Torture Bill as C Code

November 1, 2006

Edit – I’ve only just realised that wordpress did not submit the entire original post, this has now been fixed. Will teach me for posting in such a rush! – 3:42 p.m. 8/11/2006 (NZ Time)
Old news I know, But I thought it was worthy of sharing as many still will not have seen it.

I finally got a change to read Bruce Schneier’s latest newsletter about a week ago which featured this small C snippet that Kevin the author felt summed up the new terrorist bill:

if (person = terrorist) {
punish_severely();
} else {
exit(-1);
}

My initial take on it was that it was a simple joke illustrating that the with the new bill anyone ‘run through’ is automatically considered a terrorist. There are no checks in place and they are punished severely. This was when I first saw the snippet over at digg.com. When I saw Bruce’s latest newsletter I read his entry on the code, in particular his blog comments where people pointed out a couple of other errors:

Punish_severely() is a black hole, it takes no arguments and has no return value. Who is being punished and how is the process being gauged?

Interesting piece of political code! All in fun of course 🙂

Edit – Another policical piece, Rumsfeld resignation summarized in Mac OSX screenshot. – 11:17 a.m. 9/11/2006 (NZ Time)

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