The real major losers are...
Posted Apr 24, 2003 5:54 UTC (Thu) by rknop
Parent article: DARPA Cancels OpenBSD Funding
...the citizens of the USA who have elected a government that will pull a last minute fund-yanking stunt like this. The real losers are the citizens of the USA who have managed to elect themselves a government who would decide not to fund OpenBSD development for either of the speculated reasons: because Theo said something essentially irrelevant to the grant which our government doesn't like, or (potentially even more alarmingly) because the government has come to think that capable and secure open source software being available is primarily to the benefit of terrorist nation states.
I hear all the comments about "free speech has consequences" and so forth, and have a hard time with them. It's one thing to pull funding from somebody. It's a different thing to pull funding with no warning at the last minute when many people around the world have committed nonrefundable expenses based on the promise of that funding. Isn't there some sort of breech of contract going on here? Longer term, the grad students who lose their funding could be in the lurch too. I don't know anything about this specific situation, but I do know that grad students in general are broke anyway, and suddenly not having even the pittance that you thought you'd been promised as a grad student can leave you in a bad state. Whether or not you think Theo's comments were advised, I have yet to see anything that convinces me that what DARPA did in this situation is defensable.
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