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. Patent Lawyers' Marketing Dominates and Marginalises Meaningful Analyses of Software Patenting in the US

    In an effort to create demand for software patents again, patent lawyers produce a huge heap of so-called 'analyses' which piggyback just one single decision (the exception, not the norm)



  2. A Mix of Patent Aggression and Sanctions/Raids (Using Controversial Patents) Against East Asian Companies

    New stories that demonstrate patent protectionism and show how Western industry, which barely makes anything anymore, relies on patents (software and design patents included) and this self-serving patent regime perpetuates itself even in Asia, where almost everything is actually being manufactured (and often/increasingly designed/developed too)



  3. Rumour: Battistelli Wants to Extend the Term of Topić's EPO Appointment in Spite of Criminal Charges Against Him

    The EPO's 'ringleader', Mr. Battistelli, is trying to keep his confidants (like Mr. Minnoye and Željko Topić) together for several more years to come, even defying rules regarding retirement age



  4. Links 29/5/2016: NetBSD 7.0.1, Genode OS 16.05

    Links for the day



  5. [ES] La Gerencia de la EPO Bajo Creciénte Estres por las Autoridades Legales Croatas, Políticas Alemanas, y los Medios Italianos

    Las cosas no son color rosa como la calma relativa sugiere, y esperamos en las próximas semanas mayores eventos otros que la protesta en todas las sedes de la EPO a través de Europa



  6. [ES] Los Medios de Comunicación Comienzan a Informar al Público Europeo Acercas de las Desventájas de la UPC Mientras que la EPO Acelera su Cabildeo por Ratificación

    La vergonzósa promoción de la UPC por parte de la EPO da otro paso adelánte mientras que venues de la prensa Europea (incluso canales de televisión) comienzan a explorar el arreglo secreto que es negociado por los abogados de patentes (con clientes corpórativos) y las oficinas de patentes, no el público o cualquier grupo que represente los intereses del público en general



  7. [ES] Algunos Detalles Acerca de ¿Cómo el Presidente de la EPO Es Rumoreado Estar Comprando Votos, y el Porqué es Suficientemente Base Para un Despido Inmediato?

    Algo de información tras las cortinas y una detallada explicación de la dependencia finánciera sistemática, creada por Battistelli a un costode €13 millónes o más, la cuál evita una efectiva supervisión de Battistelli



  8. Mishi Choudhary and Mike Masnick Explain Why India Should Reject Software Patents

    Both an Indian activist-lawyer and a widely-recognised author from the US explain to Indians why over-reliance on patents -- and acceptance of patents on software in particular -- is a very bad idea



  9. Microsoft Boosters Pretend Microsoft Fights for Privacy While the Company Uses Malware Tactics to Put Keyloggers on Everyone's Computers

    In spite of malware-inspired tactics that should land Microsoft in courts of law all around the world (as a defendant), Microsoft-friendly circles pretend that the company fights for people's rights like privacy -- all this when Microsoft installs keyloggers on people's PCs without their consent and obviously against their will



  10. Battistelli's Assault on EPO Staff's Right to Strike in Relation to French Politics and That 'Bicycle' Pretext for Crackdowns

    The latest bicycle 'gossip' and how it's being used, based on expectations from EPO staff, to introduce further crackdowns on human/labour rights



  11. Vice-President of the EPO Under Investigation: Treason, Abuse, Violations, Giving and Receiving Bribes

    An English translation of documents involving the Organised Crime Section of the Criminal Police Department in Zagreb, where the Vice-President of the EPO faces criminal charges



  12. EPO Management Warns People About Scams When the EPO's Management is Itself Falling for Scams

    Jesper Kongstad, the Chairman of the Administrative Council of the European Patent Organisation, helps demonstrate that not even the EPO is intelligent enough to spot an obvious scam



  13. Links 28/5/2016: Wine 1.9.11, New Gentoo

    Links for the day



  14. Links 27/5/2016: Android for Raspberry Pi, Google Beats Oracle in Court

    Links for the day



  15. Warning: EPO Surveillance May Have Just Gotten Even More Intrusive

    BlueCoat, which the EPO uses to enable oppression inside its European premises, has just gotten even nastier and staff may be at risk



  16. Victim Card Ends up in Another Blunder for Battistelli and His Six Bodyguards

    Battistelli is wrecking what's left of the EPO's reputation (after decades it took the Office to earn it) as the media continues to scrutinise his appalling regime



  17. Italian Report About EPO Now Available in English

    An English translation of a TV program which earlier this month documented some of the glaring problems at the EPO



  18. The EPO is Doing Great, Says EPO-Connected 'News' Site

    IAM 'magazine', a longtime ally of the EPO, gives people the impression that all is fine and dandy at the EPO even though that's clearly not the case



  19. Microsoft Has Killed Nokia (and Its Own Mobile Ambitions), But Watch What it Does With Patents

    Microsoft announces many more layoffs, having already caused tremendous damage to the Finnish economy, and patents are left astray for Microsoft's favourite patent trolls to pick



  20. EPO Management Under Growing Stress From Croatian Law Enforcement Authorities, German Politicians, Italian Media

    Things are not as rosy as the relative calm may suggest, and in the coming weeks we expect some major events other than the protest at all EPO sites across Europe



  21. Microsoft, a Dead Company Walking, Resorts to Malware Tactics, Now Truly Indistinguishable From Crackers

    Microsoft is essentially taking over people's PCs and installing on them a large piece of malware, complete with keyloggers, against the will of these PCs' owners



  22. Links 26/5/2016: CentOS Linux 6.8, Ansible 2.1

    Links for the day



  23. The Latest EPO Victim Card (Played by Željko Topić) Should be Treated as Seriously as Those Bogus Claims of Violence by a Judge (Updatedx3)

    In its desperate pursuit of a narrative wherein the staff of the EPO is violent and aggressive the management of the EPO, renowned for institutional aggression, finds (or claims to have found) a little tampering with a bicycle



  24. Links 25/5/2016: Nginx 1.11, F1 2015 Coming to GNU/Linux Tomorrow

    Links for the day



  25. The Media Starts Informing the European Public About the Downsides of UPC While EPO Accelerates Its Lobbying for Ratification

    The EPO's shameless UPC promotion takes another step forward as the European press outlets (even television channels) begin to explore the secret deal that's negotiated by patent lawyers (with corporate clients) and patent offices, not the public or any public interest groups



  26. Some Details About How the EPO's President is Rumoured to be 'Buying' Votes and Why It's Grounds/Basis for “Immediate Dismissal”

    Some background information and a detailed explanation of the systemic financial dependency, created by Battistelli at the cost of €13 million or more, which prevents effective oversight of Battistelli



  27. How the Patent Lawyers' Microcosm Continues to Boost Software Patents Filth by Misdirecting Readers, Relying on Highly Selective Coverage

    Under the guise of reporting/analysis/advice the community of patent lawyers is effectively lobbying to make software patents popular and widely-accepted again, based on one single case which they wish to make 'the' precedent



  28. Documents Show Zagreb Police Department in Investigation of Vice-President of the European Patent Office

    Željko Topić's troubles in Croatia, where he faces many criminal charges, may soon become an extraordinary burden for the EPO, which distances itself from it all mostly by attacking staff that 'dares' to bring up the subject



  29. [ES] Interrumpiendo la Propagánda Distractante de Battistelli: los Empleados de la EPO Protestará de Nuevo en una Quincena

    La exágerada extravagancia (desperdicio de dinero) en la Ceremonia de Premiación al Inventor Europeo de la EPO tendrá que competir por atención de los medios con miles de empleados de la EPO (en todaslas sedes de la EPO) marchándo en las calles para protestar por los abusos de la EPO



  30. Windows and Microsoft's Other 'Burning Platforms'

    It's not just Windows for phones that's reaching minuscule market share levels but also Windows, but Microsoft is skilled at hiding this (cannibalising Windows using something people do not even want, then counting that cannibal, Vista 10)


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