Scroll down to read this post.


Without the support of my readers I could not keep doing this, not so much because of the need for income to pay the bills, but because it tells me that there are people out there who want me to do this work. If you wish to add your vote of support to Behind the Black, by giving either a one-time contribution or a regular subscription, you can do so in any one of the following ways:


1. Zelle: This is the only internet method that charges no fees. All you have to do is use the Zelle link at your internet bank and give my name and email address (zimmerman at nasw dot org). What you donate is what I get.


2. Patreon: Go to my website there and pick one of five monthly subscription amounts, or by making a one-time donation.

3. A Paypal Donation:

4. A Paypal subscription:

5. Donate by check, payable to Robert Zimmerman and mailed to
Behind The Black
c/o Robert Zimmerman
P.O.Box 1262
Cortaro, AZ 85652

Today’s blacklisted American: Computer maker Raspberry Pi boycotted because it hired a former policeman

Toby Roberts: Targeted for blacklisting
Toby Roberts: blacklisted because he once was
a policeman

They’re coming for you next: The mini-computer maker Raspberry Pi has found itself being boycotted because it hired a former policeman.

Toby Roberts, the former policeman, had spent years using Raspberry Pi’s in his policework building covert surveillance devices. As he wrote about his new job, “While I enjoyed my time in the police, it was tough at times, so it’s really pleasant now to be in such a joyful environment.”

The Buzzfeed article at the first link above quotes a small handful of people outraged at this hire. These two comments are typical:

Matt Lewis, a Denver-based site reliability engineer, echoed those sentiments. “I am disgusted that [Raspberry Pi’s] official post on Toby Roberts’ hiring promotes his use of their products to surveil individuals without their consent,” he wrote via Twitter DM. “In my eyes, this behavior is completely unethical and the work Toby has done for 15 years is indefensible. I’m also upset that they have chosen to double down on this position against the community outrage.”

Wikipedia consultant Pete Forsyth, who is from Oregon, also had strong words for Raspberry Pi. “I think this event will mark a turning point in the organization’s reputation,” he wrote via Twitter DM. “It’s hard to see how they can recover the trust they seem to have almost willfully dismantled today.”

A close look at the article however reveals that this boycott might simply be an example of a reporter taking a few whiners and amplifying their whines so that it sounds like a big movement. Such things have now become very common, whereby a few people on Twitter scream “OUTRAGE!” and the press picks it up, as if those few people represent the general public.

The mob’s call for blacklisting is thus exaggerated, and often results in destroying the target, even though almost no one in the general public — or even in the specific community involved — really cares.

Fortunately it appears for the moment that Raspberry Pi officials are not kow-towing to this blacklist campaign, despite the receipt of death threats and the doxxing of Roberts’ personal information.

We shall see however. Not only have the few voices of oppression been given full control of the megaphone of our society, the vast majority of the good-natured public has also been successfully cowed, and almost always runs in fear when that megaphone is pointed at them.

Conscious Choice cover

Now available in hardback and paperback as well as ebook!


From the press release: In this ground-breaking new history of early America, historian Robert Zimmerman not only exposes the lie behind The New York Times 1619 Project that falsely claims slavery is central to the history of the United States, he also provides profound lessons about the nature of human societies, lessons important for Americans today as well as for all future settlers on Mars and elsewhere in space.

Conscious Choice: The origins of slavery in America and why it matters today and for our future in outer space, is a riveting page-turning story that documents how slavery slowly became pervasive in the southern British colonies of North America, colonies founded by a people and culture that not only did not allow slavery but in every way were hostile to the practice.  
Conscious Choice does more however. In telling the tragic history of the Virginia colony and the rise of slavery there, Zimmerman lays out the proper path for creating healthy societies in places like the Moon and Mars.


“Zimmerman’s ground-breaking history provides every future generation the basic framework for establishing new societies on other worlds. We would be wise to heed what he says.” —Robert Zubrin, founder of founder of the Mars Society.


All editions are available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and all book vendors, with the ebook priced at $5.99 before discount. All editions can also be purchased direct from the ebook publisher, ebookit, in which case you don't support the big tech companies and the author gets a bigger cut much sooner.


Autographed printed copies are also available at discount directly from me (hardback $24.95; paperback $14.95; Shipping cost for either: $5.00). Just email me at zimmerman @ nasw dot org.


  • Jay

    This boycott will fizzle. Lots of people use the Raspberry Pi boards for projects, myself included. These little boards can do a lot at a cheap price (I remember when they were $30). There are lots of companies that make add-ons, kits, and books for it. There is quite a maker culture behind these.
    So a few people get people get their panties in a twist because they hired a guy who worked for a police department? Don’t like the RPi now? There are plenty of other alternatives made. Be my guest.

    I don’t see them complaining about all the other electronics that are made in the PRC!

  • pzatchok

    Did you know that computers are even turned into missiles and drones just to kill people?”
    Lions and Tigers and Bears oh my!!!

  • Shaun

    Dear God. This is a non starter. Microprocessors and micro-controllers have been used in police (and all other forms of law enforcement) surveillance gear as long as they’ve existed. I have entire books about surveillance projects using micro-controllers. Mostly for my own home surveillance and security. That includes moisture and Co2 detection. Not just home intruders. Aren’t police required to obtain lawful surveillance orders before attempting it?. Aren’t there a plethora of situations where they may be required to devise a method to surveil an event to ensure public safety? Why should a smart cop rely on commercial off the shelf solutions when they can come up with something better. I’ve read of many instances of this. I’m not advocating for a renegade style of policing but why shouldn’t they be able to create the best gear? Anyway, the cat was out of the bag 30 or 40 years ago. Not new news.

  • Shaun

    BTW – Completely agree with Jay. This is a very, VERY, prolific industry that includes a combined millions of people, products, and ideas. Good luck getting rid of it.

  • Shaun and Jay: Though I agree with you that this particular boycott of Raspberry Pi will likely fail, you both exhibit the kind of nonchalant attitude here that drives me crazy. You don’t seem to recognize my main point, that such attacks are now frequent and common, and are now succeeding with alarming frequency.

    For two decades I have written about this oppressive leftist movement as it has gained more and more power on our culture. During that entire time the thing that has frustrated me most is the fact that Americans simply refused to come to grips with this reality. Repeatedly Americans would do what you both are doing, shrugging your shoulders and saying, “It can’t happen, no way.”

    Well, it is happening. Making believe this one boycott will fail even as thousands are succeeding — many of which are in the computer industry itself — only feeds power to the bad guys, because you essentially arguing “No need to worry, nothing to see here.”

  • pzatchok

    If he had never mentioned he used to be a cop they never would have said a thing.

    Its just anti police bias.

  • Joe

    These stories where a few voices are raised above others to make a point in a story, or just to get more clicks, are nuts. If people would actually take a moment and look at what is really going on they would see they are being played.

    In this case, I do hope a lot of people jump on the boycott bandwagon. I have needed to get Raspberry Pi cM4 units for sometime. Maybe this will clear up the backlog so I can get to work.

  • Shaun


    I completely agree that this behavior exists and has been disturbingly successful in shutting down certain companies. I just don’t see how it will be successful in shutting down something so fundamental as the micro-controller industry. RPs are one very small part of the whole (but very popular). An assault on them is an assault on pretty much the entire programmable chip community. They may as well boycott the desktop, laptop, tablet, smart phone, auto, gaming console, and all other conumer electronics industry. They all use micro-controllers. RPs are just one of thousands of versions.

  • Shaun: I don’t think you realize how you sound in your last comment. ” I just don’t see how it will be successful in shutting down something so fundamental as the micro-controller industry.” It sounds like you really don’t care if one or a few people’s lives are destroyed by these power-hungry control freaks, as long as the industry itself continues to function.

    Once again, the point here is to recognize the evil these people are doing to innocent individuals. It is irrelevant that the society continues to buzz along without stop. Harm is being done, and it is that to which we should care.

  • Jeff Wright

    Now-if he worked at BATF or FBI..

  • cthulhu

    To begin with, Raspberry Pi is British — and I would expect the policeman in question, Toby Roberts, to be as well.

    While the Cancel Mob in Denver and Oregon might wish to dial outrage up to 11 and ruin Toby’s life, I don’t think it will translate well from American to British English. It’s harder to maintain ACAB if the local constabulary is pacifist.

    That said, I can well understand Robert’s point that such people and their activities are dangerous. Further, it is important to support organizations such as FIRE [ ] and victims whenever possible. I suspect, however, that those of us on this side of the pond are merely going to be spectators this time.

  • Cotour


    World Economic Forum Drops Twitter – Promotes Chinese State-Controlled Social Media Apps Instead

    “Twitter appears to be moving in the right direction. The elites at the World Economic Forum have censored the Big Tech site as a recommended site to obtain updates on their 2023 activities.”

    If you really want to get control over the people on this planet you have got to go with the CCP / Communist China model. And the World Economic Forum under the control of the Sorosian / Klause Schwabe’s of the world is all about that particular model of control.

    It’s easier, no muss no fuss, you do as you are told, and you believe what you are told to believe. No Congress, no Senate, no president, no free speech, No Constitution, no America.

    And American Democrat leadership and RINO’s are fully behind this agenda. What exactly do you think has been going on for the last two years under the direction of President Biden and the Democrat party machine? The Democrats and the RINO’s I.E. Mitch, Mitt and several others are delivering America to the WEF / CCP world domination control model.

    They will take care of everything for you. Remember as per the WEF and Klause Schwabe: “In the future you will own NOTHING, and you will be happy”.

    In the future you will only be using the “Proper” and “Approved” big tech social media platform. It is the only way the “Climate change / Climate chaos / Irreversible climate change” virtue signaling crew lead by the Globalist / WEF / Democrats and RINO’s in America can get anything done in your future.

    Are you paying attention yet? These people are dead serious, and you are not paying attention?

    I am seriously considering opening a Twitter account.

  • Shaun


    I was just commenting on this statement from the article. “Wikipedia consultant Pete Forsyth, who is from Oregon, also had strong words for Raspberry Pi. “I think this event will mark a turning point in the organization’s reputation,” he wrote via Twitter DM. “It’s hard to see how they can recover the trust they seem to have almost willfully dismantled today.””

    Of course it’s wrong to go after innocent individuals like Toby Robert’s.

  • Tim Hargadon

    I’ve purchased every new model since near the beginning. It’s a great tool. I’ll be buying another today as a vote of confidence in their HR department. BTW isn’t there a camera in every nook, cranny and underwear drawer in the UK. I’m amazed he found new places to put his surveillance equipment.

  • Shaun: Ah, that makes sense. You should have included the quote at the start, to make yourself very clear.

    I also think people in the business should tell Forsyth directly what they think of him in this.

  • Bob Wilson

    Mr. Zimmerman
    Although I admire your energy, I do not think it is enough to be outraged. Simply being outraged doesn’t do you any good or help the blacklisted person. I suggest you look for something positive that can come from the outrage incident. As an example, I suggest that your readers donate to the raspberry pi foundation.
    Other names that keep popping up in your series include the alliance defending freedom,
    It is better to light a candle than to curse the darkness.

  • pzatchok

    The internet has no boarders.

    So a threat from the internet sounds like its right next door and to those with a lack of courage sound extremely loud and powerful.

    As predicted the internet will bring about a more unified world but what will that world look like?

  • Cotour

    Boarders? We don’t need no stinking boarders!

  • Demetrius

    Didn’t realize I needed a Rpi until reading this. On my way to order one today.

  • Bob Wilson: Point very well taken. The lack of outrage however among Americans on this subject is the main reason the evil has spread and grown stronger.

  • Shaun


    Get on play with it. It will change your life! Such a versatile tool.

  • Shaun

    “Get one and play with it” I meant

  • sippin_bourbon

    Prepare to repel boarders!

  • Cotour

    Auto correct :)

  • sippin_bourbon

    This is just an example of how certain elements in traditional media and in social media choose to amplify certain voices above others to influence. An extreme minority can be raised above others to create an image of massive outrage. This is exactly what they feared losing when they lost their grip on Twitter. But Twitter is just the tip of the iceberg.

  • mpthompson

    As the original creator of Raspbian, the first official operating system of the Raspberry Pi until it evolved into the Raspberry Pi OS a few years ago, I wonder how many people who used the Raspberry Pi in projects would be shocked to learn that a Republican who didn’t vote for Obama, Clinton or Biden had a hand in making it a popular tool used by millions of makers worldwide?

  • mpthompson: I think you should inform Peter Forsyth these facts, and tell him what you think of his slanderous games.

  • mpthompson

    I tried reaching out to Toby Roberts via Twitter messaging, but Twitter is telling me he can’t be messaged. And I’m not wading into the woke cesspool of Mastadon. My involvement around with the Raspberry Pi foundation has always been very positive, but as with any high-tech venture these days I’m sure that they at least partially suffer from the woke mind-virus that has permeated much of the tech sector these days. The fact that the Raspberry Pi Foundation’s own Twitter feed directs people to Mastadon is a telling sign that they made an NPC knee-jerk reaction as Twitter become more open to people with non-woke perspectives. I hope I’m wrong about this though. In any case, I can only hope this kerfluffle is opening their eyes as to who the real fascist are.

  • mpthompson

    Also, regarding Peter Forsyth, I’ve never heard of him. Looking at his Twitter feed he seems like a basic run-of-the-mill leftist I deal with on a daily basis in Silicon Valley. My own policy is to not use the very small social media presence I maintain to antagonize people, particularly people I don’t know. I don’t see any mention of this incident on Peter Forsyth’s own Twitter feed so there really isn’t anything for me to respond to anyway.

  • Jay

    Thank you very much for your creation. It has helped myself and engineers in my group numerous times on projects in the lab and in the field.

Readers: the rules for commenting!


No registration is required. I welcome all opinions, even those that strongly criticize my commentary.


However, name-calling and obscenities will not be tolerated. First time offenders who are new to the site will be warned. Second time offenders or first time offenders who have been here awhile will be suspended for a week. After that, I will ban you. Period.


Note also that first time commenters as well as any comment with more than one link will be placed in moderation for my approval. Be patient, I will get to it.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *