[hackerspaces] DARPA Sponsored Hacker Space Assessment

Phillip Rhodes motley.crue.fan at gmail.com
Tue Dec 6 16:58:36 CET 2011

On Tue, Dec 6, 2011 at 10:44 AM, Jesse Krembs <jessekrembs at gmail.com> wrote:
> Dear All
> In light of the recent discussion ("will the fruits of our labors be
> used for, good or for evil?") I figure it would be time to ask a
> question I have been pondering for some time.
> Would the hacker space that you are a member of participate in a
> assessment of your hacker space if it was sponsored by DARPA?

I certainly can't speak unilaterally for Splat*Space as a whole, but I can
say that I - as an individual, and as a member of the *Space board - would
argue extremely strenuously against doing so.

> Additional information to consider:
> DARPA would be the sole receiver of this the information collected
> during the assessment. It would not be shared with the general public
> or the participating hacker spaces.
> The assessment would be of an open nature. With all the information
> provided by the hacker space being assessed as they feel fit.
> The requested information would be broad (state of financing, number
> of members, project, interests, tools, aspirations, history, etc) but
> not particularly specific.
> The idea is that the assessment would be in person by the DARPA
> sponsored individual, with the assessor taking pictures of the space,
> making floor plan maps, inventory of major equipment (we have a
> lathe!). I think this is a good opportunity as well to provide a
> narrative history of the space and other relevant topics.

With all due respect, why in the blue hell would anybody want to do this?!??
What possible purpose could there be to providing a representative from DARPA
this kind of information, especially in a "this isn't going to be
shared with the public"
light?  If it were for a survey that *was* going to be published to the world
at large, I could almost see the value...  but we're talking about
DARPA collecting and hoarding this info on hackerspaces?  Ummm, no, I'd never,
ever, ever be "on board" with that.

Never mind that plenty of information about our space is available online on our
wiki and blog anyway, and that we discuss pretty much everything openly
at our Open Meetings.  If DARPA (or anybody else) wanted this knowledge, they
could (pretty much) acquire it.... but I would not support spending any special
effort to accommodate DARPA, or allowing them any special degree of access.

Honestly, if Splat*Space went along with something like this, I can pretty much
guarantee you that I'd quit the group as a result.



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