“Having these programs in schools is fantastic, but the military calling the shots in American education?” Mitch Altman, a co-founder of Noisebridge, a San Francisco hackerspace, said in an interview. “I don’t see that as a positive move,” added Mr. Altman, who, in an online post, was among the first to take a stand against the program.
The controversy over the government programs led to a tense session in a packed ballroom at the Hackers on Planet Earth conference this summer in New York, where recipients and critics of the Darpa financing gathered to discuss its implications.
“If you grow a piece of celery in red water, it’s going to be red,” said Sean Auriti, who is known as Psytek at the hackerspace Alpha One Labs in Brooklyn, which he runs. “I’m just wondering how this Darpa defense contract money is going to influence these projects.”
Probably much the same way that it influenced the Internet and TorProject; as a former gun-runner I would be far more worried about Department of Treasury funding coming with strings, than Military.
I’m not saying this is all good. I am saying that the NYT debate is a storm in a teacup. We already know that all software is dual-use, but apparently some folk on my team have forgotten.