Archive for the ‘privacy’ Category

Free Software: freedom from being monitored

August 28, 2007

One may ask, “Why is this man being forced to use Microsoft Windows?”

The US government says their software used to monitor users does not run on GNU/Linux. What they may not admit though, is that this lack of portability is purposeful. They will not port that software to GNU/Linux because for their spyware to be reasonably effective, it requires cooperation from the operating system. When Scott McCausland runs GNU/Linux, he’s in charge of how his operating system functions making it extremely difficult impossible for the government to ensure that their spyware reports back with accurate information regarding Scott’s behavior. With Microsoft Windows, the public is neither aware of how that operating system functions (while perhaps certain government officials are) nor able to modify it to defend their privacy. Generally speaking, proprietary spyware confined to userland is very weak.

Whether or not Scott deserves to have his freedom forcibly revoked is another debate. Nonetheless, this is a perfect illustration of how free software defends your privacy while proprietary software compromises it.