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F & F


Freenet Creator To Leave USA
posted by mpawlo on Monday August 11, @07:50AM
from the is-this-for-real dept.
Civil Liberties In a comment on Slashdot, Freenet creator Mr Ian Clarke announced he has decided to leave the USA. Freenet is a 'A Distributed Decentralised Information Storage and Retrieval System' used by citizens of oppressive regimes to retreive information from all over the world. Mr Clarke made his decision following a former Intel engineer pleading guilty to Taliban aid. Mr Cory Doctorow comments on Mr Clarke's decision:

'America is losing an important thinker and toolsmith in Ian (and no doubt, many other Ians are being scared off without the same fanfare). It's a shame that he violated Godwin's Law when he wrote his goodbye letter, as it gives those who would distract us from the real issue here a handy red herring to toss into the fray, i.e., pointless arguments about the appropriateness of a comparison to Nazi Germany.'

Read the Slashdot comment by Mr Clarke.

Read Mr Cory Doctorow's take on Mr Clarke's decision.

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  • Intel
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  • a former Intel engineer pleading guilty to Taliban aid
  • Godwin's Law
  • Read the Slashdot comment by Mr Clarke
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  • More on Civil Liberties
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    Freenet Creator To Leave USA | Login/Create an Account | Top | 1 comments | Search Discussion
    The Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not responsible for them in any way.
    Godwin's Law is not a Red Herring in this case (Score:2, Insightful)
    by Ernest_Miller on Tuesday August 12, @01:09AM (#1029)
    User #525 Info
    Ian left the USA, apparently over concerns regarding the status of civil liberties. This is not some mere flame war, but an individual who has taken a drastic step. To call Ian's claims about 1930's Germany a "red herring" is to trivialize Ian's actions.

    If one calls Bush or Ashcroft a "Nazi" in some blog posting about some outrage or another, but does little else, that is most likely an example of Godwin's Law. However, to actually act on that position and leave the country (as one should have either fought the Nazis or left Germany) is not an example of Godwin's Law. Either Ian's drastic action (and implicit call to action by others) is justified in the current climate or it is not.

    After all, if the civil liberties climate is such that it is a justified action to flee the USA and seek refuge in Europe, then we should take the issue quite seriously. It is one thing to talk about "Nazi Germany" in the context of file-sharing or filtering, it is another to speak of it in the context of people leaving the country because of fears regarding civil liberties.

    Doctorow is wrong. This isn't a red herring, but the crux of the matter.

    On the other hand, perhaps Ian's actions should be trivialized.

    Humanity has the stars in its future, and that future is too important to be lost under the burden of juvenile folly and ignorant superstition. - Isaac Asimov

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