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07.17.13

Why Free/Libre Software Should be Promoted Using Privacy Arguments, Too

Posted in Free/Libre Software at 3:42 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Sign for privacy

Summary: An opportunity for Free software advocacy in an age of privacy concerns, policy incompatibility with warrantless surveillance, and increased Microsoft distrust due to collusion with the NSA

Ethical rather than purely practical reasons have been used to promote software freedom, referencing examples of malicious features like DRM and privacy violations, including back doors (which are not just privacy-infringing). As the Web grows and more data gets accumulated, it is increasingly being realised that privacy does matter to a lot of people. They start to demand that software and services no longer spy on them.

With the NSA leaks, we now have concrete proof of the lack of privacy everywhere. E-mails are now the digital equivalent of postcards, where the mailman can read everything and many other people in between can inspect the contents without leaving traces, even tampering with the content (as some people reported in the case of E-mail). Datacentres offer no real security from warrantless surveillance, either. To make matters worse, whatever Web browser and network setup we use, the ISP helps spy on us and the sites we visit spy on us too, then sell data about us. There was also spying on diplomats in G8 summits, showing that nobody is immune to it. Data, unless stored locally (and preferably encrypted), is hardly safe anymore, certainly not when it’s stored remotely and passed over the wires (repositioning and shifting of the data between datacentres helps change the laws, too). With reliable and ubiquitous encryption this would mostly be a solved problem, but mathematicians at the NSA always try to stay a step ahead and break encryption, storing indefinitely encrypted traffic.

Microsoft is not just another company when it comes to surveillance. Based on recent leaks, we now have it confirmed that a lot of software including Microsoft Skype is simply spyware, as we shall document soon in our Microsoft and the NSA wiki page (overview of privacy issues). Bill Gates has been spying on children recently [1, 2] and also funded crowd control/police state for profit. Regarding the latest revelations about the NSA-Microsoft collusion we have this article which slams Microsoft’s biggest investor and co-founder:

Establishment Hero Bill Gates Sold You Out to the NSA, But That’s Not All…

Bill Gates gets heaped with praise from the establishment for his business prowess and his so-called philanthropy. In turn, society seems to elevate him to near godlike status for his generosity and “humanitarian work”. He’s been the poster child for the “see, not all big corporations are evil” argument. Well, not anymore.

Recent revelations that his company Microsoft has, for decades, built backdoors for government spying may put a few chinks in Gates’ shining public armor.

And if one dares look any closer at Gates’ other endeavors, they may discover that their intentions are not nearly as benevolent as general public perception leads us to believe.

First, let me try to outline just how completely Microsoft sold you out to spy agencies. After NSA whistleblower Snowden outed Microsoft as complicit in the PRISM information sharing program, it has come to light that NSA has a backdoor to Microsoft-owned Skype, Windows operating system updates contain bypasses for the NSA, the encryption for Outlook is unlocked for the NSA prior to launches, and Internet Explorer is likely the most compromised.

In short, this means the NSA has nearly full access to roughly 92% of the commercial computers in the world.

[...]

Bill Gates is an admitted advocate of population reduction. He’s admitted that the goal of his immunization aid to third world countries is to reduce population. Don’t believe me? See here, here, and here. Also, through his foundation he owns 500,000 shares of Monsanto’s stock and he is a public salesman GMO crops around the world. And this is just the scratching the surface of who the real Bill Gates is.

Gates is a monopoly-man sell-out who now has nearly unlimited resources to dedicate to eradicating the plague he calls humanity from the earth.

Hopefully, this Microsoft spying story will cause more people to question Gates’ true intentions and those of an establishment that would deceive us into thinking he’s somehow a knight in shining armor. Nothing could be further from the truth.

The bottom line is, now more than before we can show people compelling reasons not to trust Microsoft and to use Free software wherever possible. Proprietary software serves plutocrats.

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