LWN: Alan Cox Resigns from ALS Committee, "Maddog" Hall Disagrees
Jul 20, 2001, 20:39 (100 Talkback[s])
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Alan Cox writes:
"I hereby tender my resignation to the Usenix ALS
With the arrest of Dimitry Sklyarov it has become apparent that
it is not safe for non US software engineers to visit the United
States. While he was undoubtedly chosen for political reasons as a
Russian is a good example for the US public the risk extends
Usenix by its choice of a US location is encouraging other
programmers, many from eastern european states hated by the US
government to take the same risks. That is something I cannot
morally be part of. Who will be the next conference speaker slammed
into a US jail for years for committing no crime? Are usenix
prepared to take the chance it will be their speakers?"
Jon "Maddog" Hall responds:
"...Your decision to boycott the ALS event is certainly
yours to make, and I deeply regret the situation that caused you to
However, to chose ALS as the focus of your first message on this
I feel is a little unfair, particularly with the recent steps that
USENIX has taken to working with the EFF to defend the rights of
University professors to publish their research works around DCMA.
These professors were threatened with suit by various large
companies, and through the efforts of EFF and USENIX, these
companies are now backing down from their suits.
...As I said, your right to leave the ALS program committee, or
even to urge others to boycott US events is yours to make, and I
support your right to make it. Your points about other developers
(foreign or otherwise) who have violated US laws in their coding is
probably more than valid.
I do, however, ask that you direct your venom to those who
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