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RMS, Aaron Swartz Among 2013 Internet Hall of Fame Inductees 118

gnujoshua writes "The Internet Hall of Fame inducted 32 new members, today. This years class had a number of 'policy innovators' and activists including Aaron Swartz (posthumous), John Perry Barlow, Jimmy Wales, and Richard M. Stallman. Stallman had this to say upon his induction: 'Now that we have made the Internet work, the next task is to stop it from being a platform for massive surveillance, and make it work in a way that respects human rights, including privacy.'"
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RMS, Aaron Swartz Among 2013 Internet Hall of Fame Inductees

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  • RMS named (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 26, 2013 @03:04PM (#44115869)

    I think the world is actually finally reaching a more dire version of the 2010 panel of this xkcd: https://xkcd.com/743/ [xkcd.com]

    • by Anonymous Coward

      It was reached a long time ago, but we're finally starting to realize it. Where are all the smug "chicken little" accusations now?

      • by brit74 ( 831798 )
        How about this: open source software would've fixed NOTHING. The spying that's going on is on the network, it's not because you kept using Microsoft Word.
        • Re:RMS named (Score:5, Insightful)

          by kthreadd ( 1558445 ) on Wednesday June 26, 2013 @05:18PM (#44117141)

          How to you know that Microsoft Word doesn't spy on you? Do you have the source code?

          • How to you know that Microsoft Word doesn't spy on you?

            Let me ask you this: how do you know that God doesn't exist? It's a stupid question because it's very difficult to proof the lack of an existence of something. Rather, the appropriate way to phrase the question is simply: how do you know that God exists? You have to prove your case, not get others to disprove it.

            Likewise: how do you know that Microsoft Word is spying on you? The burden of proof is on you to show this is happening. You make the point tha

          • by Xest ( 935314 )

            Because it's trivial to detect outbound data transfer.

            Seriously it's like the same argument with Microsoft using Kinect in the new XBox to spy on you - you think people wouldn't be able to detect a video/audio stream sent from their console? You think you can make this kind of data transfer magically invisible on the network?

            You may not control the software, you may not even control the hardware, but most people control the equipment those things have to pass through to get to their destinations. Even if th

  • by Anonymous Coward

    What is this? Is this seriously a thing now? Who gave the people in charge the authority for this? Or is it just another group of old white guys sitting around congratulating themselves on being rich?

    • by Anonymous Coward

      That's progressive, activist, old white guys. Thanks.

      In short, it's old hippies who don't see the irony.

    • How can it be serious? They added RMS.
  • by hazeii ( 5702 ) on Wednesday June 26, 2013 @03:19PM (#44116005) Homepage

    >Stallman had this to say upon his induction: 'Now that we have made the Internet work, the next task is to stop it from being a platform for massive surveillance, and make it work in a way that respects human rights, including privacy.'"

    In retrospect, it would have been neat to have written that kind of thing into the GPL (the spooks would have run Windows servers instead, and our privacy would be safe if we used anything more complex than ROT13).

    • by tnk1 ( 899206 )

      The GPL would somehow stop the NSA?

      Not seeing it.

    • by LordLimecat ( 1103839 ) on Wednesday June 26, 2013 @03:54PM (#44116367)

      and our privacy would be safe if we used anything more complex than ROT13)

      I like the naieve implication that the NSA is somehow incompetent. Recall that the original AES spec was amended with a recommendation from the NSA which was determined, around 10 years later, to have substantially strengthened it against just-now-being-discovered cryptographic attacks. Recall that the NSA is largely responsible for SELinux.

      Im sure there are other examples of their competence which escape it, but needless to say they arent exactly bumbling; theres every indication that some of the best security folks in the industry work @ the NSA.

      • by hazeii ( 5702 )

        That's not what I was implying.

      • by Xest ( 935314 )

        Yet their dirty secrets were spread far and wide by Edward Snowden, and that's the reality.

        They no doubt do have some absolute geniuses working for them but it only takes one bumbling manager to fuck it all up by saying something they shouldn't, or by mandating that their secrets should be accessible way beyond sensible levels of security. The fact a low level contractor at a 3rd party company had so much access to NSA secrets is evidence of that.

        Security is always limited by the weakest link and it's no di

    • The GPL would stop government spooks trained in illegal activities from doing illegal spooky stuff? I had not realized the superpower that GPL had.

  • "the next task is to stop it from being a platform for massive surveillance, and make it work in a way that respects human rights, including privacy"

    Good. Is everybody now aware of the difference between warrantless, untracked government surveillance, and Amazon putting you into a list of potential Depends buyers?

  • Jimmy Wales
    Fueled the user collaboration and sharing trend as founder of Wikipedia

    Uh, what the hell?

  • by hojo ( 94118 ) on Wednesday June 26, 2013 @03:29PM (#44116099) Homepage

    In my idealistic youth, I thought of him as a programming God.

    As I grew older, I began regarding him as more of a cranky old, "get off my lawn", impractical hard liner.

    Now, with the whole NSA/Snowden revelations, I realize I was wrong to be complacent. He has reverted to deity status for me.

    • by tnk1 ( 899206 ) on Wednesday June 26, 2013 @03:47PM (#44116285)

      I'm not sure what you think has changed. Unless you didn't already realize the NSA was doing this unlike the other 95% of the population did.

      We knew it already and still ignored him, because in the end, no one cares. They *say* they care, but they don't.

      In fact, at this point, I'd put even money on the assertion that the only reason anyone is even talking about this is because the media is telling us to care about it. You know, it's sort of like Jim Carrey figuring out he didn't like violence AFTER Newtown, but somehow having amnesia about Columbine, Virginia Tech, and well... just about every other act of violence before that.

      Were you wrong to be complacent? Maybe. Did *this* make you wrong? I don't see why it would. As far as can be told, other than finding out some details, you're still living in the same world you were complacent about a couple of months ago.

      I'm already working to figure out how many weeks it will be after Snowden is either caught, or safely in Ecuador, before everyone stops caring again.

      • In fact, at this point, I'd put even money on the assertion that the only reason anyone is even talking about this is because the media is telling us to care about it.

        Really? The coverage I have seen is focused almost exclusively on "the hunt for Eric Snowden" and takes very little time to discuss the substantive issues raised by his revelations--chiefly that most of our privacy has been a facade for the better part of a decade. I was never that cynical before this, so congratulations for being the first ones to believe something was amiss.

        • by tnk1 ( 899206 )

          They've spent a fair amount of time looking at those implications already, I'd say. That they have moved on to the "action movie" drama that is unfolding only makes perfect sense for the news media.

          I still am shocked to find people who believe that there was some sort of privacy "facade" out there. Don't you guys know what the capabilities of the NSA are? Have we not already heard of things like tapping Soviet undersea cables, ECHELON, and other fun toys?

          Nothing has changed with this admission if you've

          • Nothing has changed with this admission if you've been paying attention for the last twenty years or longer. They've always had the ability to spy on us. The fact that no one has actually shown that this has been abused in any way leads me to wonder how anyone, on sober reflection, could believe anything has changed at all.

            Suspicion-free spying on every American doesn't count as "Abuse" in your book? What would they have to do to actually abuse their power based on your definition?

            Prior to this the facade of "innocent until proven guilty" and "the 4th Amendment" still applying existed. Just because they had the capability to spy on us didn't automatically mean they were--only a paranoid nutter believes everybody is out to get them without any actual evidence that they are. Ironically, it seems that, in fact, by shutting down

        • by Xest ( 935314 )

          To be fair the BBC at least has had a number of articles such as "What could they know about me?" and that sort of thing so it's not all media outlets that have been ignoring the questions the revelation raises.

    • Its possible for a fanatic with no perspective to make good points. Hes still living in his own little world where all software should be created by publicly supported, roaming gypsy programmers.

      FOSS can be valuable, useful, and desirable without it being necessary (or even desirable) that it be the only option.

    • by cinky ( 2632165 )
      but he is a cranky old, "get off my lawn", impractical hard liner. What exactly would be the difference if we did it the "RMS way"?
  • Not that I agree completely with him on many topics, the idea about stopping the Internet from being a massive surveillance mechanism seems like a good idea...

    • by brit74 ( 831798 )
      Thank God that Stallman is around to tell us this novel and enlightening idea. Or maybe he was just repeating what a million other people have already said.
  • Why Aaron Swartz? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward

    I hate to do this, but I have to question the inclusion of Aaron Swartz.

    Yes, what happened to the young man is a tragedy. But a 'Hall of Fame' should be for people with actual accomplishments. All Swartz did was get himself into trouble, and instead of enduring his legal difficulties he decided to commit suicide. That's a symbol of cowardice, not heroism.

    Should naive activists who are cowardly in the face of oppression be considered for any Hall of Fame?

    • by Bengie ( 1121981 )
      Suicide is not cowardice, it's either a mental disorder or logical. Probably a bit of grey in between those two.
    • Should naive commentators who are anonymously cowardly in the face of Slashdot be considered for any mod points?

    • by UltraZelda64 ( 2309504 ) on Wednesday June 26, 2013 @04:13PM (#44116545)

      1. The guy had depression. You don't fuck with depression. The government did, until he could finally take no more. If you knew fucking *anything* about depression, then you might have even the slightest clue of how he must have felt. Hint: It's not a happy feeling.
      2. Yes, he got into trouble with a ridiculous federal law, and was made an example of by people in power who were had more greed than anything, wanting to utterly destroy his life just for a bit of fame and fortune on their end. In the end, their plan backfired--and deservedly so.
      3. Enduring his legal difficulties? I'm pretty sure just before his suicide *ALL* hope for a reduced prison sentence was thrown out the window in Ortiz's infinite wisdom, meaning "enduring his legal difficulties" would be "stuck behind bars for 35 years or so." He hung in there for a couple years until the U.S. removed all hope.
      4. The whole treatment the government gave him opened the eyes of a lot of people on the corrupt joke of the U.S. "justice" system, and in the end he has done the world a service on that alone. Changes are still likely to come, thanks to him.

    • Re:Why Aaron Swartz? (Score:4, Informative)

      by TeknoHog ( 164938 ) on Wednesday June 26, 2013 @05:28PM (#44117245) Homepage Journal

      Swartz was involved in the development of the web feed format RSS, the organization Creative Commons, the website framework web.py and the social news site Reddit

      This is just from the summary that doesn't fully capture the range of his contributions, so you might want to read some more [wikipedia.org].

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Yeah, the inclusion of Swartz shows you right there this is a political game. They want to make a statement. I guess all of these judged honors are political to some extent, but this is clearly on the "highly political" end.

      I think it's unfortunate because it might give other young people the incentive to follow Swartz's example. It was a terrible precedent and it's irresponsible for adults to reward that behavior. Aaron Swartz died for what... so people won't have to pay for what seems to be inflated s

  • by Anonymous Coward

    How can they expect to be taken seriously as an institution when they have repeatedly denied membership to internet pioneers such as Goatse Man and Ceiling Cat? And their refusal to adopt "You're the man now, dog" as their slogan is outrageous.

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  • I've got mod points today, and I figured that a good use of them would be beating the Stallmanite trolls into submission, who I knew would be infesting this thread. Unfortunately, there are far too many of them to be stopped by a measly five points.

    The vitriol directed towards Aaron Swartz, additionally, is nothing short of disgusting. Until someone is able to offer me concrete proof to the contrary, I am going to continue to believe that Swartz was the victim of assassination by the American government.

  • Did I understand this correctly? RMS, Wales and Barlow has got in recently, so they are less famous then some guys have already been inducted, but I don't know any of them. Self appointed hall of fame?

God doesn't play dice. -- Albert Einstein