Washington DC - Bill Clinton signed into law yesterday legislation
that makes Linux bashing an offense covered under the hate crime
statute. Anyone convicted of Linux bashing will now face Federal
charges. The law is in response to the recent beating of a
Linux user at the University of Colorado by a Windows 2000 Users
enforcement officials have been given some guidelines to follow
when determining if a crime is covered by the statute. For
example if a person beats someone to death with a hammer they would
just face murder charges in a state court. However, if a
person beats someone to death with a hammer while yelling "You
Linux using bastard," then they would be charged under the
hate crimes statute and face trial in a Federal court.
Many oppose the law, because they feel that it is
unfairly targeted at one particular group. "This makes
it near impossible to do our job properly without breaking the
law," said Microsoft PR representative Bailey McClain, "the
Feds are taking away one of our most useful tools."
It is commonly believed that 10% of the population
are Linux users. Linux users often hide their use from friends
and family members. Meeting other users in Linux only bars
or IRC channels. Openly Linux using people often face extreme
prejudice and discrimination from co-workers and IT departments
but say that this bigotry must be confronted. "Ive
never been beaten because of my open sourceness, but I get a lot
of Linux sucks comments," said Jared Yttrium, "Im
glad the statute is there to protect me."
Others in the Linux community were confused by the
ruling. "I went to Linux Bash 2000 and it was one helluva
party. The feds shouldn't be stopping that," said Jacques
In related news Microsoft Windows users are now covered
under the Americans with Disabilities Act.
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