Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 2nd Jan 2012 19:12 UTC
GNU, GPL, Open Source Late last year, president Obama signed a law that makes it possible to indefinitely detain terrorist suspects without any form of trial or due process. Peaceful protesters in Occupy movements all over the world have been labelled as terrorists by the authorities. Initiatives like SOPA promote diligent monitoring of communication channels. Thirty years ago, when Richard Stallman launched the GNU project, and during the three decades that followed, his sometimes extreme views and peculiar antics were ridiculed and disregarded as paranoia - but here we are, 2012, and his once paranoid what-ifs have become reality.
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Reality check
by ViktorRabe on Mon 2nd Jan 2012 23:03 UTC
Member since:

As a person living in a society -- even Richard Stallman does -- you need to have a minimum amount of implicit trust into everything that's around you. Trains, buses, planes, computer devices like ATMs or ticket machines, clocks, traffic lights.

You expect them to function correctly like the day before, every day. And since deviations from that are the exception and not the norm, it's justified to build up that trust.

If you can't do that -- trust your (computerized) environment to such a degree that makes routine possible, that is -- you will be unable to function in society.

It is unrealistic to imagine a scenario where a large amount or even the majority of people would indeed care about the code. If there'd be a widespread feeling of mistrust with regards to code, and in consequence with regards to everything computerized around you, you'd be unable to live normal lives. In other words: society would have collapsed.

I don't think that's an realistic option.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Reality check
by tidux on Tue 3rd Jan 2012 02:25 in reply to "Reality check"
tidux Member since:

We don't need "large portions of the population" to be eyes on the code - we just need a few paranoid hackers acting as whistleblowers, who can point to where in the source code the malice happens. If we don't have the freedom to run, inspect, modify, and redistribute that software, that can't happen. The "trust the big institutions" mindset is what got the world into this plutocratic nightmare.

Reply Parent Score: 6

RE[2]: Reality check
by lucas_maximus on Tue 3rd Jan 2012 09:32 in reply to "RE: Reality check"
lucas_maximus Member since:

And that us why this was spotted so quickly? ... oh wait it was there for years

Reply Parent Score: 1