Newsletter #151: Police, Prisons… Big Tech?

Hello Recompilers,

As June comes to a close, the pandemic is ramping up in the United States even as it begins to wane throughout much of the rest of the world, and a lot of us here are looking enviously at countries with socialized healthcare and reasonable cultural ideas around social responsibility and science. Yet the uprising continues, and it continues to, basically, put bricks through the overton window, so there’s some room for hope still. In the meantime, if you haven’t, check out Recompiler’s Reasons and Strategies for Avoiding Obsolete Terms, which lays out exactly why and how to replace “master/slave” in programming with “primary/replica,” written by Erin Grace. It’s an excerpt from the book The Responsible Communication Style Guide Supplement on Python.

Edited to add a call for talk proposals, deadline July 5: PyGotham TV is the online version of NYC’s annual Python conference. It will take place this October 2nd and 3rd. Registration is free. PyGotham is an eclectic conference that covers policy, culture, and art, along with standard tech and Python topics. Our entire conference will have ASL interpretation and captioning. The call for talk proposals is open now through July 5, and we’d love to receive submissions from Recompiler readers! You could propose an infomercial, a talk show, a comedy routine, a sitcom, or just a regular tech talk about Python or any technology subject that interests you.


There’s been a lot of discussion this week about the culpability of big tech in the evils of the criminal justice system, and some are making the case that in addition to abolishing the police and prisons, it’s time to abolish big tech.
(Edward Ongweso Jr, for Motherboard)

The federal government is considering a law that would ban federal law enforcement from using facial recognition software. The bill, the Facial Recognition and Biometric Technology Moratorium Act of 2020, comes after a high profile case drew attention to the racist nature of this type of dystopian policing.
(Kevin Truong, for Motherboard)

On the other hand, Congress is considering a law to functionally destroy end-to-end encryption by insisting on governmental access. The bill could fundamentally change how we interact with technology if it’s passed and enforced.
(Andrew Crocker, for the EFF)


Ologies: BlackAFinSTEM with various Ologists
In this special episode of Ologies, Allie Ward talks to thirty different Black ologists about all kinds of things.

Conference Talk of the Week:

This talk is part of our “Favorite Talks” YouTube Playlist. Check it out and subscribe! 

Kubernetes Security

Ian Coldwater at the Minneapolis DevOps Meetup 2019 talks about, well, Kubernetes security.


Recompiler is hiring editors and designers.

Do you know an upcoming conference or CFP that should be included in this newsletter? Email leads to

This newsletter compiled by Margaret Killjoy (@magpiekilljoy). Margaret is an author, activist, and musician based in Appalachia. Her most recent book series is the Danielle Cain novella series, which starts with The Lamb Will Slaughter the Lion.

Image by Nick Youngson (CC BY-SA 3.0)