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.”

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