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Richard Stallman response to Boston Police efforts

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  1. ---------- Forwarded message ----------
  2. From: Richard Stallman <rms@gnu.org>
  3. Date: Fri, Apr 19, 2013 at 8:29 PM
  4. Subject: Re: [csail-related] Stay away from the space between Koch and 32
  5.  
  6. It is certainly possible to be "too cautious".  In the US, that's
  7. standard practice.  How else can one describe what they did today,
  8. paralyzing an entire large metropolitan area to search one
  9. neighborhood for a fugitive?  In the US, just say the word "terrorist"
  10. and lots of people start being way too cautious, and the TSA eats it
  11. up.
  12.  
  13. Please don't promote fear of shadows.  It was sheer luck that the
  14. shootout occurred near this building.  The bombers stole a car and
  15. drove away, so evidently they had no plan to come into Stata.  The
  16. people who hacked the doors were probably MIT people.  Maybe they
  17. consider the pox locks an injustice, as I do (which is why this
  18. particular lab member does NOT have the MIT pox card).
  19.  
  20. 4 people killed in a week is not a lot compared with the background
  21. level of deaths in the US.  It's not as many as in the Texas
  22. explosion.  Car accidents in the US kill around 100 people a day, and
  23. surely grievously injure hundreds more.  Every death or injury is a
  24. sad thing, but the fact is that many happen every day, and we should
  25. not let these few upset us disproportionally more than the others.
  26. Let's make an effort not to get bent out of shape about them, so that
  27. we can resist when people try to cite them as an excuse for tyranny.
  28. (This was already cited as a reason to vote for CISPA.  See
  29. http://www.alternet.org/civil-liberties/house-passes-privacy-killing-cybersecurity-bill-despite-white-house-veto-threat.)
  30.  
  31. As this week shows, chemical plants are the bigger danger.  It is
  32. straightforward to reduce the danger if only we had the political will
  33. to do it.  MIT people might be able to develop better monitoring
  34. technology for preventing these explosions -- it is one area in which
  35. "the Internet of things" might do good without violating any human
  36. being's privacy.
  37.  
  38. --
  39. Dr Richard Stallman
  40. President, Free Software Foundation
  41. 51 Franklin St
  42. Boston MA 02110
  43. USA
  44. www.fsf.org  www.gnu.org
  45. Skype: No way! That's nonfree (freedom-denying) software.
  46.   Use Ekiga or an ordinary phone call
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