[ISN] Hot Hacktivismo News - the license!

From: InfoSec News (isnat_private)
Date: Wed Nov 27 2002 - 00:34:13 PST

  • Next message: InfoSec News: "[ISN] 'Hacking Challenge' Winners Allege $43,000 Contest Rip-Off"

    Forwarded from: Grandmaster Ratte' <deadcowat_private>
    HEADLINE: License To Chill -- Hackers Hamstring Rights Violators
    SUMMARY: International hacker organization issues software license that
    allows the group or its licensees to take human rights violators to court.
    CROSSHAIRS: This story is important for anyone interested in hacking,
    human rights, information security, open-source software, Internet
    censorship, international law, international politics, or technology
    LUBBOCK, TX, November 25 -- Hacktivismo, an international group of hackers
    and human rights activists, today issued the Hacktivismo Enhanced-Source
    Software License Agreement (HESSLA).  The license offers open-source
    transparency, enhanced by legal remedies both for Hacktivismo, as
    licensor, and for end-users.
    "The Hacktivismo Enhanced-Source Software License Agreement marks the
    first time technology transfer has been linked to protecting human
    rights," said Oxblood Ruffin, founder of Hacktivismo. "Our clients and
    end-users aren't building the firewalls to keep democracy out.  They're
    locked inside trying to break free."
    In contrast with more-traditional "free" or "open-source" software
    licenses, The HESSLA contains some novel terms unique to the history of
    information technology. These enhanced terms are designed to promote a
    broad range of human rights worldwide, as well as to empower end-users to
    seek new and additional remedies against human-rights violations by
    governments and governmental officials.
    "Hacktivismo has sought to preserve, to the maximum degree, the primary
    advantages of 'free' and 'open-source' software," said Eric Grimm, an
    attorney with CyberBrief, PLC, who assisted Hacktivismo with drafting the
    license. "These advantages include ease of customization, the ability of
    any end-user to redistribute the software to friends and colleagues
    without paying any license fees, transparency, and enabling collaboration
    among volunteer and commercial developers worldwide."
    The license enables both Hacktivismo and its end-users to go to court if
    someone tries to use the software in a malicious manner, or to introduce
    harmful changes into the software. It also contains more robust language
    than has previously been used to maximize enforcement against governments
    around the world. The HESSLA explicitly prohibits anybody from introducing
    "spy-ware, surveillance technology, or other undesirable code into
    modified versions of HESSLA-licensed programs.  Additionally, the license
    prohibits any use of the software by any government that has any policy or
    practice of violating human rights.
    The most novel innovation in the license distributes enforcement power
    instead of concentrating it in Hacktivismo's hands.  If a private citizen
    happens to violate the license, then Hacktivismo is in charge of
    enforcement. But the situation is different if the violation is by a
    government or a governmental official.  When Governments subvert human
    rights, and try to use Hactivismo-licensed software as part of any aspect
    of such a project, then the license empowers end-users act as enforcers
    It is not unusual for victims of torture and other human rights abuses in
    other countries, to seek a remedy for violations of international law in
    U.S. court.  But there's a difference between suing Slobodan
    Milosevic, and suing Republica Srpska for the official policies and abuses
    of the Milosevic regime. When victims have tried to name foreign
    governments as defendants, they have run into a brick wall called
    sovereign immunity.  The Hacktivismo license makes it clear that the act
    of voluntarily using Hacktivismo software, if it is used by a government
    as a part of any project that has the effect of violating human rights,
    explicitly constitutes a waiver by that government of its sovereign
    immunity in the courts of other countries.
    In other words, if Myanmar or China want to keep violating human rights --
    then they have no choice but to steer clear from using Hacktivismo's
    software in connection with any of their  wrongful projects. If not, then
    this software license just may be the victims' long-needed ticket into
    court; their pathway over the obstacle to justice previously presented by
    sovereign immunity.
    Full text of the Hacktivismo Enhanced-Source Software License Agreement is
    available at: http://www.hacktivismo.com/hessla.html
    Krass Katt
    Hacktivismo is a group of international hackers, human rights workers,
    artists and others who seek to further the goals of human rights through
    technology. They operate under the aegis of the CULT OF THE DEAD COW
    (cDc). Hacktivismo is committed to developing technologies in support of
    the highest standards of human rights. For more information, please visit
    Based in Lubbock, Texas, the CULT OF THE DEAD COW (cDc) is the most
    influential hacking group in the world. The cDc alumni reads like a Who1s
    Who of hacking and includes a former Presidential advisor on Internet
    security, among others. The group is further distinguished by publishing
    the longest running e-zine on the Internet [est. 1984], stretching the
    limits of the First Amendment, and fighting anyone or any government that
    aspires to limit free speech. For more information, please visit
    Based in Ann Arbor, Michigan, CyberBrief, PLC is a law firm specializing
    in cutting-edge issues at the intersection of law and information
    technology. CyberBrief, PLC, has represented clients in high-tech cases in
    federal courthouses all over the United States, and provides legal
    representation to clients from all over the world.  CyberBrief's hallmark
    and greatest source of pride is its generous and resolute commitment to
    donate time and resources to public-interest projects and representations
    involving issues that matter.
    ACKNOWLEDGMENT: Hacktivismo would like to express its gratitude to Eric
    Grimm for his tireless work and personal generosity in drafting the
    Hacktivismo Enhanced-Source Software License Agreement. Eric was a model
    calm and reason throughout the entire project, and we shall forever be in
    his debt.
    ISN is currently hosted by Attrition.org
    To unsubscribe email majordomoat_private with 'unsubscribe isn'
    in the BODY of the mail.

    This archive was generated by hypermail 2b30 : Sat Nov 30 2002 - 12:52:35 PST