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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Regulating operators
by Fred72 on Tue 3rd Jan 2012 00:01 UTC
Member since:

Most of the DNS infrastructure uses open source software. SOPA is about regulating DNS within the US. The fact that the operators are using open source software doesn't mean they can't be regulated.

China's great firewall is most likely using some, if not mostly, open source software. Many of the governments in the middle east use open source software in their deep packet inspections to track and censor their citizens.

Open and closed software is used to get around these government systems (until RIM started caving to local governments their software was frequently used by dissidents to avoid snooping. Systems don't come more closed than RIM.)

It isn't the open or closed nature of the software or Apple, or Microsoft that are the problem, the problem is the politicians. Do something about them and your need to avoid tracking and snooping and censorship goes away. Using open or closed sourced software won't fix it no matter what. You're just in an arms race.

Reply Score: 5

RE: Regulating operators
by Gullible Jones on Tue 3rd Jan 2012 00:06 in reply to "Regulating operators"
Gullible Jones Member since:

I daresay the above is one of the most sensible posts I've seen on OSNews thus far.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE: Regulating operators
by decision_theorist on Tue 3rd Jan 2012 01:13 in reply to "Regulating operators"
decision_theorist Member since:


Excellent point about DNS and open source software.

Open/closed source is irrelevant to the problems in the original article.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE: Regulating operators
by ngaio on Tue 3rd Jan 2012 01:24 in reply to "Regulating operators"
ngaio Member since:

You are correct to note that free software can be used in nefarious ways. But you then go on to construct an argument which simply doesn't accord with reality. In the real world, the free software movement has always been against government tyranny. In the real world, some corporations have supported government tyranny by supplying technologies of repression when they've been able to get away with it, knowing the technology will be used to abuse the rights of innocent people.

Ironically, your argument is a perfect illustration of why thinking of software in a purely technical way is misguided. The free software movement has never made this mistake. Like it or not, decisions about software can never be purely technical. In the real world, such absolutes do not exist.

Edited 2012-01-03 01:25 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 6