Avoiding jail is not being polical!
You may have the opinion that anything Alan does as a kernel developer/maintainer is not affected by the DMCA and will not result in charges from some over zelous DA, but I seriously doubt there are any lawyers out there that would back you up. There have to be quite a few court rulings before anyone will even have a feel for this.
One of the reasons that everyone calls DMCA bad law is it's total lack of boundaries. This makes it unpredictable law, subject to abuse. While you and I may feel that there would be no justification to jail someone because they worked on CD/DVD drivers that someone else could use to run DECSS(?) is no guarantee for Alan or anyone else that someone won't arrest them and see what the courts say.
Avoiding being someone's legal guinea pig is not being political.