EditorsAbout the SiteComes vs. MicrosoftUsing This Web SiteSite ArchivesCredibility IndexOOXMLOpenDocumentPatentsNovellNews DigestSite NewsRSS

11.25.13

Linux in Government and Why There is Still NSA Agenda to Keep Wary Eye on

Posted in GNU/Linux, Kernel, Microsoft, Security, Ubuntu, Virtualisation at 4:14 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

We need Freedo

Freedo

Summary: Involvement in Linux development from the NSA and close corporate partners means that in order to restore real trust some code may need washing away (Linux-libre style)

THE news last week claimed that the US Defense Department was embracing FOSS [1,2]. We already know that it uses RHEL extensively and this may actually have strings attached to it. See, there is always aspiration to put control of the software at the hands of US corporations (and by extension bureaucrats who can compel those corporations to comply with surveillance desires); for others, there are back doors.

The other day we saw how a leading GNU/Linux vendor worked to promote and to spread UEFI ‘secure boot’, which is all about remote control (unless the signatures are maintained by the physical owner of the computer). UEFI ‘secure boot’ — like TPM — is about control by remote entities like Microsoft. Never forget that man from Microsoft (who still lives around there) manages Ubuntu now. Another man from Microsoft is now speaking on behalf of a Linux Foundation project (there are other people, but he is their manager). This really is a cause for concern because even “Linux” technologies are turning somewhat hostile towards users. When companies like Intel and IBM call the shots and when companies like Red Hat try to appease the Pentagon we just simply cannot assume that Linux will remain user-serving (as a matter of priority).

There are some news these days about Italy [3,4], Switzerland [5] and several other European nations moving to Free/Open Source software (this may include GNU/Linux) for control and autonomy, but they should keep a close eye on those who steer Linux development (and the government they lobby to oversee them amicably in particular). Yesterday when I had a discussion about this subject someone suggested embracing Hurd, but I on the other hand thought that perhaps Linux-libre should start removing NSA-sourced components (if they can be traced back to the NSA, as it is not just SELinux and some was submitted by @redhat.com addresses) and other suspicious or user-hostile code.

Even as Linux advocates we should recognise that there is a diversity of interests and the agenda of the NSA is to spy on everything and everyone, not to protect our privacy and security.

Related/contextual items from the news:

  1. Has open source officially taken off at DOD?

    As far as technology trends in the federal government go, the use of open source is on a multi-year hot streak. Alongside movements such as the cloud, open source is one of those agency options like an oasis – or perhaps a mirage — in a funding desert, promising savings and efficiencies.

  2. DOD gradually embracing open source

    The Defense Department, looking for ways to cut costs and share information, is slowly but surely embracing open source software, sister publication FCW’s Amber Corrin reports.

    “The problem with proprietary solutions is the limited set of folks who can use them, rather than opening the core components to the community to drive…and just be the experts and the integrators,” Andy Goodson, program manager for Lockheed Martin’s Distributed Data Framework, told FCW. DDF is a newly open source software search engine for intelligence.

  3. Italy working on a guide for comparing open and closed source software

    It’s no hidden fact that the European Union has a special love for free and open source software for all the merits these have to offer and for the huge cost savings EU’s various organizations get to make from these. In the past, several member countries have made the switch from Windows to Linux in a drive to make their systems more secure and save costs. Their governments and educational institutions have also moved on from using proprietary and expensive day-to-day software such as Microsoft Office to using OpenOffice and LibreOffice, software that get the same work done and are absolutely free. Now it is Italy’s turn to follow on the same path.

  4. FOSS in the Italian public administration: fundamental law principles

    We take a first reading of the recent modification to the fundamental law that governs the digital aspects of the Public Administration in Italy. These modifications require Public Administrations to prefer internally made solutions and FOSS solutions over proprietary ones, mandate an increased degree of interoperability and strengthen the push for open data.

  5. Swiss Lausanne piloting open source desktops

    Lausanne, Switzerland’s fourth-largest city, is considering a switch to open source desktop PCs. “The time has come to evaluate a migration, by launching a pilot project on 5 workstations”, the city announced on 14 November. “Free and open source software is becoming more mature, user-friendly and compatible with other environments.”

Share this post: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Digg
  • del.icio.us
  • Reddit
  • co.mments
  • DZone
  • email
  • Google Bookmarks
  • LinkedIn
  • NewsVine
  • Print
  • Technorati
  • TwitThis
  • Facebook

If you liked this post, consider subscribing to the RSS feed or join us now at the IRC channels.

Pages that cross-reference this one

What Else is New


  1. Links 21/8/2014: Conferences of Linux Foundation, Elephone Emerges

    Links for the day



  2. Links 20/8/2014: Linux Event, GNOME Milestone

    Links for the day



  3. Corruption Watch: Microsoft Lobbying Designed to Kill Chile's Free Software Policy and Promote Microsoft With Subsidies, More Dirty Tricks Emerge in Munich

    icrosoft is systematically attacking migrations to GNU, Linux and Free software, using dirty tricks, as always



  4. Vista 8 Such a Disaster That Even Microsoft Cannot Cope With It, Vapourware Tactics Start Early

    Microsoft's Windows-powered services are failing and Windows gets bricked by Microsoft patches, whereupon we are seeing yet more of Microsoft's vapourware tactics (focusing in imaginary, non-existent versions of Windows)



  5. On BlackBerry and Other Patent Trolls

    A roundup regarding patent trolls, starting with the bigger and latest joiner, BlackBerry's new patents apparatus



  6. Links 19/8/2014: Humble Jumbo Bundle 2 Betrayal, Mercedes-Benz Runs GNU/Linux

    Links for the day



  7. BlackBerry -- Like Microsoft Nokia -- Could be the Next Patent Proxy Troll

    BlackBerry is restructuring for patent assertion (i.e. trolling) in the wake of some alliances with Microsoft



  8. After Microsoft's Soft Bribe Some Non-Technical Deputy Does Not Like Free Software, Microsoft-Linked Media Responds to This Non-News by Making Bogus Claims of Munich Leaving GNU/Linux (Updated)

    The subversive forces that have secretly been attacking Munich over its migration to GNU/Linux (Microsoft press, Gartner, and even HP) are back to doing it while China and Russia follow Munich's lead



  9. Gates Foundation CFO Quits and Debate About Revolving Doors Recalled Amid Systematic and Shrewd Bribery of Public Officials

    More officials step out of the Gates Foundation and their destination is not known yet; Gates continues to corrupt the public sector with his money so as to increase personal gain at taxpayers' expense



  10. Links 19/8/2014: GNU/Linux Raves and Alternative to Proprietary Voice Chat

    Links for the day



  11. Links 18/8/2014: Linux 3.17 RC1, Escalation in Ferguson

    Links for the day



  12. Gartner Group Advocates Using Defective Software With Back Doors

    Despite strong evidence that Microsoft has been complicit in illegal surveillance, Gartner continues to recommend the use of Windows and other espionage-ready Microsoft software



  13. The Microsoft Patent Trolls: Android Extortion, Vringo Versus Google, and Intellectual Ventures

    Roundup of news about patent aggression by Microsoft and some of its proxies



  14. Links 16/8/2014: Microsoft Linux, US Government Turns to Free Software

    Links for the day



  15. Links 15/8/2014: Reiser4 in Headlines Again, GNOME and KDE Events Finish

    Links for the day



  16. Links 14/8/2014: Kernel Summit Coming, KMix on KDE Frameworks 5

    Links for the day



  17. Shameless Microsoft Spin is Blaming China for Microsoft's Misconduct and Back Doors While Justifying Massive Losses in Hardware (Made in China)

    A new look at how Microsoft-friendly media takes negative Microsoft news and turns that news into some kind of scandals where Microsoft is the victim



  18. Microsoft Spin in the Media Evokes 'New Microsoft' and New Back Doors

    Some new examples of Microsoft boosters rewriting history, characterising Microsoft as a FOSS champion, and generally weak/shallow reporting on Microsoft's audio/video surveillance software



  19. Links 13/8/2014: GNU/Linux as Winner, New Snowden Interview

    Links for the day



  20. Reader's Article: Skype Spying Reaches New Levels of Blatant

    Forced 'upgrades' of Skype give useds [sic.] of Skype more than they asked for



  21. The Problem is Software Patents (and Scope), Not Patent Trolls Who Abuse Them Just Like Large Corporations

    Reminder of the dangers of losing sight of the real patent problem, which is the patents themselves, not necessarily those who use them



  22. Fraud in the USPTO and CAFC Helped Apple Launch Frivolous Patent Lawsuits Against Linux/Android, Based on New Withdrawals

    Inherent corruption in the US system has aided Apple's assault on east Asian electronics giants that use Linux at the core of their products



  23. Investigation Reveals That USPTO is Corrupt, Time to Abolish It or Annul Nearly a Million Patents

    Corruption is found at the heart of the USPTO and the USPTO works hard to hide it, despite attempt by whistleblowers to bring this corruption to light



  24. Links 13/8/2014: Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6.6 Beta, Tizen in Watches

    Links for the day



  25. Links 12/8/2014: Chromebooks Surge, OpenGL in the Headlines

    Links for the day



  26. Bill Gates is Profiting By Diverting Public Money to His Own Pocket and Reducing Wages

    Gates' lobbying for companies he is an investor of and for lower salaries inside companies he is investing in (and managing) comes as no surprise



  27. Microsoft is Still Attacking Open Standards, So Khronos Does Not Need the Microsoft Moles

    Having attacked the industry's document standard OpenDocument Format (ODF) while pretending to have 'embraced' ODF Microsoft is now pretending that it is eager to support OpenGL



  28. Another Depressing Look at the Patent Systems in the US and in Europe

    A roundup of news about patent monopolies and in particular the immense power wielded by giant multi-national corporations that steer the debate and acquire trans-Atlantic monopolies on ideas, always against citizens' interests



  29. Links 11/8/2014: DEFT 8.2, Linux Mint on Debian Stable

    Links for the day



  30. Links 9/8/2014: Knoppix 7.4.0, GNU Linux Libre 3.16

    Links for the day


CoPilotCo

RSS 64x64RSS Feed: subscribe to the RSS feed for regular updates

Home iconSite Wiki: You can improve this site by helping the extension of the site's content

Home iconSite Home: Background about the site and some key features in the front page

Chat iconIRC Channel: Come and chat with us in real time

CoPilotCo

Recent Posts