"Freedom to Innovate Network" Raided By The Feds

Fake News written by James Baughn on Friday, July 7, 2000

from the evil-versus-evil-who-will-win? dept.

REDMOND, WA -- In a surprise move, agents from the FBI, NSA, and DOJ launched a surprise raid on the headquarters of the "grass-roots" pro-Microsoft FIN. Nearly 500 members of the organization have been arrested and charged with, in the words of Janet Reno, "providing aid and assistance to Microsoft, a company that has been declared a convicted felon by the Court for anti-trust violations."

"This is organized crime, plain and simple," announced Reno at a press conference held outside of the prison where the top 25 FIN members were temporarily being held. "Godfather Gates must be stopped before he violates even more anti-trust violations and commits murder... er, anti-competitive acts against his rivals."

The raid came just days after the Feds intercepted an internal Microsoft memo entitled, "How to employ a fake grass-roots organization to gain positive PR via astroturf and media manipulation techniques". This memo, along with a roster of all FIN members, was found in the dumpster of Informix. Apparently Informix's corporate spies had gone dumpster diving at Oracle, their competitor, and discovered these documents which Oracle had originally obtained from the trash cans outside the FIN offices.

Court hearings for the 500 FIN members should begin next month. Their defense lawyer issued a public statement saying, "This is an outrage. During the Cold War, McCarthy went after Communists; now in the Microsoft Vigilante War, Reno is going after Microserfs. Has anyone ever heard of 'freedom of assembly'?"

The Linux community is severly torn over the issue. Said Mr. A. Coward, "Well, we all know that what's bad for Microsoft is good for the country. However, the opposite is also true: what's good for the government is bad for the country. If the government tramples upon Microsoft's freedom to innovate creative public relations schemes, then that means the government will soon trample on the rights of everyone. But if the government doesn't do anything, then Microsoft will be free to trample on the rights of every computer user and competitor. What the heck is a Microsoft basher but freedom lover supposed to do?"

Indeed, many geeks who have pondered this paradox have entered into a mental infinite loop. Thankfully, the average geek brain has a built in SIGCAFFEINE signal that the kernel (brain stem) uses to halt any runaway processes when it's time yet again to injest more caffeine. This is a survivial trait; if the brain is overloaded, then it is unable to search for caffeine, which means that the body will soon fall asleep, causing the geek to lose his job, thus resulting in a lack of money, and preventing him from buying cool toys and high-speed Internet access, ultimately forcing him to (oh the humanity!) re-enter the offline meatspace world (which is nearly synonomous with death).

However, some hardcore geeks and ardent Microsoft haters have sided with the Feds in this matter. "The FIN is a scam," said one. "They relay your comments to elected represenatives, but not without making a few 'innovative' changes to them. For instance, if you post the comment, 'Keep up the good work, DOJ... Microsoft sucks', it becomes, 'Keep up the good work [in beating up a defenseless company], DOJ... Microsoft sucks [only because you have taken away their freedom to innovative]'." He added, "Sure, the FIN is a non-partisan organization... they'll gleefully give campaign contributions to any party."

Many Pointy Haired Bosses, on the other hand, are vehemently opposed to the actions of the DOJ. Said one Assistant Vice Undersecretary Upper Manager at a Fortune 500,000 company, "Everybody uses astroturf and fake grass-roots organizations. Nobody would complain, either, if it wasn't for Microsoft who keeps screwing up. But what's wrong with a little political activity by a corporation? I mean, Starbucks does it: they secretly sponsor the 'Association of Citizens for the Monopolization of the Coffee Industry Worldwide'. And AOL, Disney, and others support the 'Parents for the Dumbing-Down of American Culture' organization."

The US Senate responded to the government raid with a "Bad Reno, No Biscuit" resolution chastising the DOJ. It was spearheaded by Sen. Fattecat (R-Washington) who said, "I can't believe this is happening in my home state! This is obviously a conspiracy concocted by the Helsinkian Underground and the GNUist Revolutionaries." Some Senators did vote against the measure; Sen. Phil E. Buster (D-Minnesota) said, "I've lost track of the number of times my Windows laptop has crashed during this session. Microsoft is a menace that must be stopped." He added under his breath, "Besides, I haven't receieved any campaign contributions from them this year. What do I care?"

In related news, hired thugs showed up at the door of Oracle chief Larry Ellison earlier today, and announced, "The Godfather has taken an interest in your health. You better behave. We don't like it when people rummage through our garbage. We'll leave you alone now just as we settle the little matter of a... um, bribe."

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