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DARPA Grant Cancelled for OpenBSD and U-Penn? 653

Posted by CowboyNeal
from the change-of-heart dept.
Starrider writes "It seems the DARPA grant for OpenBSD and for University of Pennsylvania has been cancelled (?) immediately and without warning. See the full story in Theo's email and on deadly.org." Theo is left to only speculate why funding was suddenly pulled. One also has to wonder what this means for the University of Pennsylvania, since they were also in for a piece of the pie.
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DARPA Grant Cancelled for OpenBSD and U-Penn?

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  • Too many acronyms!

    My head hurts!

    An online Starcraft RPG? Only at [netnexus.com]
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 17, 2003 @08:37PM (#5755973)
    Is because they read Slashdot and saw the *BSD is dying.
  • Easy... (Score:4, Funny)

    by guile*fr (515485) on Thursday April 17, 2003 @08:39PM (#5755983)
    ...they discovered Canada harbors french talking people.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 17, 2003 @08:40PM (#5755991)
    OpenBSD is his project. If DARPA wants to retract their funding, so be it. Good riddance. Theo's intrepid and unwavering ethical beliefs are the reason I trust him to write this OS.
    • by Sanity (1431) on Friday April 18, 2003 @01:20AM (#5757458) Homepage Journal
      Many appear to be arguing that the reason the grant was withdrawn was because Theo expressed an anti-war opinion. This is misleading, the reason the grant was withdrawn was more likely due to the manner in which Theo expressed that opinion, namely by expressing concern about DARPA's motives.

      If Theo was really concerned about DARPA's motives, he should have expressed his opinion by not accepting the money, not by taking it then using the fact that he had taken it as a vehicle for his political opinions.

      I am saddened that a silly mistake could have denied the public good the benefit of this funding, but this is the real world - and in the real world - you don't take money from someone then openly question their motives for giving it to you.

      • So he should muzzle himself or change his political views because of whom he is getting money from? No: the principles of Theo and others on the OpenBSD team, and the fact that their principles are not for sale, is one of the very reasons why OpenBSD is as good as it is.

        Theo did not use the grant "as a vehicle for his political opinions"; in all likelyhood the grant caused a minor amount of media attention, and he was asked about DARPA issues and how this relates to the war, to which he gave his (pre
      • by Alan Cox (27532) on Friday April 18, 2003 @09:48AM (#5758864) Homepage
        Government bodies do pull money on projects in order to make ends meet, and its a US government which has dropped many schools, a complete health program and a lot more in equivalent value on Iraq. The OpenBSD funding may just have been converted into a couple of missiles instead.

        Theo can still have the last laugh, I dread to think how many holes in common government used software the OpenBSD audit team could find in one hackathon.

  • by LinuxParanoid (64467) on Thursday April 17, 2003 @08:40PM (#5755992) Homepage Journal
    Theo's anti-war comments in The Globe and Mail [globetechnology.com] can be found here. Theo wasn't told why funding was pulled but he suspects his comments there did it.

    I don't think it was Theo's comments to ZDNet on "security through beer drinking" which can be found here [com.com].

    The "oil grab" comment does strike me as a bit uninformed and polemic, but I'll leave that debate for another time. As an OpenBSD user, I'm sad to see the funding pulled and not happy that someone in the U.S. gov't is being petty. (Or perhaps they're just paranoid?)

    --LP
    • Umm, he didn't threaten to blow the heads off of the DARPA guys did he? I mean I am a big Amendment II guy and all, but . . .
    • The "oil grab" comment does strike me as a bit uninformed and polemic

      You really bought the "spread democracy" angle, didn't you?
    • There were a lot of reasons why Bush wanted to invade iraq. Oil was one of them.
    • You have no proof that DARPA was being petty. If you read the news.com article it spends a lot of time going over the fact that most of the money was going to foreign developers which under the terms of the grant is a no-no. Half a mil went to the UK to audit OpenSSL.

      While I have no doubt that someone, somewhere found Theo's comments offensive and raised a stink over it a much more compelling reason is that the grant money was not being distributed to enough American developers. Oh well, them's the breaks.

      • by The Man (684) on Friday April 18, 2003 @12:17AM (#5757178) Homepage
        Has it occurred to anyone to ask why so much of the security money goes to foreign developers? I'll put forward a theory: all the years of export controls on cryptography meant that Americans couldn't contribute to most crypto projects, so the knowledge wasn't developed during that time. Today most Americans with serious knowledge of cryptography and security are working for the NSA or DOD. Everyone else gave up and worked on other things, relying (irony) on foreigners to provide for their security infrastructure.

        Today, it's the DMCA and related laws that will hamper development of American security know-how. It seems we're determined not to let anyone here know about the bad things we shouldn't do. The downside, of course, is that others will develop the knowledge instead, and not only own the know-how but also reap the profits. Seems like the US attitude toward technology legislation has been quite counterproductive.

  • by drosselmeier (640104) on Thursday April 17, 2003 @08:40PM (#5755995)
    Not to sound like a conspiracy theorist, but likely the problem was due to lobbying efforts of companies that are anti Open Source. Anyone remember NSA Linux (now SELinux)? It was released and soon thereafter the goverment started backpeddling in the glare of strong corporate lobbying efforts, and decided that they wouldn't release things under the GPL without serious consideration in the future. One company in particular, based in Redmond WA, lobbyied heavily to stop this sort of action, because it inhibited them from selling their 'hardened' software.

    I was suprised to see DARPA (which is more independent of this sort of thing in general) giving money of such magnitude to an open product, but I'm not suprised now to see them renig without explanation.

    • by mkettler (6309) on Thursday April 17, 2003 @08:51PM (#5756068)
      Although it's somewhat off-topic, despite the lobbying SELinux is still going. They just made an updated release April 7th, a mere 10 days ago.

      http://www.nsa.gov/selinux/news.html

      Thus, I don't think DARPA has any issue with the open/closed sourced-ness of it.

      It does however seem reasonable for a branch of the US DOD to not be wanting to fund someone that is critical of the US military. Wether his statements are true or not is another matter, but it would seem odd to for the DOD provide funding to a non-us citizen that criticizes the DOD. I'd expect them to have been taking a lot of political flack about that.
    • The difference is that OpenBSD is released under a... you guessed it: BSD license. That means all those closed source shops can just take the code for free. Even Microsoft seems pretty okay with BSD-style licenses.
    • actually - i dont think lobbying is it. DARPA provides a lot (and I do mean a LOT) of money for projects that eventually releases OSS code. Even ReiserFS (a russian company at that!) is a recipient of DARPA funding.

      CHATS [darpa.mil], is one such program specifically for OSS, which is where Reiser's funding comes from. TIA, believe it or not, will be generating OSS code in the next few years, assuming privacy extremists let it get off the ground.
  • couple things (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Satai (111172) on Thursday April 17, 2003 @08:40PM (#5755998)
    Read the whole thread; not everyone thinks it was because of the peace comments. (Not that it would be surprising to this particular slashdotter.)

    Something else that ought to be looked at is the Microsoft angle -- in the past they've put pressure on public institutions to avoid supporting open source projects and instead invest in the "free" market. in this particular climate, of jingoism and nationalism, how hard would it be for them to target OpenBSD as a Canadian, anti-capitalist movement, and then to shove a couple hundred copies of IIS under DARPA's nose?

    But, then again, maybe I'm misunderstanding the nature of the grant. It is quite possible that DARPA was funding it specifically because of the non-proprietary nature of the software.

    My guess? We'll never know the whole story. (But, I've been wrong before. I used to think Enterprise had promise.)
    • Re:couple things (Score:5, Insightful)

      by mosch (204) on Thursday April 17, 2003 @09:22PM (#5756265) Homepage
      Has anybody looked at the Theo De Raadt is a huge fucking asshole angle? In the past he's managed to build walls between himself and the rest of the world, and perhaps he just did it again.
      • No mod points, but I grant you +50 (brilliant) from my magical imaginary bag.
      • by Tony-A (29931)
        Whatever.
        While it may be possible to make secure software and be a "nice guy", I'll believe it when I see it (and maybe not even then;)
        Considering the territory, Theo actually seems pretty mellow.
    • Don't those canadians have a socialist health care system?

      Don't they speak french?

      Didn't a canadian win the masters?

      Man how may reasons do you need! Socialist french speaking people who stole the masters from the US. Who would want to fund them.
  • A few speculations (Score:5, Interesting)

    by lingqi (577227) on Thursday April 17, 2003 @08:41PM (#5756000) Journal
    * Corporate lobby (hey, it's a sale-point)
    * TIA would be seriously hampered if everyone is very secure
    * fear of technology leak into other countries
    * other acts of "head-in-ass"
  • by jimhill (7277) on Thursday April 17, 2003 @08:41PM (#5756004) Homepage
    It's less likely that the grant got pulled for comments Theo made in a Canadian newspaper than for the fact that the government which has assiduously spent the last 18 months dismantling our country's(*) claim to being the Land of the Free finally realized that their vastly-expanding surveillance capabilities would be hampered by increased computing security. Plug pulled, time for Clipper 2.

    (*) For values of "our country" == "the USA".
  • by Schubert (5172) on Thursday April 17, 2003 @08:42PM (#5756011) Homepage Journal
    So yeah this might hit closer to home to some of you now. The DARP grant was to the U. of Penn. and a chunk went to OpenBSD with another smaller chunk to OpenSSL.
  • by Chmarr (18662)
    The US government has spent HOW MANY billions of dollars on the Iraq war? They're going to be cancelling as many contracts and grants, etcetc, as possible to recoup some of those costs.

    For all Theo has done for the OpenBSD, and open-source movements, I think his 'speculation' is treating his words in the paper a little more seriously than it deserves.
    • by XaXXon (202882) <xaxxon@gmail . c om> on Thursday April 17, 2003 @08:50PM (#5756058) Homepage
      They're going to be cancelling as many contracts and grants, etcetc, as possible to recoup some of those costs.

      You obviously have little idea how beaurocratic money works. You don't spend money in one place and move it back into the pot for use by other things.

      Once money is allocated for a particular use or group, it stays there. This isn't money that DARPA is losing from the government, just money they decided they weren't going ot give to BSD. They will spend it on something else.

      The war will be funded by us, our kids, their kids, and so on as budget deficit.

      OT: I think making a constitutional amendment mandating a balanced budget may be going too far, but make it so that you can't be re-elected as president if you have a budget in the red (or something like that -- though not sure what to do about second-term presidents)..
  • that Theo's article may have been the excuse, I suspect that there are a number of others. Kind of like when NSA backed off on doing security for Linux. I would not be surprised to see that more of the USA's funding of OSS will only occur if the license is not GPL. Of course, we can fund expensive tunnelling on MS with a closed license.
  • by wfrp01 (82831) on Thursday April 17, 2003 @08:49PM (#5756052) Journal
    Who's biting the hand that feeds them? Not Theo. Theo has class. Theo lost some bucks. That sucks. But here's the thing: DARPA gets a lot more out of Theo then Theo ever hoped to get from DARPA. This is just another example of idiocy run rampant at the defense department. This is the same department, remember, that ascertained the necessity of protecting the Iraq Oil Ministry whilst the relics of civilation's birth were plundered. What's so important about the Oil Ministry? What have they got there? A bunch of loan guarantees with the French, vs. the cradle of civilazation? DOD fuckwit shitwits. These people are so stupid that they will put their own interests at risk in order to spite someone (a very intelligent someone) who doesn't tow their fucked up party line.

    Theo will prevail. The current administration of the US DOD will go down in history as infamous self-important crusading intolerant assholes responsible for great world instability and economic chaos.
  • by primebase (9535) on Thursday April 17, 2003 @08:51PM (#5756065)


    Actually, you do have the right to speak freely in the US, just as I suspect you do in Canada. After all, you & your loved ones are not dead/imprisoned/being tortured for what you said.

    However...

    You did just shoot your mouth off about your employer in a negative way! Not too wise to do that anywhere public, and pretty much just plain dumb to do it VERY publicly in print.

    And, lo and behold, they didn't agree with what you had to say (shock, amazement) and they pulled funding.

    I hate that you lost your grant money (especially since I like your project and the work you do), but you have no one to blame but yourself.

    So no whining.

    Refer to the subject of this message if you have any further questions.

    • And, lo and behold, they didn't agree with what you had to say (shock, amazement) and they pulled funding.

      I disagree completely. Now if his corporation didn't like what he had to say, and didn't want to see attention drawn to this fact, I am sure they would be within their rights to fire him.

      That being said, the government is just plain different. The government should not be allowed to pull funding because they don't like the somethign that somebody says if it has political, scientific, or artistic v
    • Employer? No. Theo specifically says in the news article that this money comes without any direction. It was taken only on the conditions that no strings were to be attached. DARPA wasn't paying OpenBSD to do X. It was paying them to do the same thing they've always done. It was more like a gift than a salary.
      • by daw (7006) on Friday April 18, 2003 @01:27AM (#5757484)
        Theo specifically says in the news article that this money comes without any direction. It was taken only on the conditions that no strings were to be attached. DARPA wasn't paying OpenBSD to do X. It was paying them to do the same thing they've always done.

        Oh come on. The fact that he gave this impression is probably exactly why they canceled his ass. That's not how DARPA grants work. It's not the fucking MacArthur genius award. They don't just say, "Hey! We like you! Here's $3 million in taxpayer money! Knock yourself out!"

        Come on! Grants have deliverables, lists of what you're going to spend the money on, schedules of what you're going to accomplish every year, etc. etc. Excruciating detail, negotiated in several back-and-forth rounds before anything is ever funded. I guarantee you this grant had all that too. And if the funders read in the newspaper that their money was instead being funneled to some foreign asshole who was claiming it was his personal nest egg and promising literally to give nothing back for it and just instead do what he pleased, then of course they cut it off.

        This obviously had zero to do with Theo's view of the war in Iraq. If you read the article, he had about two words to say about that, and the rest of the article was devoted to him saying many irresponsible things about how he was squandering our money.

    • by ClarkEvans (102211) on Thursday April 17, 2003 @11:01PM (#5756800) Homepage
      you do have the right to speek freely ... However... You did just shoot your mouth off about your employer in a negative way...

      This is problematic on several fronts. First, this was an acedemic institution project which had its funding withdrawn... if it was done for political reasons, i.e., beacuse of what one of the researchers said, then it is definately, clearly, a violation of free speech. If he was awarded the grant based on the acedemic merits, and the money was canceled due to his political opinions, then this is quiet ugly.

      Second, DARPA is not a private enterprise. It is an agent of the government, and an instrument of the people. While a private enterprise may be free to act anyway they want (subject to lots of restrictions _if_ they are publicly owned), the government isn't. It's bound by the constituion.

      Thirdly, this is especially important for acedemic researchers, since they are in a trusted position. If publicly funded researchers have to watch what they say or their funding will dissappear... then you have effectively silenced a great majority of them. It is very much a violation of free speech.

      Free speech means not only that the government won't throw you in jail, it means that it won't treat you differently from others based on your political viewpoints.




  • It seems the DARPA grant for OpenBSD and for University of Pennsylvania has been cancelled (?) immediately and without warning.


    Does that mean DARPR may be thinking giving a grant to someone who start the "Open Linux"project ?

  • theo's mail (Score:5, Informative)

    by Mentorix (620009) <slashdot@benben.com> on Thursday April 17, 2003 @08:57PM (#5756106)
    Theo's message follows:
    - - - -
    FYI,

    It has come to my attention that DARPA has cancelled the POSSE program with UPENN, (sub OpenBSD & a bit for OpenSSL) for undisclosed reasons, effective today, without any warning.

    My suspicion is this happened because I made anti-war statements in a Canadian newspaper article in the Globe & Mail, but I am not an American citizen so I cannot claim to have free speech there (even made "quote of the day").

    In a phone call a few days ago it was expressed to me that there were people inside DARPA and UPENN who were very uncomfortable with the article, but I was not told specifically what upset them.

    We have 60 developers flying in from around the world (they bought their own tickets, non-refundable) for a Hackathon May 8 - 20, where we do a major part of our development; since DARPA is now forcing UPENN to cancel those Hotel accomodations, I would be very grateful if anyone can find a way to help us. I'm going to need to pay for it myself, since these people are going to come.

    Thanks.
    - - - -
    The anti-war statements that were made can be found here [globetechnology.com]
    --
    Full steam ahead, stoke the boiler with more kittens! -- Bluey, Dragon Tails
  • by reemul (1554) on Thursday April 17, 2003 @09:03PM (#5756141)
    Forget for a moment that the funding source was the US gov't. Just imagine that the money came from a grant from some generic source with no political or social implications whatsoever. A portion of the money was spent, and many of the goals were already reached. The project lead continued to spend the money, in some cases for purposes that were at best dubious and at worst clearly opposed to the wishes of the grant source. And then he gave interviews where he badmouthed them. Do you think that any group, anywhere, would continue to give money to the project?

    This isn't a Big Mean US Gov't story - after all, they had been funding the project with pretty lenient restrictions until now - this is yet another case of a great programmer and leader who has let his mouth get in the way of his work. Theo isn't yet up to the level of RMS, but he is trying Really Hard. DARPA brought the gear, the ball, provided a nice field to play on, and gave the OpenBSD team a chance to show what they could do. After a great start, they decided to hang out with friends, do their own thing, and drink beer out of their helmets. And then they threw dung at the guys in the suits paying for the party. Brilliant. Why should anyone at all be shocked that DARPA took their ball and went home?

    I like OpenBSD, and use it on my firewall box. Partly because of the security, and in part because as an also-ran in the OS popularity contests, none of the script kiddies even bother trying to get in. I'll upgrade to 3.3, and maybe even buy the disks to give some money back to the team. But I still think that personally, Theo is a prick, and this time it bit him.

    Coders and testers can give back to the Open Source community through pretty obvious ways. Same with tech writers helping with the docs, and lawyers keeping an eye on the licenses and handling privacy and security issues. Any PR or other personal contact specialist folks out there looking for a way to help out? There really needs to be some project full of helpful folks to handle the interface between the socially-deficient techies and the prickly and sensitive people in the outside world, from investors to possible users. I know I need the help when dealing with clients, and clearly I'm not the only one. How about it?
    • by Flamerule (467257) on Thursday April 17, 2003 @09:22PM (#5756271)
      The project lead continued to spend the money, in some cases for purposes that were at best dubious and at worst clearly opposed to the wishes of the grant source.
      I have no idea what you're referring to here. Was Theo sending grant money to the Iraqi government, or something? Certainly you can't be referring the the beer quote [com.com], since it's specifically stated that DARPA money wasn't spent on beer. As if that was in doubt...
      After a great start, they decided to hang out with friends, do their own thing, and drink beer out of their helmets. And then they threw dung at the guys in the suits paying for the party.
      So the OpenBSD team shouldn't be allowed to drink alcohol while they're being funded by DARPA? What should the rules be? No parties, wear full IBM business suits, 50000 lines of code per month? And I'd hardly call Theo's opposition to war in Iraq "[throwing] dung" at the DOD. He's got lots of company, especially in Canada.
  • BSD... (Score:4, Funny)

    by rice_burners_suck (243660) on Thursday April 17, 2003 @09:04PM (#5756149)
    Typical government bullshit. They probably figured out that Arabs/Muslims are using OpenBSD to build "nucular" weapons, so they no longer wish to support its funding. Either that or they wish to boycott the Canadians for their lack of support for the U.S.

    I think I'll start another "distribution" of BSD. It'll be called AbiertoBSD and it'll be based in D.F. The strong points of AbiertoBSD will derive from its being built out of used car parts from the local pick-aparts in my neighborhood.

    Just kidding. Everyone who has read a lot of my posts knows that I like BSD a lot more than Linux, despite the fact that I use Linux for many tasks. Oh yeah... and don't talk smack on my country!

  • by supabeast! (84658) on Thursday April 17, 2003 @09:07PM (#5756164)
    I doubt that there is any persecution going on here. People need to understand that right now, the US Government is taking in much less money than it has been in previous years due to tax cuts and a slowing economy. Just before the start of the war many government agencies that had been recieving a lot of money saw serious budget cuts. Small, unessential, and pet projects have been slashed all over the US Government, especially in defense. People are losing funds and jobs all over the place, not just OpenBSD/UPenn.
  • Anyone who has worked in the defense research biz can tell you that it is not uncommon for funding to be pulled. No big conspiracy is required. Generally, the funding agency has funding diverted from them to pay some other government bill. The price of something else, with a higher priority, went up. The funding agency then has to come up with the money. So they grab money from lower priority projects.
  • by coupland (160334) <dchase@@@hotmail...com> on Thursday April 17, 2003 @09:11PM (#5756185) Journal
    Just goes to show all this talk about freedom and free software is great when you're arguing with ComandrKeen69 on /. but free speech hits you in the pocket book when you port it to meatspace...
  • relevant quote (Score:5, Insightful)

    by zogger (617870) on Thursday April 17, 2003 @09:16PM (#5756223) Homepage Journal
    --relevant quote from down the list:

    "I am not sorry for having said my anti-war stuff, in fact if anything,
    this comes to something I said to Ty a few nights ago at the bar: "If
    they take the money away, then it was blood money, and I don't want it".

    I actually feel redeemed :-)"

    --good for you theo. It was blood money. The US government has been hijacked and is run by ....well, that word you can't use in usenet. I've seen enough with what passes for the law and legalities with this junta, they are the rulers, everyone else is a subject. They've been hacking down websites, now they are starting with the ultra violence on anyone who dares to have an opinion against them. Losing cash is nothing in the long run. Screw em, make your OS, and keep your opinions.

    And quite frankly, the government doesn't want "the people" to have a secure OS, they want "total informational awareness". Can't do that with secure software to the people, can you?

    We're seeing it now, assaults on security researchers and developers, assaults on encryption, etc.

    I've never run your OS but I can see what's happening, so you must be on the right track. Just lately they've taken down irwin schiff and his tax research, and also the publishers of cracking the code, the expose of the UCC in the US. so it's just not specifically IT. Politics as usual like you would see in any banana republic, just so happens this is turning into a LARGE banana republic, or should I say a "regime"..
    • "regime" (Score:3, Interesting)

      by benjamindees (441808)
      I remember seeing about a year ago a news conference in which Donald Rumsfield referred to his administration as a 'regime'. He said something to the effect of "Saddam's regime is doing blah blah, and this regime won't let him get away with it". It gives you a new perspective on the US government to hear things like that.

      I wouldn't know where to look to back this up, but it's actually true. I don't suppose C-Span keeps searchable transcripts...

  • by dracocat (554744) on Thursday April 17, 2003 @09:18PM (#5756238)
    1) There is no evidence the reason the funding was pulled because of Theo's comments.

    2) I think people are missing the point. It was the Department of Defense, not just the US Government that was funding the research. Now, why the hell would you shoot your mouth in a negative way about somebody that is giving you funding--AND then complain about it.

    If you care about something strongly enough that you are willing to stand up for it and take the consequences... good for you. But why does he act surprised and start whining when the consequences actually arrive!
  • by ENOENT (25325) on Thursday April 17, 2003 @09:18PM (#5756239) Homepage Journal
    In a surprising turn of events, BSD was found lying dead on the side of the road in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. I'm sure that we all have enjoyed using BSD-derived code at some point. BSD will be missed. Truly an American icon.
  • since the DARPA chief has too much money invested in the secret metal gear projects to invest in a simple OS
  • by NSParadox (135116) on Thursday April 17, 2003 @09:29PM (#5756300)
    I'm a student at the University of Pennsylvania, and Jonathan Smith teaches CSE350 every semester (our software engineering course). Last year we wrote a kernel-level firewall for OpenBSD. It was a great course, and he's pretty much the only professor here with any idea what software engineering means.

    It's a shame that this grant was cancelled. He could do a lot for the gov's computers.

    Now I know why we used OpenBSD in the course and not Linux. :)

  • For the record, I was being paid out of the POSSE grant (through UPenn) to work on Linux-IPsec, so clearly POSSE was not BSD-only. Unfortunately this was cancelled, too. I highly doubt this is a front against OpenBSD (or Theo), but I admit I'd prefer to know why the grant was retracted. Unfortunately I don't expect to learn the answer to that question.

    *sigh* Now I need to find another contract. :(

  • Support OpenBSD (Score:5, Informative)

    by xtal (49134) on Thursday April 17, 2003 @09:48PM (#5756413)
    If you like OpenBSD, chip in a few bucks. If it went down the way it did, then that's a shame. I'm a Canadian, FWIW, and it's really too bad this went down like it did. I also run a OpenBSD 3.2 firewall that I love. I can't say that it suprises me though, and it certainly is dissapointing.

    If you're an American and don't like this, then write your elected representative of choice. I'll be writing mine, but only because I'd rather see them throw money at these guys than a $1.077 Billion dollar gun registry boondacle. OpenBSD sells boxed sets, and I certainly imagine they'll take cash, too.

    I didn't see in the article anywhere you could send a donation to. OpenBSD.org has their own donations page and a orders page [openbsd.org] for their propaganda and cds and section for donations [openbsd.org] as well.

    If nothing else, OpenBSD will profit greatly from the exposure and free publicity this will generate in the Globe and Mail tomorrow.
  • Oh, come on..... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by deanj (519759) on Thursday April 17, 2003 @10:15PM (#5756558)
    Hey, I've been in on DARPA funded grants before, and I'll tell you, there are a TON of reasons that funding could have been pulled...

    1) The contact at DARPA changed. This happens all the freaking time. The guy who used to be your bonus baby might have been asked to move aside (or moved up, as the case may be), and the new guy just didn't "get" the project.

    2) They expected milestones, or at least reports of the sort that backed up what was being done on the project. If someone was slacking in getting these reports written, ....cut!

    3) Questions weren't being answered in a way they wanted to see. I've seen this too. It's pretty damn embarrasing to watch the funding agency ask legit questions, and then get the runaround on answers. THEY HATE THIS.

    I could go on, but you get the idea.

    Also, usually the main contact with the DARPA folks are NOT the guys implementing the project. It's the guy who's responsible for the grant. They don't give two rats cheeks about who's on the project, as long as the work gets done.

    I seriously doubt they had any idea who Theo was, no matter how "famous" he is within his community. Putting too much stock in anyone's profile besides the guy who wrote the original grant is just grandstanding (grant-standing? heh).

    It could have happened for any of the above reasons, or more. When I first hear about this a few hours ago, I looked for it on Slash.... Glad to see the submitter had a level head in posted what he/she did, since until the guy who wrote the grant speaks out, there are no facts here, just guesses.
  • by Quelain (256623) on Friday April 18, 2003 @12:44AM (#5757300)
    Theo DeRaadt statement crimethink. Unproceed grantwise.
  • by Sanity (1431) on Friday April 18, 2003 @01:17AM (#5757445) Homepage Journal
    Many appear to be arguing that the reason the grant was withdrawn was because Theo expressed an anti-war opinion. This is misleading, the reason the grant was withdrawn was more likely due to the manner in which Theo expressed that opinion, namely by expressing concern about DARPA's motives.

    If Theo was really concerned about DARPA's motives, he should have expressed his opinion by not accepting the money, not by taking it then using the fact that he had taken it as a vehicle for his political opinions.

    I am saddened that a silly mistake could have denied the public good the benefit of this funding, but this is the real world - and in the real world - you don't take money from someone then openly question their motives for giving it to you.

  • by RedSynapse (90206) on Friday April 18, 2003 @02:45AM (#5757704)
    I remember reading the original article about OpenBSD getting the money and Theo's "Uncomfortableness" with it coming from the U.S. military industrial complex. I and just remember thinking, ummmm, shut up, they're finding a special loophole to give you free money and your speaking out about the war isn't going to change a damn thing.

    I think Theo has been right about any technical and licencing issues (i.e. ipf) but cheerist, shut your yaphole when people are giving you badly needed funding with no strings attatched. The war has NOTHING to do with OpenBSD and if the KKK/Hitler/Child Pornographers of America trust fund wants to donate vast sums, take it and run. If someone asks how you feel about getting the money from them repeat after me: "The organisations that have donated money to the project have absoutley no control over it's direction so my personal feelings are irrelevant."

    Oh well too late. Loose lips sink ships.

    • by RazzleDazzle (442937) on Friday April 18, 2003 @07:53AM (#5758380) Journal
      While understanding what you mean and where you are coming from... you are suggesting Theo change his ways. I have been subscribed to misc@openbsd.org for over a year now and I firmly believe that Theo knows what he is doing even if he lost this money. He stats in a later thread on the misc mailing list that this is actually for the better in the long run (could have happened at a slightly better time like 1-2 months in the future for the purpose of the hotel/hackathon)...

What this country needs is a good five dollar plasma weapon.

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