- John Gilmore (activist)
John Gilmore is one of the founders of the
Electronic Frontier Foundation, the Cypherpunks mailing list, and Cygnus Solutions. He created the alt.* hierarchy in Usenetand is a major contributor to the GNU project.
As the fifth employee of
Sun Microsystemsand founder of Cygnus Support, he accumulated sufficient wealth to take an early retirement and pursue other interests.He is a frequent contributor to free software, and worked on several GNUprojects, including maintaining the GNU Debuggerin the early 90s, initiating GNU Radioin 1998, starting Gnashin December 2005 to create a free software player for Flash movies, and writing the pdtar program which became GNU tar. Outside of the GNU project he founded the FreeS/WANproject, an implementation of IPsec, to promote the encryption of Internet traffic. He sponsored the EFF's Deep Crack DES cracker, and he is a proponent of opportunistic encryption.
He owns the domain toad.com which is one of the 100 oldest active .com domains. It was registered on 08/18/1987. He runs the mail server at toad.com as an
open mail relay. In October 2002, Gilmore's ISP, Verio, cut off his Internet access for running an open relay, a violation of Verio's terms of service. Many people contend that open relays make it too easy to send spam. Gilmore protests that his mail server was programmed to be essentially useless to spammers and other senders of mass email and he argues that Verio's actions constitute censorship. He also notes that his configuration makes it easier for friends who travel to send email, although his critics counter that there are other mechanisms to accommodate people wanting to send email while traveling. The measures Gilmore took to make his server useless to spammers may or may not have helped, considering that in 2002, at least one massmailing worm that sent through open relays - W32.Yaha - had been hardcoded to relay through the toad.com mailserver. An article citing this was posted, and a subsequent discussion on the issue took place, on Declan McCullagh's Politechbot mailing list. [http://seclists.org/politech/2002/Mar/0026.html to archived article and discussion]
Gilmore is co-author with
Bill Croftof the 1985 Bootstrap Protocol (RFC 951), which evolved into DHCP, the primary way to obtain an IP addressupon joining an Ethernet or wireless network.
Gilmore is also a
philanthropist, and has given financial support to, among others, Students for Sensible Drug Policy, Marijuana Policy Project, Erowid, MAPS, and various organizations seeking to end the war on drugs.
* [http://www.toad.com/gnu/ John Gilmore's website]
* [http://www.papersplease.org/gilmore/ Gilmore v. Gonzales information]
* RFC 951, Bootstrap Protocol
* [http://grep.law.harvard.edu/features/04/08/18/112237.shtml John Gilmore on inflight activism, spam and sarongs] ; interview by
Mikael Pawlo, August 18, 2004.
* [http://www.archive.org/details/john_gilmore_v_gonzales_interview_20061113 Gilmore on Secret Laws / Gonzales case] ; audio interview, 13 November 2006.
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