie Chicks CD in support of their freedom of speech too, aren't you? (You do know what I'm talking about don't you?)

            Of course it should. But to withdraw on the basis that it's going to help someone else as well is somewhat backwards

            Morally right or wrong, in a free society, you have the right to do business with whom you chose, government agency or not. Sure, also comes the issues of corrupt politicians/agencies, etc. That's not what we're talking about here. Government agencies tend to act in a manner which favors public view points, whether it be right or wrong.

            So let me ask everyone this... Why aren't press articles which are not in favor of Theo's cause not being posted on the press page? Does this mean Theo is not allowing people to express their freedom of speech? Or since it is Theo's property, etc, he has the right not to post them and not to associate with them? Given the situation, does he not have the moral responsibility not to twist the situation as he is? Ironic, no? Your viewpoint is now what Theo wants it to be. Congratulations! You're a sheep.

      2. By ZZZZZ () on

        ďFreedom's hurt when project funding is withdrawn on the trivial grounds of disagreeing with a project member's [unrelated?] opinions. Not that, if we're are referring to the quote I believe, it was even phrased unfavourably.Ē quoting AnonAndOnAndOn

        Please freedom is hurt only when the person is stop by physical means like being locked up. DARPA is a military agency and itís express charter is to find ways to better protect the US people Period. For this agency to fund projects that could help the Dictators or Communist powers should be disgusting idea to you people as much as it is to me. None of us in Canada and the US have ever been repressed or slaughter by the thousands. And to give these people free access to keep better secrecy should scare you because it empowers them to control their oppressed people far easier.

        And for government to stop funding for his project because his views are not exactly aligned with express interest of US is a ray of bull. The military has a history of casting out those that do not keep the interest of the US the highest priority.

        Yes every body benefits from an open society and free access to information but donít forget these people are using this against us right now.

        Oh btw calling me bushism is a bit of a stretch since I have thought this way long before Clinton was out of Office and I hated what that man was doing to the military and the giving away of advance research information to any who asked.

        Comments
        1. By none () on

          "Please freedom is hurt only when the person is stop by physical means like being locked up. "

          Interesting statement that is, I always though the contrary... Don't people who are physically oppressed hide themselves in their thoughs? Seeking a refuge where they still can keep the freedom, freedom of though.

          So if I deny you the right to vote, to talk, to express your view, I am not hurting your freedom? I know this is an exageration, but it shows my point...

          "For this agency to fund projects that could help the Dictators or Communist powers should be disgusting idea to you people as much as it is to me. "

          I agree, I find it discusting that dictators are helped, go say that to the US military branch that sold weapons to Saddam some time ago, as well as all the weapons sold to the Indonisean army to massacre the East Timore people... I believe these can do more damage than an industructable web server... as for the communists, it's just another form of government that has no implicit "evilness" (as this word is so popular these times...). And spare me the cold war propaganda...


          "Yes every body benefits from an open society and free access to information but donít forget these people are using this against us right now. "

          Examples?

  27. By Jay Jennings () jayj@murrayfranklyn.com on mailto:jayj@murrayfranklyn.com

    Donít tell Microsoft, if "Open Source enables terrorist nation-states"; next we will be hearing that buying Microsoft products is patriotic...

  28. By David Anderson () dave@unixhome.net on mailto:dave@unixhome.net

    I question the legitimacy of the logic in not supporting OpenBSD, or any BSD or open source for that mater.

    Open source is reviewed by tens of thousands of highly skilled people and can be fixed quickly because you have the source. Provided your not so politically driven not to have competent technical staff they can fix holes and bugs without waiting for a commercial vendor to supply a patch. For economics, the commercial vendor often denies the problems exist, but later will patch it when forced to.

    As for commercial source being secure, let me postulate that programmers are being harassed to produced source code quickly, programmers make mistakes like any one else. And when the commercial institution gets hacked, and even Microsoft with its talent, has been hacked, the source makes it out into the wild all the same.

    Or maybe the source makes it out into the wild from a privileged person on the political team...

    All the same, hackers are much like water. They flow though the easy cracks first.

    Any political person that is wise knows half the hosts on the internet are xNIX, the other have is a proprietary OS. My firewall logs say hackers are looking for the commercial OS. Basic 101 logic says their as a relationship.

    OpenBSD is not an easy crack.

    Dave

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