… doubt no more. The government — and now the UberGovernment — is filled with idiots.
Here’s an email (with names redacted) sent by a friend about one of their
more less amusing stupidities:
We thought we were under scrutiny because of the words we use, but it turns out the FBI also don’t like the word “Subversion”.
My firm (and probably 100,000 other small and large businesses) use the open-source software package Subversion to provide version control of documents and code. The idea of version control is alien to the uber-government, but ignorance has never deterred thugs.
———- Forwarded message ———-
From: Other Name Redacted
Date: Sun, Aug 11, 2013 at 9:24 PM
Subject: Suggestion to change the name “Subversion”
I know it is standard practice in programming to use common words in the English language for specific software terminology or naming. However, this has often caused confusions.
If you go through the story of Goldman Sachs programmer Serge Aleynikov who was accused & convicted of “stealing” open source software code, the link below, you will see that one of the factors that affected the case was that to the FBI investigator who was a software layman, the word “subversion repository” had a negative connotation to it. He assumed it was the verb form of the word ‘Subvert’. In the story below, Agent McSwain of the FBI, who took the investigation of Aleynikov, had no idea about version control of code, let alone SVN. Later Aleynikov was found innocent and released from incarceration.
Hence this is my strong suggestion: next release, please consider altering the name subversion to something else. At least “Sub-version”. This is to prevent confusion to non-technical people who could mistake the meaning of the name and associate it to negative activity like hacking or stealing. Just a thought and suggestion that could have far reaching implications. Please consider this.
Can’t see a reason in the world why anybody should change the name of their software, though. Just because “your a idiot” doesn’t mean your betters should lower themselves to your level, FBI.
The VF story contains several helpful tips to prepare yourself for being arrested — at least one of which you’ve already got memorized if you’ve hung out in these parts very long.