I think it’s fascinating that the major news sites (NYTimes, Washington Post, C/NET) are outspoken about Geer losing his job immediately after contributing to a report highly critical of Microsoft’s monopoly, but none of them link to the actual report!
I believe this is it:
Now that I have had a moment to actually read the report that may have
gotten Dan Geer fired, I think I understand the situation a bit better. Yeesh. It’s probably about 5% tech and 95% anti-Microsoft vitriol. It doesn’t offer any solutions, it only repeats the mantra “Monoculture is bad so you should stop using Microsoft, only Microsoft won’t let you”. Taking just the objective points, the whole thing could be boiled down to a single page (or maybe just a paragraph).
Maybe the authors know their intended audience better than I do, but I still find it hard to believe that one’s job would be threatened by such a silly paper. If I’m going to be fired over something I wrote, I sure hope that it reads better than that report!
Why all of the hooplah over something that might as well have come from the user comments on Slashdot? And perhaps more interestingly, with all of the buzz about this highly controversial report, why are so few sites linking to it?
Are journalists afraid of going the same route as Geer for criticizing the Microsoft juggernaut? Maybe the fact that the CTO of a major security corporation was let go after contributing to the report (on his own time!) is newsworthy, despite representatives from @Stake denying it. Maybe the text in question wasn’t worth referring to, in the eyes of the editors (but then, why do some of them link to microsoft.com and nowhere else?)
Alas, we’ll likely never know the real truth about Dan’s situation or why the news outlets are careful to tiptoe around Microsoft’s feelings. But if you find yourself in a position of being threatened to keep your opinions to yourself, even if you go to great lengths to make it clear that they are your opinions (and not those of your employer), I highly encourage you to speak your mind. If we find that we’ve built a sleeping giant, it’s our duty to light a fire under them from time to time, whether they like it or not.
Have you ever been censored or threatned to keep quiet by your employer? (Anonymous contributions welcome! =)