World Summit foiled by Stallman

Bruce Perens noted in his blog on November 18th that Richard Stallman was causing quite a stir at the World Summit on the Information Society in Tunis because he wrapped his RFID badge in aluminum foil. I suppose that is about as good a publicity stunt as you could hope for if you are someone opposed to radio-based identification and tracking. Security would have been wise to have just left him alone, rather than making a fuss and trying to detain him between sessions.

You can’t give Richard a visible RF ID strip without expecting him to protest. Richard acquired an entire roll of aluminum foil and wore his foil-shielded pass prominently. He willingly unwrapped it to go through any of the visible check-points, he simply objected to the potential that people might be reading the RF ID without his knowledge and tracking him around the grounds. This, again, is a legitimate gripe, handled with Richard’s usual highly-visible, guile-less and absolutely un-subtle style of non-violent protest.

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