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[FYI] Ethical Programmers Guild

Hätte jetzt fast auf Caps Lock gedrückt...
Slashdot wird wieder besser.


     James Moyer has submitted a piece that I'm interested to see what
    everyone thinks of. It basically describes creation of a formalized
         guild of programmers that would be advance ethical coding.
    Particularly related to privacy issues. Read it and speak your mind.
         The following was written by Slashdot Reader James Moyer .
       In proposing this idea, I think that it would a little bit of
    background would be appropriate. I am a student at Ohio State, and I
   have a strong interest in civil liberties and privacy issues. In fact,
         I am now in the process of organizing an on-campus student
   organization to criticize Ohio State's overuse of the social security
    number, biometric identification and other related issues to privacy
                    directly concerning the university.
      Here on Slashdot I use the nickname JimBobJoe posting from email
                       address vampire@innocent.com.
   I also consider myself a Libertarian, and from many of the postings on
    Slashdot, it appears that there are quite a lot of Libertarians out
   there too. There is no coincidence, in my mind, that some of the most
     stringent privacy laws in the nation hail from a highly technical,
     Libertarian state, being Washington state. In the same vein, it is
      rather amusing to see countries such as Malaysia attempt to draw
    computer professions into their country, where the severity of their
                            laws turn many away.
   At any rate, I have been putting in quite a lot of thought concerning
       privacy. It has occurred to me that the connection between the
       Libertarian philosophies of many computer programmers and the
     pro-privacy, pro-civil liberties leanings of those philosophies is
                           quite a powerful mix.
     This time period is quite an important one when it comes to these
   issues. How biometric identification and data privacy will be handled
    will most likely set up the paradigm for how it will be handled when
      everyone will be running Linux 4.x on a processor that computes
                            teraflops with ease.
    The next sentence is a rather obvious concept. Many of the projects
     that we are most concerned with when it comes to privacy, such as
     biometric identification and data processing requires programming.
     My proposal is this: to set up a computer programmer's guild whose
    goal is to promote "ethical" programming. What is meant by "ethical"
     is of course not yet defined, but it certainly means a pro-privacy
      Computer programmers are at quite an advantage right now due to
      demand. Certainly it is difficult to find qualified sys admins,
       scripters and programmers in order to meet many companies' and
   governments' needs, especially with consideration to Y2K. With this in
      mind, the opportunity is available to refuse to work on certain
    programming projects. The thinking here is that "Big Brother" would
    find existence difficult without computing professionals to support
    its needs. Although I have not personally made up my mind concerning
    the next thought, some may say that computer programmers almost have
                an obligation to keep "Big Brother" in line.
   This proposed computer guild would make refusal significantly easier.
   Yes, it is indeed a union where one was thought unnecessary. These are
                    the planks that I have come up with:
     * A Clear Manifest agreed to by the members of the organization. The
       manifest is the position on the organization, what are, in our
       eyes, acceptable and not-acceptable uses of computers.
     * Anonymity is essential. It allows for members to report on what
       organizations are planning on doing without fear of retribution.
       That way the organization also will become a way for
       companies'/organizations' plans to be publicly exposed, with
       discretion, where they conflict with this guild's manifest.
     * Support and boycott where this organization's manifest does
       conflict with a proposal, to support the computing professions who
       refuse to work on such projects, to boycott
       companies/organizations who do, and make public statements
       concerning the projects.
                   Worthy of note are the next two ideas:
     * Harrassment and ostracizing of those who decide to work on these
       projects in conflict with our manifest, is unacceptable and
       anathema to the objectives of this organization.
     * Cracking and sabotage. It could be defended that a situation may
       arise in which many feel that a planned sabotage via cracking is
       necessary. A lesser form of sabotage is to either poorly code or
       poorly plan (perhaps suggestion Windows NT as an appropriate
       solution for a project) a particular situation. Either way, this
       organization should not necessarily be against such actions, but
       it is probably not in its best interest to become directly
       involved. Sincerely, I personally can not decide about this last
       topic, but there is a "Minute Men" sympathy in me that requires
       its mentioning (historians should not be offended by the
   At any rate, I present the basics of the proposed organization to the
                 Slashdot community, and I invite comments.
                                James Moyer

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