Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Privacy The Internet Your Rights Online

John Gilmore interviewed by Greplaw 164

Posted by CowboyNeal
from the spam-and-liberty dept.
mpawlo writes "I have just published another one of those Greplaw interviews. This time, John Gilmore had the courtesy of answering a wide range of questions on various subjects such as terrorism and security, spam blocking, censorship, secret laws in airports and of course - sarongs. Gilmore starts: 'I'm a civil libertarian millionaire eccentric.' Enjoy!"
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

John Gilmore interviewed by Greplaw

Comments Filter:
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 19, 2004 @07:55PM (#10018493)
    Who isn't these days?!
  • greplaw? (Score:5, Funny)

    by jargoone (166102) * on Thursday August 19, 2004 @07:57PM (#10018510)
    Not powerful enough. Give me egreplaw any day of the week.
  • (let me just say, that I am a tech support employee and Mr. Gilmore is inspiration people like me need to keep striving beyond tech support's internship to a technology career).

    ****BEGIN ARTILE TEXT****

    # Who is John Gilmore?

    I'm a civil libertarian millionaire eccentric. I started out in my teens as a middle-class programmer, worked my way up to senior technical jobs, then learned business in Silicon Valley. A combination of luck and skill brought me through several successful startup companies and gave m
    • by Anonymous Coward
      I've read many reviews of John. He is brilliant! He knows how to uphold the law theory "all are equal and equally under the law", which United States currently doesn't like to admit. John knows how to use their laws against them. Civil libertarian is somewhat a stretch; John is more of a Jeffersonian, or sometimes known as a Christian Anarchist. If anyone out there dislikes or even enjoys Eric S. Raymond, this John is the gapstop that keeps people together within reason.

      PS: Moderators!
      *Before you kno
      • He has some good insights in some areas, but in others he comes off as an opinionated jerk. yes, there are problems with centralized anti-spam. But the problem is the *spam*. The sheer weight and cost are one of the biggest 3 or 4 problems the internet faces right now. By his logic we should get rid of the police forces as well (granted that some of them need a revamp!) Then he can decide, when 50 people all jump him to take his millions, which of them he doesn't mind being stabbed by.
        • Remember, you're talking about a guy who is so dead-set against anti-spammers that he runs an open relay (blocklisted to hell and back, of course. Blocked here, in fact, until the heat death of the universe, or WindowsXP is GPLed.)

          There's nothing wrong with standing up for your principles, but he crosses into k00k territory by aiding the problem just to spite the best solutions we've[tinw] come up with so far.
    • See his posting history
      'nuff said
    • by killjoe (766577) on Thursday August 19, 2004 @09:18PM (#10018913)
      "Terrorism is now defined as force applied for political reasons by people other than the US Government."

      THis should read.

      "Terrorism is now defined as force applied for political reasons by people other than the US or the Israeli Government."

      Thank you.
      • Nope. The correct wording is now:

        "Terrorism is now defined as force applied for political reasons by people other than any government included in the secret amendment to this regulation."
      • "Terrorism is now defined as force applied for political reasons by people other than the US or the Israeli Government."

        wait, that is redundant. Isn't the US government a branch of the Israeli Government?

        (that was a joke. We know it is the other way around.)

  • by ElForesto (763160) <elforesto AT gmail DOT com> on Thursday August 19, 2004 @08:06PM (#10018561) Homepage
    Here I am thinking I'm the only one that argues what he's arguing. The right to travel *IS* fundamental to a free society, IDs and driver's licenses be damned! I'm glad someone with money gets it (meaning that he has the means to do something about it other than speak up).
    • by Anonymous Coward
      driver's licenses be damned!

      Slow down, cowboy. Neither you or I were born with a-priori knowledge of how to drive a car. Licensing programs for operators of vehicles on public roads are not a restraint on freedom of movement.

      • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 19, 2004 @09:32PM (#10018985)
        It is, because it's *prior* restraint. No one is saying that you have the right to drive dangerously. Neither do you have a right to wield a stick in a way that endangers others. But you don't need a license to have a stick, do you? If you drive dangerously then you are guilty of reckless endangerment, and you can be prosecuted and convicted by a jury. If you are NOT driving dangerously, then you are exercising a right. Permit = permission = not a right.
        • by Anonymous Coward
          Except that the first mistake is liable to be fatal.

          Personally, I think a large percentage of the people driving should lose their right to drive, because they can't seem to do it in a way that doesn't endanger or unduly impose on other drivers. Taking away licensing requirements would only make this worse. Does anyone have statistics on how much the economy loses to traffic every day? Some traffic is legit (construction), but a lot of it is caused by people who just refuse to drive reasonably.

          Now, consid
          • by Anonymous Coward
            "It seems pretty reasonable to me."

            You want utilitarian government. One that reduces your risk not only of injustice, but also from chance events. The end you are after is reasonable. And, in fact, it is *reasonable* to desire to restrict the freedom of others in order to achieve it. But not all reasonable desires are morally acceptible.

            I may, for example, desire to shoot an intruder in my home the first chance I get. But doing that before I even determine that he poses a physical threat to me is not righ
          • by Anonymous Coward
            It does no good to try to argue with a stupid libertarian on issues like drivers licenses on why it should be required "Like to help prevent deaths, remember, all it would take is one idiot that has poor vision and can't understand the rules of the road and cause a 50 Car pile-up on the interstate causing 25-50 deaths". Remember the fact that liberarianism=Dog-Eat-Dog/Survival-Of-The-Fittest .

            The funniest thing about the Libertarian party is that the talk out of both sides of their mouths. They claim th
      • I think this whole drivers license showing identity argument has gotten a little out of hand. Licensing people to drive vehicles (vehicles that can be dangerous) is a good thing for society. I view driving as a priviledge not a right.

        What I take from John Gilmore arguments, is that people should not be arbitrarily identified just because they are walking down the street or stepping on a plane. In a supposedly "free" societ you don't need a license to walk down a street, and you don't need a license to sit

    • by Anonymous Coward
      The one problem with applying this logic to driving is the idea of qualification. When one is flying, one is not in control, therefore, it does not need to be known whether or not a passenger can fly. When one is driving, one is in control. Thus, to ensure the safety of others, it seems necessary to have some sort of system of ensuring qualification to drive. Now, one might argue that the same can be applied to bicycles, but cars are much more dangerous (higher speeds, larger mass, etc.). If an alterna
      • How about making it illegal for anyone to be required to show their driver's license unless they are being charged with violating a law? Add in prohibiting individuals or businesses from using a driver's license for any purpose other than determining if the person is qualified to drive a vehicle (e.g. when renting a car, or employing someone who will be driving as part of their job). Same thing should go for Social Security Number - it should ONLY be used for administering the Social Security program. No

    • by jcr (53032) <jcr@mac. c o m> on Thursday August 19, 2004 @09:34PM (#10018998) Journal
      Speaking of drivers' licenses, I've always liked John's idea of a driver's license which was NOT an ID. It would prove that the person presenting it was the person who had passed the driver's test, but would not identify that person further.

      -jcr
      • I have always believed that freedom=responsibility, so the more freedom you have, the more responsible you must be for your actions. Accountability is part of this.

        I don't want the police to start searching my house without a warrant, but I have no problem with the requirement of presenting identification when you are driving any vehicle under 25,000 pounds (standard license). To me, this is common sense.

        Don't mean to harsh, but if someone wants to "live off the grid" and not have an id/dl then they sho
        • by Anonymous Coward
          If it can be taken away *before* you abuse it, it isn't a right, it's a privilege.

          Travel on the public right-of-way, via common conveyances of the time (which right now includes cars) is not a privilege. This has been upheld in numerous court cases: http://www.dlois.com/realtruth/right_to_drive.htm [dlois.com].

          Driving is a right, which means you don't need a permit. Permit = permission, and you don't need permission to exercise a right. That's what a right *is*.
        • I believe the point of contention is what the government can do and what others can do.

          For example, if you want to live off the grid, you can't expect to get credit. The companies that grant credit want information (credit history) that other companies collect. You don't have to buy into that system if you don't want the benefit.

          On the other hand, it's not as simple as walking or biking to avoid having to ID yourself. There was a recent case where a man was arrested for refusing to show ID and he was a
      • I've always liked John's idea of a driver's license which was NOT an ID. It would prove that the person presenting it was the person who had passed the driver's test, but would not identify that person further.

        We call those non-photo drivers licenses...you may still get one in Vermont and several Canadian provinces (New Brunswick and Quebec, perhaps a few others.) You may also get one with a bona fide relgious objection in many states, but as we know, that goes back and forth.

        To this day, the most non-ph
        • by Feztaa (633745) on Friday August 20, 2004 @03:29AM (#10020360) Homepage
          I would have figured it the other way around, as a non-named ID. Think about it: if you have an ID without a photo, somebody could easily steal that and claim to be you. But if you just had an ID with your photo and the note "this person has passed the driver's test in state/province X", with no other identifying information, that would be proof that you are licensed to drive, without actually identifying yourself.

          Of course, it'll never happen. But it's a nice thought.
          • As I said in another post, law enforcement goes ahead and checks the vehicle registration information, so anonymity at the traffic stop really isn't possible (though a photo license that only had a driver's license number could possibly have a use. In fact, here in Ohio, I've been working on getting a bill to remove your birth date and/or your home address off your license card, which is several steps closer to the photo license card that's anonyous.)

            Well, I think that anonymity at the traffic stop is poss
        • I've always liked John's idea of a driver's license which was NOT an ID.

          We call those non-photo drivers licenses...

          You have got that exactly wrong.

          The license you're talking about says, "There exists a John Smith of 22 Mockingbird Lane who is licensed to drive," but doesn't help the cop know whether you are that person. Hence it doesn't say whether you are licensed to drive, unless you establish your claim to that name and address. That's less privacy for you, and less security, too, since your lice

          • You have got that exactly wrong....Hence it doesn't say whether you are licensed to drive, unless you establish your claim to that name and address. That's less privacy for you, and less security, too, since your license is more worth stealing.

            Not true. A non-photo license has the basic description of the person (height, weight, eye color) that helps in identifying the person.

            Non-photo license fraud in New Jersey is entirely unheard of--even though the document could be photocopied on a color copier. The
  • Judge Kafka? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by orthogonal (588627) on Thursday August 19, 2004 @08:24PM (#10018647) Journal
    From the linked interview, on the subject of secret airport laws: (emphasis orthogonal's) "[i]t even worked at the District Court; our judge decided that if she couldn't see the law then it must by definition be constitutional (she ruled that I had no possible way to show it is unconstitutional)."

    Is this the United States the Founding Fathers built, or Stalinism by way of Kafka?
  • Rights (Score:3, Insightful)

    by t_allardyce (48447) on Thursday August 19, 2004 @08:24PM (#10018650) Journal
    Never mind sarongs, what about the banning of thongs in Florida and Louisiana!! this is going to far by the righteous far right.
    • Re:Rights (Score:5, Funny)

      by Tirinal (667204) on Thursday August 19, 2004 @08:46PM (#10018766)
      Never mind sarongs, what about the banning of thongs in Florida and Louisiana!! this is going to far by the righteous far right.

      Obviously you're not thinking this through. With the current banning of thongs in two major states the resulting surplus will no doubt follow the third fundamental law of fashion: "Anything deemed unwearable by the religious right will surface within two weeks in San Francisco like a tidal wave."

      Given the concentration of techies in the Bay Area, I'd say we have something to look forward to.
    • Don't wear anything. Legions of naked pasty dorks will certainly change their mind.
    • Why on earth would you want to ban these thongs? [hopesmom.com]



      For those not in the know, this is what we call THONGS in the Land of Oz.

    • thongs banned in louisiana? I live here, and there's plenty of thongs mind you ...
      • "I don't relish the idea of seeing the beginning of people's pubic hair," Westwego City Councilman Glenn Green told the House Criminal Justice Committee on Thursday.
        "I don't relish seeing the beginning of the crease of people's buttocks. And I don't enjoy watching young men letting their sexual organs show through their red or black silk underwear," Green said.
        Green argued that, if government can dictate what children wear to school and when they have to be off the streets, government should be able to ban
  • Deadhead (Score:2, Insightful)

    Which brings me to the belief that I have had that if every deadhead in this country voted this would be a different place. I can't emphasize how important it is that everyone votes. Please in the national election, everybody cast a vote. Bush won by having less than 60% of eligible voters vote and then only a marginal majority of those choose him.
    • Re:Deadhead (Score:1, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward
      I smoke pot, drop acid, have eaten shrooms more times than I can even remember (Hmm.. there might be a connection there!) and I am a voting republican.

      We're out here. Just thought you might like to know.
      • ...and I am a voting republican.

        Don't worry, he'll be so high in the voting booth he won't be able to figure out which candidate is the republican.

      • why? do you actually want to criminalize your own recreational activities, or have you not been reading up on your party's stance on some issues?

        you might want to check out the libertarian party... assuming you don't like being in prison.
    • Been hearing so much about the Bush vs. Kerry thing that it is getting rediculous. If Bush is gone and Kerry is in - what does that do? Titanic deck chairs come to mind. The problem is with the two party system and the Repubican-Democrats are not the ones to be elected.
      • But if all the deadheads voted there might be enough voters to at least allow a third party to compete with the two major parties. Ralph Nader needs 5% in this election to get government funding for his party next time around, he's above 5% in the polls right now and if he keeps that then maybe, just maybe, we can look for a good run from the third parties in 2008.
        • Come on - be realistic here! Ralph Nader! Is this the same Nader that belongs to the same clubs as the Bush's? You assume that he would be all that different. I think it would be almost impossible to have someone that actually thought differently to be able to run for office in the US. Negative thinking I know but until the electorate actually wakes up it is a lost cause.
    • Bush won by having less than 60% of eligible voters vote and then only a marginal majority of those choose him. No, a marginal minority of those chose him. Gore got more votes, but didn't have a conveniently placed brother.
      • Thanks for that correction. It was a majority in the electoral college, but I was talking about the popular and maid the incorrect comparison. Thanks.
  • wrong wrong wrong (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 19, 2004 @08:35PM (#10018717)
    "The drug war is an ugly, corrupt set of policies that were bad when Nixon set it in motion to bash the hippie students who were hounding his ass out of office."

    the drug war was first created to get returning GI's , from vietnam off of heroin and originally focused on treatment over criminalization. Of course later Nixon was forced by the right to increase the drug war's focus on criminalization. Oh yeah just as an aside the hippies did not force nixon out of office...he won both terms of his presidency. It was his own criminal activities that forced him out of office....not a bunch of inefectual hippies. They had nothing to do with ending the vietnam war and nothing to do with forcing nixon out of office.

    Guys like this, history revisionist, asshole really make it hard for libertarian minded people to support ending the drug war. I mean any time i say the drug war is a waste of money regularly open minded people close thier doors to the idea becouse they have heard all the other consperiacy bullshit guys like this asshole have heaped on to a fairly straight forward argument. What is the saying "With freinds like this who needs enemies"

    stendec@gmail.com
    • Re:wrong wrong wrong (Score:1, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward
      The drug war was started with the 1970 Omnibus Drug Act, not your revisionist theory of Vietnam veterans needing to smack smack.

      Nixon is firmly responsible.
    • Re:wrong wrong wrong (Score:5, Informative)

      by commodoresloat (172735) on Thursday August 19, 2004 @11:05PM (#10019385)
      You're right that Nixon's drug war emphasized treatment over criminalization, at least compared to the Reagan/Bush/Clinton/Bush drug war. But you're wrong that Nixon didn't see the drug war as a way to bash the hippies. He did, and he said so to his cabinet, as many of his tapes record. They also record that he thought the hippies were in league with the commies and the Jews on this. When you bash the "conspiracy bullshit" coming from the hippies you might at least compare it to the extreme paranoid "conspiracy bullshit" of their main enemy here.
  • Earlier interview (Score:4, Informative)

    by hotspotbloc (767418) on Thursday August 19, 2004 @08:58PM (#10018831) Homepage Journal
    Last August [reason.com] John Gilmore was on the cover of and interviewed [reason.com] in Reason. Good reading from a great magazine [reason.com].
  • by bodrell (665409) on Thursday August 19, 2004 @10:19PM (#10019200) Journal
    I'm glad someone is working on this problem. I'm just a card-carrying ACLU member, but if I had Gilmore's resources I'd love to challenge a few laws. Like the right to not be annexed. Isn't that taxation without representation? Reagan blew so many holes in the Bill of Rights, someone has to reverse those precedents. We now have almost no protection against illegal search and seizure. States' rights are practically non-existent (especially here in Oregon, where Ashcroft has swooped down multiple times--to threaten physicians re. the state's assisted suicide law, and also to rattle a saber about medical marijuana issues).

    Arrgh. Now I'm all riled up.

    Join the ACLU [aclu.org]. It's safer than direct action against "the Man."

    • Hey, I agree with you that the ACLU is a great organization, but I've had some interesting arguments with John about them -- he doesn't like the ACLU because of their support for gun control, which is one of the reasons I support them.

      Baby or bathwater? We distort, you decide. Some of our opinions and priorities are different, but John's arguments are always well thought out and interesting.

      -Don

      • I also (like John, not yourself) have a problem with the ACLU's stance on gun control. In my opinion, they ought to be protecting all civil liberties. It has been shown numerous times that gun control sets the stage for genocide. I stumbled upon an interesting book written by Jews for the Preservation of Firearms Ownership [jpfo.org] which convinced at least two of my friends to revise their stances on gun control. Their mission statement:

        Those are the twin goals of Wisconsin-based Jews for the Preservation of

        • We were eating dinner at a restraunt once, and John Gilmore ordered some crab soup. I teased him that I considered crabs to be insects, and he wasn't supposed to eat insects because he was a vegetarian.

          I was all ready to launch an emotional defense of my indefensible biologically revisionist opinion about crabs being insects, but John headed me off at the pass: he said "Insects are The Enemy, so we Must Eat Them!"

          Gilmore has radical ideas about Insect Control. We agree on the general principles, but d

          • We were eating dinner at a restraunt once, and John Gilmore ordered some crab soup. I teased him that I considered crabs to be insects, and he wasn't supposed to eat insects because he was a vegetarian.

            It's very hard to convey tone via written word alone, so I apologize if I'm missing something . . . but why would it be acceptable for a vegetarian to eat a crab, but not an insect?

            Gilmore has radical ideas about Insect Control. We agree on the general principles, but disagree about how to go about imple

  • ... his idea about being a suspect because you get searched at an airport is pure idiocy. There are two choices:
    • Search people randomly, and people will complain that they're being treated like "suspects"
    • Search likely suspects, and civil liberties types (like Gilmore himself) will complain that you're racially profiling people

    . Not only that, but "innocent until proven guilty" - what's proof of guilt, a SUCCESSFUL hijacking?? Hey Sherlock, too late once it's proven, what you gonna do, call 911 at 30,000 fee

  • This quote is from the article, from the answer to the "What is this I hear about secret laws in airports" question:

    So how can they apply a "no government photo ID, no flying" rule to me, but not her? By keeping the details of the law secret, that's how. It even worked at the District Court; our judge decided that if she couldn't see the law then it must by definition be constitutional (she ruled that I had no possible way to show it is unconstitutional).

    If I understood this correctly, this means th

It is impossible to enjoy idling thoroughly unless one has plenty of work to do. -- Jerome Klapka Jerome

Working...