Open Letter to Michael Eisner, Chairman and CEO, Walt Disney Company
Open letter to Michael Eisner, Chairman and CEO, Walt Disney Company.
Dear Mr. Eisner,
I hear you're planning a trip to Washington, DC next month to close the deal on a computer censorship bill, the SSSCA, you're buying from Congress. I'm writing to ask you to please stay home.
I'm not asking because of concerns for your safety. All Americans are getting back to regular work and travel, and that's the right thing to do. But you and your bill should stay out of Washington, DC, and let our elected representatives do their jobs.
On the morning of September 11th, I was wondering about one thing. Nothing the mass media could spare the time to answer, though. My question was "What happened to Jim and Ari?" They work in a building facing the World Trade Center, and often use the subway station underneath.
In mid-morning, an internet server still chugging along on lower Broadway passed along the answer. "I just talked to Ari. He and Jim are OK."
That was it. A few words, passed along by a freely available mail program on an old Pentium system in the corner of an office. Words that ended up copied many times and passed along to internet places where Jim and Ari's friends gather. Low-budget Internet hosts you've never heard of, with names like zork.crackmonkey.org and barley.nylug.org, running software you've never heard of, with names like Postfix and GNU Mailman.
This isn't the flashy Internet of IPOs and Herman Miller chairs. It's the Internet where a regular person with a couple books and a used computer can start up a meeting, an argument, a conversation about anything. No venture capitalists, no advertisers, no licenses, no chat room monitors--just independent know-how, Linux Documentation Project style.
What did we learn from the low-profile Internet this week? Just little things. Some guy went to one hospital to give blood, they sent him to another, and everyone with type O blood please come, too. The A Train is running, making all stops except World Trade Center. Here's a complete bus schedule. A librarian in Indiana told the police she is keeping the library open, so that people can get on the Internet for news of their friends and family.
The Ventures came out with a song called, "Be Strong America" and their webmaster put it up as an MP3 file for free distribution. Other people posted photos and movies of their trips by foot out of Manhattan or Washington. Forwarded copies made the proverbial rounds as if they were virus warnings or lawyer jokes.
The song is corny, and the news is minor, but I know from the Jim and Ari message how much it could mean. On the evening of the 11th, President Bush said, "These acts shattered steel, but they cannot dent the steel of American resolve." Americans knew that because, as we watched TV, our inboxes became full of copies of copies of copies of individual stories of human steel.
The stories weren't all good news. A sister's friend and her fiancee, missing. One of the members of someone's favorite band was working his day job at a sky-high restaurant. Another sister was a flight attendant. And nobody would say the Internet could help with that loss.
It wasn't accurate or eloquent. Primitive reactions spewed out, ill-informed calls for revenge, racism, ignorance--the best I could say for some of the hateful garbage was, well, at least this guy is just typing, instead of breaking shop windows or worse.
It's wasn't fun and it wasn't sanitary; there can be no happy ending to this story. But it was America.
President Bush said, "The federal government and all our agencies are conducting business. But it is not business as usual." Mr. Eisner, please take that as a hint. It's a mistake for any American to shut down another's freedom to speak, whether the person being censored is editing an on-line newspaper or just making tweaks to the software that runs the "Crackmonkey" site.
The SSSCA, which you are in the middle of buying from Congress, would outlaw the software that powers the independent Internet, the Internet that had many of us crying on our keyboards this week, from loss, relief or rage. At times like this, a slightly cracked monkey means more to us than a perfectly coiffed mouse.
It would be shameful for you to show up at the US Capitol with a duffel bag full of "campaign contributions" at a time like this. Paying Congress to silence your fellow citizens, now, is not the act of a loyal American.
The SSSCA is all the more dangerous because we're a big country. I would love to be able to say that even without the Internet, our independent radio stations, local newspapers and town meetings would get our communicating done. I would love to be able to say that many voices in all media brought us news, personal appeals, debate.
But that's not what happened. Blame the price of paper, the limited radio spectrum or our spread-out geography, but the fact is that the only national, public voice most of us have is the Internet. Our national conversation runs on open standards and interoperable software. Allowing it to exist only at the pleasure of major media corporations and software giants would turn our democracy over to unaccountable private-sector rulers.
I recognize that you just want more outlets for your movies, and the Internet might look like TV to you at first. But you have plenty of markets for your products--not just TV, but the multiplexes, the theme parks, the malls. Please let Americans keep our disorderly public places, too. The Internet is annoying, flaming and rumor-mongering, but for many of us it's all the free speech we've got.
Mr. Eisner, please stay home.
Donald B. Marti Jr.American
For more information:cryptome.org/sssca.htm
Fast/Flexible Linux OS Recovery
On Demand Now
In this live one-hour webinar, learn how to enhance your existing backup strategies for complete disaster recovery preparedness using Storix System Backup Administrator (SBAdmin), a highly flexible full-system recovery solution for UNIX and Linux systems.
Join Linux Journal's Shawn Powers and David Huffman, President/CEO, Storix, Inc.
Free to Linux Journal readers.Register Now!
|CentOS 6.8 Released||May 27, 2016|
|Secure Desktops with Qubes: Introduction||May 27, 2016|
|Chris Birchall's Re-Engineering Legacy Software (Manning Publications)||May 26, 2016|
|ServersCheck's Thermal Imaging Camera Sensor||May 25, 2016|
|Petros Koutoupis' RapidDisk||May 24, 2016|
|The Italian Army Switches to LibreOffice||May 23, 2016|
- Secure Desktops with Qubes: Introduction
- Download "Linux Management with Red Hat Satellite: Measuring Business Impact and ROI"
- CentOS 6.8 Released
- The Italian Army Switches to LibreOffice
- Linux Mint 18
- Chris Birchall's Re-Engineering Legacy Software (Manning Publications)
- ServersCheck's Thermal Imaging Camera Sensor
- Petros Koutoupis' RapidDisk
- Oracle vs. Google: Round 2
- The FBI and the Mozilla Foundation Lock Horns over Known Security Hole
Until recently, IBM’s Power Platform was looked upon as being the system that hosted IBM’s flavor of UNIX and proprietary operating system called IBM i. These servers often are found in medium-size businesses running ERP, CRM and financials for on-premise customers. By enabling the Power platform to run the Linux OS, IBM now has positioned Power to be the platform of choice for those already running Linux that are facing scalability issues, especially customers looking at analytics, big data or cloud computing.
￼Running Linux on IBM’s Power hardware offers some obvious benefits, including improved processing speed and memory bandwidth, inherent security, and simpler deployment and management. But if you look beyond the impressive architecture, you’ll also find an open ecosystem that has given rise to a strong, innovative community, as well as an inventory of system and network management applications that really help leverage the benefits offered by running Linux on Power.Get the Guide