[Dailydave] Neal Stephenson, the EFF and Exploit Sales

Haroon Meer haroon at thinkst.com
Tue Aug 14 10:02:18 EDT 2012


In general there is a really strange myopia (by some) around this
"cyber weapon" discussion. A few voices (who might just be getting a
little too comfortable talking to the press from their positions atop
horses (that are high)) appear to be confusing what is morally
offensive to them, with what should be enforced for all.

There have been a few calls to tar-and-feather the organizations
selling spying software to despots (which seems instinctively right)
but the arguments are made by people who usually love and promote
open-source software. Despots can't (pay people to) run make ?

This sounds flippent but i think raises important points that these
people seem to be missing:

a) We promote open source software. (Wireshark rocks, and moxie rocks
for releasing ssl-strip!)
b) We raise hell when company-X sells interception software to despots
c) We convince governments to step in. Kill company-X (cause they gave
software to despots)
d) Mission Accomplished! (but wait.. turns out the "bad guys" are
using wireshark / sslstrip too)
e) Govt legislators say: "no worries guys.. we will stop that nasty
FLOSS stuff the way we stopped company-X"
f) oh!

Calling for government intervention sounds scary as hell and seems
like a nudge in a direction few of us would want to go towards..


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