The anti-SSSCA movement is building steam rapidly this
week as an online petition directed at lawmakers garners over 7,000
signatures in a little over three weeks. "I'm hoping Congress will
understand that the average person thinks the government forcing
policeware on their computers is un-American and downright wrong,
and that supporting the SSSCA will hurt them when they run for
re-election," says Don Pavlish, the mastermind behind the petition
and a new Web site called StopPoliceWare.org.
The potential SSSCA (Security Systems Standards and
Certification Act) legislation is a serious threat to Open Source
operating systems. As reported by NewsForge last week, it could
outlaw Linux because it calls for proprietary copy-protection
standards that wouldn't fly with the GPL.
"Millions of Linux users would be turned into federal felons
overnight," Pavlish says. "The devastating impact on the Open
Source community cannot be overstated. Thousands of administrators,
programmers, developers and others would lose their jobs." And
since Open Source software runs most of the Internet, outlawing it
would "turn the 'Net into just another playground for big
corporations that could afford the license fees."