[hackerspaces] Your mission statement vs the law, re bigotry and "terrorism".

Silence Dogood matt at nycresistor.com
Mon Jul 25 19:46:26 CEST 2016

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=60tUmfYlymM  Hank Johnson on c-span is
basically a religious experience for me.

On Mon, Jul 25, 2016 at 1:40 PM, Christie Dudley <christie at hackcounsel.com>

> It is a little-known fact that it is perfectly legitimate to refuse to
> comply with a law if you have a good-faith argument that the law should
> change. You would have a good faith First Amendment challenge to a law
> denying people of a certain religion a freedom others enjoy.
> What I have seen in culture generally, but manifest more specifically in
> hackerspaces is the assumption that certain things are somehow law (such as
> restricting general public access to dangerous tools or police authority,
> discrimination or non-discrimination, etc.) that do not exist in any law,
> whether precedent or legislative, or that don't apply as generally as most
> believe. Yet I see many hackerspaces who believe they must integrate these
> perceived laws or rules into their mission statement or operating practices.
> This is much the same mentality that gave the recording industry the
> foundation for their huge rulings against relatively innocent people: the
> belief that something is really illegal is inculcated into society then
> people in general begin to uphold the belief in court through the jury
> deliberation process. (As an aside, this is why we HAVE juries in the US -
> so that the sentiment of society can be reflected in court decisions.)
> As hackers, we are all in a unique position to challenge the hegemonic
> tendency of culture and the sway of large organizational interests to
> change what we believe is legal, gently pushing back on what we believe to
> be right and just.
> So make your rules and mission statements to be what you believe is RIGHT,
> not what you believe to be LEGAL unless you actually are a lawyer who
> practices in the area. Don't let other interests shift our culture away
> from it.
> Christie Dudley
> On 7/22/2016 11:41 PM, Jurgen Gaeremyn wrote:
> Just a stupid question: do you put ethnicity and religion as questionnaire
> fields in your registration form?
> If you don't ask, you don't know. And if you have no indication to suspect
> "such dangerous behaviour as being muslim" (sic) ... there's no indication
> to ban them from whatever course. It has never been your job to do an
> identity check, and even the act of asking... I don't think you even have
> the right to investigate their answers.
> Obviously, you could put a waiver in your registration form that members
> are not allowed to apply their skills developed in this hackerspace to
> engage in terrorist or other forms of illegal activity. You could even have
> fun in writing it in such a broad or silly way that lawyers would have a
> hell of a time applying it in court...
> If anyone ever comments on the validity of this, just ask the question how
> you should validate if one is muslim? (just as a pun: according to those
> muslims that engage in terrorist activity, all other muslims are not true
> muslims, and it is allowed to lie against "kufar" - so the muslim not
> respecting you will deny being a muslim and you will stigmatize the honest
> ones with no malintentions)
> Just my thaught
> Jurgen
> On 22-07-16 23:05, Sparr wrote:
> I've been on the losing side of lighter versions of this argument a few
> times over the past ten years, at various hackerspaces. A lot of people
> claim that they think that the law trumps a space's charter or mission
> statement.
> Here in the USA, we're looking at a future where it is scarily plausible
> that some segment of the population will be banned from a lot of
> activities, which might include things such as "taking machine shop
> classes" or "working with explosive gases".
> When your state or federal legislature passes a law, or your president
> issues an executive order, that says Muslims (or some ethnic minority)
> can't do those things, where will you stand on whether your space follows
> that law or not?
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