[linux-elitists] Save Chip!

Karsten M. Self kmself@ix.netcom.com
Thu Jun 30 17:39:26 PDT 2005

Chip Salzenberg, sometime contributor to this list, though I believe he
may have other FS credentials[1] is currently under legal action from
his (presumably former) employer, one Health Marketing Science of King
of Prussia, PA.

The story's on Slashdot:


    Perl's Chip Salzenberg Sued, Home Raided
    The Courts | Posted by jamie on 03:30 PM June 30th, 2005
    from the whistleblower dept.

    Chip Salzenberg writes "In April of this year, Health Market Science
    of King of Prussia, PA, told police that they feared I was
    misappropriating trade secrets. That very afternoon, police raided
    my house with a search warrant to seize every computer in the house,
    paper files, CDs, and DVDs... even my wireless router and cable
    modem!" Chip was the pumpking for perl's 5.004 release. Keep reading
    for his description of his current legal troubles, and for a
    shortcut into what he says prompted his former company's actions,
    read his letter warning about abuse of open proxies.

    Chip continues: "The key evidence in the search warrant was so
    ridiculous as to be surreal: CVS logs indicating that I downloaded
    more than I uploaded, and that I sometimes accessed the company
    network from home. Apparently, for company management, the police,
    and a judge, working at home through a gateway the company set up
    for that very purpose, and refraining from editing every source file
    for every code change, is a sign of nefarious behavior.

    My behavior in accessing the company network was entirely within my
    job description and in no way involved misappropriation of anything.
    For the more than two years that I worked at HMS, I used ssh and CVS
    to access company files with my laptop both from work and home, with
    management knowledge and approval.

    What would lead management to such a sudden action? Days beforehand,
    I had made an internal report of unethical and apparently illegal
    behavior by the company: Use of open proxies for web harvesting to
    avoid blockage by web site operators. HMS apparently decided that
    working with me to address their use of open proxies was not an

I'm aware that we're hearing only one side of the story at this point,
but I'm inclined to see that Chip receives all the help he can stand.

Seems that there might be folks on this list, or known to this list, who
may have been victims of the harvesting efforts.  Coordinating evidence
of such activities might be useful.

Otherwise, I know we've got some lawyers in the community as well, would
very much like to have any who can assist.



1.  For the sarcasm impaired:  he's among the leading Perl developers,
    and was pumpking (release manager) for the 5.004 release.

Karsten M. Self <kmself@ix.netcom.com>        http://kmself.home.netcom.com/
 What Part of "Gestalt" don't you understand?
    I dunno what you're / smoking, but I would like to / have a bowl of some.
    - Haiku bowl of some
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