On Tuesday a democrat in New Hampshire’s house introduced a bill in support of free software. The House Bill (HB) 1273 would be a step forward for software freedom. It proposes to help protect the user freedom of New Hampshire residents in a number of important ways.
Prohibits the state government from requiring residents to use proprietary software, whether in remote court appearances, tax filings, standardized test-taking, coursework in public schools, or matters relating to any state benefits
Forbid employers from using non-compete clauses to prevent their employees from contributing to free software
Prohibits NH law enforcement from participating in the investigation or prosecution of copyright claims brought by proprietary software developers against free software developers
Forms a state commission to promote the use of free software in state agencies
Now much of the legislation is a bit wishy-washy with no real teeth, but there are some parts that in theory if passed could have a beneficial impact on our freedom. Other parts could be a little more problematic for those who are libertarian and do not believe in the use of violence to achieve social and political objectives (outside that of a defensive nature anyway). Fortunately most of the bill is tailored toward government and is more defensive in nature than not. Some not so great parts would likely also not have much real world impact.
One part in particular should get libertarians everywhere excited. While it probably was not intended by the legislator proposing the bill, a democrat, it would none-the-less be an amazing step forward in reducing the harm of violent thugs in government. The bill would ensure that users have the right to access the source code for any device utilized in the creation of evidence. This would in effect result in evidence being thrown out whereby the government could not produce the source code to the device that created it. Evidence from such devices as radar guns would no longer be valid in court for all practical purposes. The reason for this is that the suppliers of such devices will not release such source code and thereby prosecutors won’t be able to comply with the law. Before the socialists get upset by this though it’s something everyone should be concerned about. It’s already well known that these devices are full of bugs and this would likely result in evidence being invalidated everywhere if the code were released- not just in NH- and so the device manufacturers would never want to do this short of significant improvements to the code. The solution is to pass this in more states and force manufacturers hand-else let this stand as a means of eliminating a law that should not be in that there is no party that can actually show injury.
To have any real chance of seeing this pass the legislation would likely need to be significantly trimmed. Some parts are problematic such as the forbidding of employers from using non-compete clauses to prevent their employees from contributing to free software for instance. This would likely be unpopular with many state legislators who otherwise support software freedom while also supporting ones right to negotiate a contract free of government interference. Maybe there is a way to put this into law that were more freedom-focused, like letting such terms be unenforceable via law, but either way much of the legislature isn’t going to want to interfere in the private affairs of employee-employer relations either way. I suspect this is likely to have little impact in either case given non-compete clauses within the free software world are already taboo and many of us (myself included) would not sign (or require it) such in an employment contract.
One interesting aspect of the bill is that it would prohibit NH law enforcement from partaking in investigation or prosecution of copyright claims against free software developers. While I can in good conscious support this and would go farther to argue for the elimination of copyright it’s unclear to me where this is currently an issue. Maybe it’s connected to the breaking of digital restrictions such as would be the case with something like DeCSS. A free software program that breaks encryption on commercial DVDs. This falls under copyright law and might be prosecuted by state agencies although that said it’s normally a federal offense. State law enforcement can generally however prosecute federal crimes as I understand it or otherwise partake in federal investigation and prosecution thereof. Of which is more common I do believe with civil asset forfeiture cases.
In spite of some of the issues with the legislation a small contingent of libertarians showed up to more or less in support the legislation as well as others from the free software community. One Jon “maddog” Hall, the Board Chair for the Linux Professional Institute, for instance came out and spoke in favor of the legislation.
Jon “maddog” Hall is the Board Chair for the Linux Professional Institute
The main theme surrounding the hearing seemed to be that of software security and the cost of implementation. New Hampshire’s head of IT for instance also spoke from what appeared to be a purchased lobbyist point-of-view. Declaring more or less that it would be of significant burden and cost to transition to free software (while saying they’re already using free software humorously). The opposing side of course pointed out the truth in that there is always a cost to migrate from one release of a program to another, but it’s not significantly different from that of migrating to free software. Not to mention that while free software isn’t about price, but the liberty, security, and control, this twisting and confusing of the bill was quite disingenuous. The long term costs are reduced as no license agreements need be acquired. Commercial support is generally available too despite the head of IT trying to confuse the reps by comparing commercial software to free software. These are for all intensive purposes one and the same. You can acquire commercial support from Redhat for instance for free software and even much of Microsoft’s own code is based on free software. This bill was about libre, not gratis where libre means freedom, and gratis means price.
While the head of NH IT argued against free software on the basis of features, commercial support, and security the reality is these are more often than not mute points given features can be added to free software unlike the proprietary software he favored. Security bugs can be fixed not at the whim of a particular company, but that of either, you, the community, or the commercial entity you contract with for said free software (example: Redhat). Yes- you can buy free software and many companies do. Just because something is libre doesn’t mean you can’t or shouldn’t pay for its development/support. And unlike proprietary software free software can be seen, read, and audited by third parties with or without the consent of the company producing it (once released). These are the things that ensure security- not anti-virus software or proprietary software vendors of which the former is a kin to putting up a fence and expecting it to stop ants from coming onto your property. The head of IT didn’t stop there- even implying that free software was insecure through association with Bitcoin. While not said outright during the hearing he referenced recent socially engineered attacks on municipalities. Somewhat recently there were reports of municipalities being ‘hacked’- which were in reality social engineering attacks primarily involving the traditional banking system. It was only after the attacks occurred and the money paid by employees of the municipalities to criminals overseas that said money was utilized to purchase Bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies. If there is a flaw- it’s not the software- and it’s certainly not the result of it being libre.
In a strong unintended endorsement, the New Hampshire democrats had yet another online meeting tonight to expose the Free State Project‘s migrants for infiltrating the republican party, winning dozens of state house seats, and our various other tremendous successes.
Despite claiming our numbers are small, the entire video conference – put on by former state reps, at least one of whom migrated to NH – was all about how well-organized our decentralized freedom migration has been. The statists are extremely concerned about the Free State Project, as evidenced by the fact that they have held multiple such meetings like this over the last several years. They used to be held in person but now they are too frightened of catching a cold to meet in real life, and it’s easier to keep the liberty activists out of the discussion this way.
The former state reps giving the presentation believe that there’s some secret big libertarian money funding activists to move here, which is totally false. Otherwise, they have clearly done a LOT of homework to learn as much as they can about this movement, because it is working. We are a peaceful threat to the status quo and they hate that liberty is rising in New Hampshire.
Nowhere else in the other 49 states are the people in power actually worried about libertarian activists. The reason they aren’t concerned, is because libertarians are completely ineffective. The reason we’re so ineffective elsewhere is because there are so few of us, spread across the entire country. That’s the reason the Free State Project was formed. It was a good idea and two decades later it’s a proven success. The statists are very, very scared.
Libertarian NH Boogaloo Boys Demonstrate Outside NH State House
American mainstream news media has been reporting this weekend on the massive buildups of armed government goons at state houses across the United States. Expecting massive armed demonstrations of Boogaloo supporters, some of the state gangs locked down their capitol areas completely while others, like New Hampshire, took it easy and only had state troopers parked around and walking the state house property in pairs. By comparison, the New York Times said Massachusetts’ capitol had hundreds of officers wearing helmets and carrying batons.
However, around the country, barely anyone showed up. Some liberty activists said they wouldn’t attend because they believed the events were federal honeypots designed to gather information about freedom-lovers. Others foolishly believed that exercising their right to bear arms would mean their rights would be more likely taken from them. Luckily, in New Hampshire, five Boogaloo Boys showed up with rifles front slung. They were well-spoken and self-described as Libertarian, with one even talking about the Non Aggression Principle to the large number of reporters that were present.
One Boogalooer even educated the media people on gun safety and basics, with the photographers crazily shooting pictures when the Boogaloo Boy showed a magazine loaded with bullets. The news media was informed on the history of the Boogaloo – the name is based on the Eighties breakdancing movie “Breakin’ 2: Electric Boogaloo”, with the members describing their group as a real-life meme. They also explained the origin of their Hawaiian shirt dress code, which came about after social media sites started to crack down on any groups referencing Boogaloo. The social media crackdown on the term forced them to use code words that were similar, like “Big Igloo” or “Big Luau”, which naturally led to the shirts.
Kudos to the ACLU-NH for playing fair and inviting all the ballot-qualified candidates for governor of New Hampshire to their online series focusing on civil liberties. The New Hampshire ACLU chapter has long been a strong advocate of various freedoms and Libertarian for governor Darryl W Perry did a great job in the hour-long discussion. They covered ending the war on drugs, police reform, and various other issues.
Aria DiMezzo, on Cheshire TV’s Spotlight on the Candidates during her 2018 campaign.
Aria DiMezzo, the self-described “she-male” anarchist running for Cheshire County Sheriff as a republican has soundly defeated longtime candidate-for-sheriff Earl Nelson 10-to-1 and now moves on to face democrat incumbent Sheriff Eli Rivera in the general election on November 3rd!
Nelson has been the challenger against Rivera for the last several election cycles, but has never been able to defeat him. This year during the filing window for candidates, Nelson hadn’t filed as of two days prior to the deadline, so Aria decided to run for Cheshire County Sheriff– again.
She previously ran for Cheshire Sheriff as a Libertarian candidate in 2018, back when the Libertarians had major party ballot access status in New Hampshire. Unfortunately, the transsexual anarchist founder of the Reformed Satanic Church only received just over 2.3% of the vote in the three-way race. However, at that point she had not yet legally changed her name, which she now has. Since the two major parties make it so hard for Libertarians and other parties to run for office, we might as well run in the two parties.
This time around DiMezzo’s campaign attracted some attention from some haters in Rindge who mounted a sizable write-in campaign on behalf of Nelson. It is not known whether they got Nelson’s approval for this and the official republican primary results from the state show their campaign had near-zero effect outside of Rindge. However the attacks against her had a reverse effect and actually brought her new supporters who excitedly put dozens of yard signs out around Cheshire County’s roads.
Yard Signs Available via Aria4Sheriff.com
When I asked her to comment for this story, she said, “It is with great joy that I receive this nomination from the Republicans of Cheshire County, who, in an era of Donald Trump, showed their tolerance and dedication to the principles of small-government by nominating the trans anarchic High Priestess of the Reformed Satanic Church to be sheriff.”
With the ongoing nationwide protests demanding police accountability for attacking peaceful people of all colors, there’s no better time for DiMezzo’s candidacy. Given Rivera’s violent past, DiMezzo may actually have a chance to unseat him. As a trans person originally from the South, Aria can definitely relate to the problems plaguing government’s monopoly police. She addressed the issue in her introduction piece on her campaign website, saying she’s seen, “first-hand the dangers of bigotry, overt and subtle. These biases inform the actions of police in terrifying ways, since they are allowed to “exercise discretion” in which “crimes” to pursue and which to ignore. This leads to a disproportionate targeting of black people and LGBTQ+ people by police, who, like all predators, seek out the weakest prey they can find.”
A key campaign issue, according to her website, is making Cheshire County a sanctuary for all peaceful acts now prohibited by the state – a total end to enforcement of “victimless crimes”.
When not running for Sheriff, DiMezzo is a nationally syndicated talk show host on “Free Talk Live“, which is heard on over 190 radio stations across the United States. She also teaches people how to sell Bitcoin and has extensive experience in helping connect people with cryptocurrency.
It’s going to be a very interesting election. Stay tuned here to Free Keene for the latest on DiMezzo’s epic campaign.
Due to a scheduling conflict we’ve pushed back the start time for the “Karen VS Nobody” NH gubernatorial debate this Friday, August 28th to 3pm Eastern. The participants are Republican candidates for New Hampshire governor Karen Testerman, biologist and Franklin city councilor, and “Nobody“, the libertarian activist who changed his name to run for office.
Questions are being submitted by both candidates to the debate moderator – nationally syndicated talk show host Mark Edge. We’re also asking you to submit your questions for the two Republican challengers to tyrant king Chris Sununu. By the way, Sununu’s campaign did not respond to the debate invitation. Should you wish to submit a question for possible inclusion, please post it to the comments here on this article.
There will be a post made here at Free Keene on Friday where you’ll be able to watch the debate stream live at 3pm. You can also watch it live via the LRN.FM DLive and Twitch channels.