The Bro Network Security Monitor, one of Silicon Valley’s many efforts to beef up Internet security in the age of hackers, is facing an identity crisis because of its name, which is now considered “sexist.”
Titled after “Big Brother” in George Orwell’s 1984, Bro serves as a “comprehensive platform for more general traffic analysis” and network security monitoring. The open-source traffic analyzer has been in development since the ‘90s, long before Silicon Valley’s now widely-maligned “bro culture” became an issue with the rise of feminist ideology.
Following Google’s firing of James Damore for his paper criticizing the tech giant’s “Ideological Echo Chamber” and its insistence on implementing untested feminist initiatives, the team behind the Bro project is now seeking community guidance for a new name. They claim that the name gives potential users a bad impression.
“While ‘Bro’ was originally meant as an Orwellian reminder of the risk that any monitoring fundamentally entails, it has more recently gained a very different, and quite offensive, reputation (“Bro culture”),” they wrote. “To avoid facing instant negative impressions with new users that aren’t aware of the history, the Leadership Team has decided to seek a name change.”
The company published a Google form seeking input from members of the public to propose new names from now until December 4. Five finalists will be selected for a second round of public feedback before making the team makes a final decision, which will be reflected in the Bro Project’s next major release.
Members of Reddit’s Linux community, which uses the software, expressed their concerns with the Bro Project’s decision to rename itself.
“I think you should double down and call it BigBro, instead of worrying about butthurt people who look for excuses to be butthurt might say,” wrote a user named asuraemulator. “Either that, or Panopticon. Hell, what about ‘NoSuchAgency’ or ‘Stasi’?”
Other users chimed in with similar remarks, accusing the company of pandering to the easily offended. “I’m pretty sure the kind of hyper-sensitive people who take issue with the commonly used shorthand for “brother” are people you can easily do without,” wrote SarcasticJoe.
“I believe the only correct thing is to just tell them not to change the name,” he added. “If you’re going to go and try to remove the use of the commonly used shorthand for ‘brother’ all you’re doing is locking yourself in a never-ending cycle with people who go around looking for things to be offended by on purpose, i.e the professionally offended. The fact that someone feels something doesn’t mean this feeling can’t be unfounded or that it always has to be placated.”
Milo Yiannopoulos has interviewed James Damore.
Featured image via The Bro Platform