Flash isn't a villain here, it was used as a research tool. The researchers are using Flash to detect forged SSL Certs.
It's very common for research universities to take students from around the globe. This isn't unique to the US, either. For example, here's some Oxford's PhD students in CS:
It's a very positive thing, actually. Provincialism doesn't improve research.
"Fuck unions for making my working conditions dangerous."
Oh, the irony.
not for Perl.
It's not cheap but you can get support for Perl:
I've asked them Perl questions and they've always worked on the questions me (and gotten me a good answer).