[hackerspaces] DARPA Sponsored Hacker Space Assessment

Phillip Rhodes motley.crue.fan at gmail.com
Tue Dec 6 18:37:35 CET 2011

On Tue, Dec 6, 2011 at 12:21 PM, Matt Joyce <matt at nycresistor.com> wrote:
> I figure that DARPA would be no different than any other person.  Most
> spaces are open.  They have open houses and open events and they would
> likely be invited in the same as anyone else.  That's kind of the point of
> the more public spaces.  I doubt even the private ones would care that much
> about who attends their open events.

Yep, if DARPA agents want to visit, they can certainly come in... if
they don't *tell* us
they are with DARPA, we would never know, since we don't ask for a
background check before
letting someone in the room.  But if DARPA call and ask for a special,
private tour / inspection / assessment / whatever,
I'm damn sure not going to support it.

> So I do not see how many would have a real moral quandary here.  If the
> space is open, it's open to DARPA visiting.  Also, It's good PR.  DARPA
> isn't the fire inspector or the FBI... they are not going to come arrest
> you.  But, reaching out to an entity like DARPA and being open about who you
> are and what you do demonstrates that you "have nothing to hide".

DARPA is - at the end of the day - a government agency, and one that's
essentially part of the
military / industrial complex.  Governments and defense contractors
and their associates are - as far
as I'm concerned - the enemy.   They are tools of oppression that are
positioned against individual
freedom, and I for one want no part of any of that lot.

And it's entirely possible that some of us *do* have "something to
hide."  (Or not.. wouldn't you like
to know, Mr. NSA Agent who's reading this email. )

> And while
> we all value privacy on an individual scale, and I am a proponent of
> that...  Letting someone like DARPA know you exist and being friendly with
> them may be useful down the line when the Byron Sonne of your hacker space
> ends up being arrested for possession of instruments of DIY hobbies.

What are the chances that someone at DARPA is going to extend themselves
on your behalf? I'm guessing "vanishingly small."

> But, down the line if some sort of PR disaster befalls you because of
> someone who would care about these things...  It might be nice to be able to
> say "we not only have not been involved with anything nefarious we've been
> open about everything we do.  Even DARPA has been invited in and shown
> what's up."

The only possible reason I can see for having *anything* to do with
DARPA falls into the
category of:

"Keep your friends close, and your enemies closer."


"Snoop unto them, as they snoop unto us."

So yeah, if you think you can gain some leverage on DARPA by hanging
around with them, have at it.
I'm not optimistic on that point though.


More information about the Discuss mailing list