[Noisebridge-discuss] Advisory about recent thefts at Noisebridge.

Hephaestus hephaestus at antipunk.net
Sun Jul 10 21:31:16 UTC 2011

What makes you think you're not already being recorded?


On Sun, Jul 10, 2011 at 2:02 PM, Frantisek Apfelbeck <algoldor at yahoo.com> wrote:
> And please do not forget that there are people all around the world, hackers
> who are in touch with Noisebridge who are now I believe very hopeful that
> the most "positive" solutions are going to be found because it would be a
> great example that it works that way to with up and downs as everything. It
> is running like that for many yeas in one of the top world hackerspaces in
> one of the more dangerous neighbourhoods in San Francisco. I wonder what to
> do to keep it like that, nice and as much open as possible. That is just
> mine, now distant opinion.
> Sincerely,
> Frantisek
> ________________________________
> From: aestetix aestetix <aestetix at gmail.com>
> To: Rich Humphrey <rich_humphrey at yahoo.com>
> Cc: liz at bookmaniac.org; noisebridge-discuss at lists.noisebridge.net
> Sent: Sun, July 10, 2011 9:42:50 PM
> Subject: Re: [Noisebridge-discuss] Advisory about recent thefts at
> Noisebridge.
> On Sun, Jul 10, 2011 at 1:23 PM, Rich Humphrey <rich_humphrey at yahoo.com>
> wrote:
>> Hello-
>>  This is really sad to read, since before this started happening NB was
>> one of the safest most trusting environments I've been in.
>>  It's not surprising though, I had my space at CellSpace for a long time
>> and we really struggled with 'Radical Inclusion' in this neighborhood. There
>> are just a lot of people who are going to do this sort of thing, sometimes
>> it's just how they live even though they are otherwise pretty nice.
>>  It's also true that once you're 'discovered' as a good target it suddenly
>> becomes a free-for-all. This is not limited to theft, the seriousness of the
>> incidents will escalate also! There's a 'you can steal there' problem but
>> there's also a 'they won't beat you up so they're helpless' problem that's a
>> LOT worse!
>>  It's also obvious to me that NB people are really not the problem, and
>> they are very unlikely to be a problem, no matter how 'weird' they may
>> appear to some people. They are all really awesome and we're all very lucky.
>>  I really support Radical Inclusion but this must be in keeping with the
>> purpose of the place, which, unlike CellSpace, has a pretty clear purpose. I
>> think the 'let anyone who buzzes in' policy is going to have to go away,
>> that's just reality. It will probably have to change so that members have
>> access and non-members will need to have a member let them in and have a
>> member who is their 'sponsor' or escort of sorts. (or is at least aware that
>> they are there)
>>  So I would say be more strict about membership, and extend radical
>> inclusion to MEMBERS. That would take care of 99% of it because NB people
>> are awesome and the 'weirdos' of NB are THE BEST and we want to keep them.
>> Street people are not going to join and they are not going to try this stuff
>> if they don't know they can. (we have a lot of experience with this!)
>>  This is not just about property or awkward situations, it's really a
>> safety issue in a late night space like this. It could be very bad.
>> 1. Cameras, or the appearance of cameras, can be a big deterrent. But not
>> always.
>> 2. When cameras are working, even with very nice security software, they
>> are not really very useful when there's an incident. Sometimes you get lucky
>> and get a clear image that you can use but more often you spend hours
>> retreiving a grainy shot of a dark figure carrying something. (Yes, I can
>> confirm that Bigfoot stole your laptop.) Then people get annoyed with the
>> person who took a whole day to retrieve and deliver the stuff from their
>> crappy system. (lots of experience with this!)
>> 3. Street thieves go for things they can turn over NOW. That's laptops,
>> phones, wallets, cash. They are NOT interested in equipment, non-portable
>> cameras, desktops, cables or any of that. It's useless to them. If your
>> laptop gets stolen, it was a street thief. If you RAM is gone, that's a
>> dishonest geek!
>> 4. The police are not fast enough for safety! Especially at night. They'll
>> come, they'll catch the people afterward, but this is just not good enough
>> when it comes to the physical safety of the people we care about (everyone).
>> There needs to be some precaution to make this less of a threat BEFORE
>> anything happens.
>> So I think you should only let members open the door. There can be a
>> policy for members who don't want to be officially declared as such or who
>> can't afford the dues. Let anyone join! People who are a problem will just
>> not do that. Or if they do, then they're a member with a problem which is
>> very different from a stranger with problems.
>> Membership, especially with dues, is really an excellent filter! It lets
>> you keep your values while keeping your space safe! You can still let anyone
>> join. You can even let visitors join instantly if they pay dues up front.
>> Awful as it may sound, this really works, because problem people will simply
>> not pay. There can still be sliding-scale membership, just not for walk-ins.
>> I think it's an unfortunate problem, but very natural considering the
>> neighborhood. We're very lucky to have these options to solve it.
> Thank you so much for offering insights. It sounds like you have a lot of
> valuable experiences and wisdom to contribute.
> However... the big problems with the membership suggestions are that they
> empower membership beyond what it currently nets you (the ability to block
> consensus), it's unfair to people who are community members but cannot
> afford the admission, and, as we do not issue membership cards of any sort,
> it's impossible to enforce. On top of that, I know many people who are
> longstanding community members and make regular donations to the space, but
> have never gone through the formal membership process for any number of
> reasons. People who everyone else would have just assumed is a member.
> For reference, we tried doing anonymous membership a couple years ago, which
> incidentally was how we figured out that membership gives you nothing but
> the ability to block consensus. I'm not sure how to do "unofficially
> declared" membership beyond that, because becoming a member requires a
> consensus decision. On the other hand, asking someone to fill out a
> membership application informs them that you know who they are and value
> them, helps them feel more included in the community, and may make them
> reconsider doing bad things (if they were ever so inclined).
>> =Rich
>> -----------------------------------------------------------
>> Richard Mortimer Humphrey
>> General Specialist
>> --- On Sun, 7/10/11, Jonathan Lassoff <jof at thejof.com> wrote:
>> > From: Jonathan Lassoff <jof at thejof.com>
>> > Subject: Re: [Noisebridge-discuss] Advisory about recent thefts at
>> > Noisebridge.
>> > To: gian.pablo at gmail.com
>> > Cc: liz at bookmaniac.org, noisebridge-discuss at lists.noisebridge.net
>> > Date: Sunday, July 10, 2011, 12:05 PM
>> > On Sun, Jul 10, 2011 at 8:32 AM, Gian
>> > Pablo Villamil
>> > <gian.pablo at gmail.com>
>> > wrote:
>> > > As I've pointed out before, NYC Resistor was also in a
>> > sketchy area, and
>> > > implemented a far more doors-closed policy. The space
>> > was freely open only
>> > > on Thursday evenings, aside from that it was members
>> > only.
>> > > This policy did not seem to get in the way of people
>> > doing cool things, and
>> > > it made the the people there feel a lot more safe.
>> > > I've already had a couple of experiences at NB
>> > where... undesirable
>> > > visitors... made it impossible for me to get work
>> > done.
>> > > Perhaps we should have more of a vetting policy?
>> > > My concern is that word seems to be spreading - fast -
>> > around the
>> > > neighborhood about NB being a wide-open place with
>> > lots of goodies.
>> >
>> > I somewhat agree. I've thought in the past what NB would be
>> > like a
>> > members-only place, and I still think it could work. We
>> > could just be
>> > really liberal about who we can make members.
>> >
>> > I don't see any reason to cap membership at a certain size
>> > or put
>> > mechanisms to slow growth in place. I'd much like to see
>> > some
>> > mechanism to stop complete strangers (people that aren't
>> > friends,
>> > friends-of-friends, etc.) be able to come in off of the
>> > street.
>> >
>> > --j
>> > _______________________________________________
>> > Noisebridge-discuss mailing list
>> > Noisebridge-discuss at lists.noisebridge.net
>> > https://www.noisebridge.net/mailman/listinfo/noisebridge-discuss
>> >
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