On the beginning of July, during the FISL (International Free Software Forum), in Porto Alegre, Brazil, the Brazilian Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation, Aloizio Mercadante, had a meeting with Brazillian hackers (Jon MadDog is almost Brazilian at this moment :)).
I was on that meeting, and we had the opportunity to present our FLOOS, Open Hardware and Open Standards projects and initiatives to the Minister, and talk about the ways we (as a community) are developing technology outside the traditional academic environment.
I’m very happy to see that the Minister really understood what we presented, and I’m translating bellow an article wrote by him and published yesterday (11/08/2011) at the “Folha de São Paulo” newspaper. Finally it seems that the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation is committed to build policies to support our work here. While some governments are fighting the hackers, the Brazilian government is managing a way to work with us all, in benefit of our society !
Here’s the Minister Aloisio Mercadante’s article:
“The reasons for the dialog with hackers
As Internet access becomes a reality in social classes, millions of new users are enjoying its facilities and transformative potential. At the same time, the society’s dependence on the network is increasing. Currently, more than a third of financial transactions are made in virtual mode, and essential services of energy, traffic and communications are increasingly dependent on it.
These sectors may suffer cyber attacks with unpredictable consequences, and also the Brazilian state needs to take precautions. Therefore, the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation and Ministry of Defense are working together to develop technologies that will prevent, protect or restore essential services affected by attacks of so-called crackers.
Crackers are criminals, many of whom do not even know how to program, being advanced users of software that wasn’t necessarily developed by themselves.
Hackers are people that decipher things, develop software and hardware that allow adaptation or construction of new features. In general, young self-taught individuals and creators of innovative solutions for the use of information technologies.
Almost all social relations that exists inside the society also exists on the network, including the crimes. However, we cannot start a process of freedoms restriction on the Internet and widespread criminalization, motivated by localized episodes - though of concern - nor contribute to simplify the meaning of the libertarian and transformative movement that represents the hacker community.
This movement began in the 1960s, influenced by the counterculture. The sociologist Manuel Castells in his book “The Internet Galaxy”, made it clear that the hacker culture has been one of the forming forces of the Internet. The Internet wasn’t the only model of digital network. France had the Minitel network, fully centralized and closed.
By other hand, the Internet has its distributed intelligence, is completely open, which allows hackers to continue creating innovative solutions, such as the P2P (”peer-to-peer”) networks, a system that allows information sharing by connecting two clients and transforming the client in a server and vice versa. That consolidated it as a network with no center, no owner, whose intelligence is located on users’ machines.
The experience and geniality of the code creators cannot be ignored. In early July I attended the International Free Software Forum in Porto Alegre. We have young people developing science and technology outside of academia and big corporations, ethical hackers who want more transparency and participation in their relationship with the State.
The capacity of these technology development collectives need to be recognized and encouraged, because it can generate important innovations for our country. Fortunately, the communitarian science and free technologies are advancing, helping to topple dictatorships and conservative and biased thinking.
Now, in Brazil, the hacker culture will have the support of the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation. We are developing a set of public policies to allow this promising community to contribute with the development of new technologies and solutions for the society.
Aloizio Mercadante, a PhD in Economics at Unicamp, is Brazilian Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation.”
Again, happy to see my country in the right path !