Can the Terms of the GPL Prevent GNU/Linux being used for War?
There's been a lot of noise on the internet recently about the fact that the Windows-based software being used in the remote control system of drones use by the American military has been hit by a virus and this has caused the Department of Defense (DOD) to use GNU/Linux which is a more secure option. This has, predictably, caused raised eyebrows and demands by some that any military organisation should be prevented from using GNU/Linux in offensive weapons systems. The use of Drones in Afghanistan is a highly controversial issue but it is not the purpose of this article to debate the morality and ethics of deploying drones in an area of asymetrical conflict but rather to explore if it is actually possible to use the terms of the GPL to legally prevent the deployment of software or operating systems by any government's military.
They ain't stupid
The first thing you have to say is that, despite what Groucho Marx said about the term "military intelligence" being a contradiction in terms, they are not stupid.