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Crime GNU is Not Unix

RMS Robbed of Passport and Other Belongings In Argentina 386

Posted by timothy
from the low-and-despicable dept.
New submitter Progman3K writes "Richard Stallman, father of the FSF, had his bag containing his laptop, medicine, money and passport stolen after his talk at the University of Buenos Aires on Friday, June 8." Adds reader jones_supa, excerpting from the same linked story: "As a result of this occurrence, he was forced to cancel his talk in Cordoba, and it's still unknown how this will impact the rest of his speaking engagements throughout the world."
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RMS Robbed of Passport and Other Belongings In Argentina

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  • by Hentes (2461350) on Sunday June 10, 2012 @09:25AM (#40273969)

    So, did he use truecrypt?

  • by mnemotronic (586021) <.ten.epacsten. .ta. .cinortomenm.> on Sunday June 10, 2012 @09:34AM (#40274025) Homepage Journal
    Leave the stuff, take the person. How much could they get for Stallman?
  • by betterunixthanunix (980855) on Sunday June 10, 2012 @09:41AM (#40274095)

    How much could they get for Stallman?

    Maybe Microsoft would pay them to keep Stallman captive?

  • Not surprising (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 10, 2012 @10:26AM (#40274397)

    When I was last visiting Buenos Aires Jenna Bush (George Bush's daughter) was robbed while she was dining with friends - while being protected by Secret Service!

  • by bzipitidoo (647217) <bzipitidoo@yahoo.com> on Sunday June 10, 2012 @10:56AM (#40274611) Journal

    It's the world that needs more openness. And better utilization of the technology we do have.

    Losing the passport wouldn't be such a calamity if governments were up to date. We shouldn't even use a physical item like that for purposes of verifying identity and permissions. At a border crossing, stating names and perhaps a number, or undergoing a brief biometric scan ought to be all that travelers need do. The officials at the border can then use their networked computers to check the information. It's just dopey to rely on the picture of a person carried by that person to check identity! That's as dopey as DRM. Yeah, yeah, like cash they have put security threads and watermarks and such on the passport pictures, to make forgery more difficult. And don't forget the embedded RFID chip! Currently, with passports the US now issues business sized cards for your wallet. The cards have useful phone numbers and a space upon which you are supposed to write your passport number, for just such an occurrence. Haven't progressed much!

    As for personal data, no one should ever have the only copies of their work on a single laptop, except possibly for whatever was being worked on in the last few minutes or since the last time the laptop had been connected to the Internet. The laptop itself is pretty cheap these days. I hope RMS didn't lose any data. Passwords are similar. Never have unencrypted passwords or or other unencrypted sensitive data on a laptop. But if he wasn't up to scratch on that stuff, this could be the worst loss of all.

    Medicines shouldn't be a big deal either. Unfortunately, they can be thanks to intellectual property law. At $5/pill for typical name brand drugs, those medicines could easily cost more to replace than everything else in the bag.

    Money? Let's hope he's not in the habit of lugging around thousands of dollars in cash. Sensible travelers only carry a little cash, leaning on credit cards whenever possible. But I could see a guy like RMS scorning credit cards because they come with lots of baggage, like the tracking of your every purchase. At any rate, banks, like governments, are woefully behind on technology. Shouldn't need a piece of plastic to do a transaction.

    With all that said, his Argentine hosts treated him very shabbily. If laptop bag theft is such a big problem, they should know that. It's their home, they ought to know what protections guests will need, what crimes are in vogue. Should have had someone or something watching his bag. Wasn't anyone recording his speech on video? There's no footage at all of his bag being swiped? That a thief got away with his bag doesn't speak well of them. They seem negligent at the least. Such thefts may be aided by corruption. I shouldn't wonder that petty theft of that nature is a very low priority for their police, who will undoubtedly say there's nothing they can do.

  • by rev0lt (1950662) on Sunday June 10, 2012 @11:44AM (#40274937)

    In ALL conferences in EVERY country stuff is robbed cause people are idiots.

    Well, a couple of years ago I've co-organized an international conference (2 years in a row), and nothing got stolen. It worries me that you think that is the norm.

  • by ciscocontractor (2450320) on Sunday June 10, 2012 @12:20PM (#40275169)
    This is actually true. I can attest that, at least until the early to mid 90s, his 'rms' login on the MIT AI servers had no password.

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