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[humorix] OzLinux Project Announced

OzLinux Project Announced
June 8, 1999

As a reaction to the  growing speculation[1] that the
pending Australia censorship bill could ban Linux[2], a
group of Australian Linux hackers are drafting plans for a
new distro called OzLinux.  "Instead of yakking about the
problem on Slashdot, we're taking action," said a OzLinux

The primary goal of OzLinux is to modify anything that the
Australian "censorship police" (as the developers call
them) could find offensive.  It will be a herculanean task
to obfuscate, replace, or remove all cuss words, sexual
references (no matter how oblique), or other material that
could be misconstrued to be 'R' rated.

After a preliminary investigation, the OzLinux team has
already uncovered some examples of censor-bait shipped with
a typical Linux distro:

* Of course, the kernel source code is chock full of
profanities. The OzLinux folks plan to replace all of these
"four-letter words" with a phrase such as "[Only an
Australian politician would find offensive the expletive
that this explanatory text replaces.]" The OzLinux
developers have also contacted Linus Torvalds about plans
to rework sections of the kernel source that contain
another offensive four-letter word, goto.

* The output of the ps command can contain porn:  (we mean
the word "porn", not any kind of ASCII art!)

  485  p0 S    0:00 bash 
  491  p0 R N 79:07 ./setiathome

* Commands such as "mount" and "finger" could be viewed
upon by the censorship police as "unsuitable for
children".  Possible substitute names may include
"read-a-disk-in-a-completely-unsexual-way" and
"middle-finger". In addition, RMS might have a hard time
explaining the name of the GNU Rope (grope) program.

* A particularly oppressive censor might argue that the "X"
in "X Window System" is a veiled reference to sexual
activity and may (literally) call it X-rated.  Such an
[expletive deleted] act could render all X-based software
as censor-able.  (On the other hand, this would also have
to apply to such Microsoft "solutions" such as ActiveX and

* The ispell dictionary files (and likely those of other
spell-checkers as well) contain several profanities.  

In addition to making the distro "censor-proof", they also
want to add features designed exclusively to annoy
Australian politicians:

* The xbill game that is included in many distros will be
replaced with an xparliament game.  Instead of shooting
down the Bill Gateses who are attempting to install Windows
on all the computers, in xparliament the objective is to
shoot the encroaching Australian politicians who are
attempting to install filtering software on all the

* Kernel error messages will be altered so that, when
anything goes wrong, the system blames a random Australian
representative who supported the censorship bill.

Some examples:

Segmentation fault (core dumped)
This error brought to you by John Howard, Australian Prime
Minister (Of Censorship).

bash: /root: Permission denied
Let's hope you weren't trying to access a cache of
pornography, or else you'd be in jail courtesy of Senator
Brian Herradine!

Mozilla: Connection reset by peer.
It's all Senator Richard Alston's fault!  Vote for somebody
else in the next election!

* A modified Mozilla browser will warn users against
visiting any websites within the .gov.au hierarchy. 
"Material in this website may not be appropriate for
children or adults who value freedom," a pop-up message
will say, "If you are absolutely sure you want to enter,
please type 'CENSORSHIP SUCKS' on the line below and hit
ENTER."  The Mozilla throbber will change to an animation
of a Senator using a rubber stamp to mark "CENSORED" on a
stack of computer printouts.

The OzLinux distro is slated for first public release
sometime before the end of the year, when the censorship
law is supposed take effect (assuming that it does become

[1] http://slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=99/06/07/1226221
[2] http://i-want-a-website.com/about-linux/may99.shtml#Linux-Censorship


James S. Baughn

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