Wednesday, June 02, 2004

Joi Ito's Web: Comment by my Brother Jim

Joi Ito's Web: Email from artist suspected by FBI of bioterrorism:

"It's unfortunate yet understandable that this happened. Police were called to a house with a dead woman and find lab equipment and chemicals that they do not understand and, fearing the worst, err on the side of extreme caution, thinking, perhaps that they've stumbled upon a terrorist cell in the middle of brewing up a new biotoxin. The first response people acted appropriately, in my opinion.
Rereading that, it sounds as though I don't support Mr. Kurtz -- that's not the case. The FBI has access to people qualified to pronounce Mr. Kurtz's equipment harmless. Hopefully, the tragic loss of his wife will be conclusively shown not to have been caused by his work and her death will not come into play.
As for the computers and lab equipment, I'd write them off and replace them -- the FBI is notorious for returning seized computers only when they've become so obsolete as to be unusable. His writings, on the other hand, as well as his teaching materials, should be returned immediately. "