02.09.21

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The Foundation of Shame

Posted in GNU/Linux, Kernel, Marketing, Microsoft at 7:48 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Jim Zemlin in tuxedo
Photo credit: The Linux Foundation

Summary: The term “foundation” is being corrupted to the point where ‘non-profit’ (but actually for-profit) entities promote bad practices, monopolies, and openwashing of truly awful and oppressive things

THE sister site of ZDNet, TechRepublic, not only spreads Microsoft propaganda about the Raspberry Pi Foundation this week (yesterday). It employs longtime Microsoft moles and constantly spreads Microsoft propaganda and Linux Foundation propaganda, which is in turn linked to Microsoft’s. There’s just a marketing company behind it; it’s not a news site! But this rant isn’t about TechRepublic itself.

Last night I saw a worrying TechRepublic puff piece by someone whose name I never saw before, openwashing autocratic tools (‘vaccine passports’) devised by patent profiteers to blackmail people into buying their experimental prototypes (products), threatening punishment or retaliation in spite of variants/strains that make such “passports” nowhere as meaningful as actual tests (as is already done at airports). The title was “Open source ‘vaccine passports:’ Linux Foundation Public Health talks development, security, and digitally restoring trust”. My wife and I are pro-vaccination, but this infuriated both of us (myself last night and her this morning) for two reason: 1) the Linux Foundation is clearly misusing the name “Linux”. 2) those “passports” aren’t the solution and they mostly help Microsoft’s co-founder. In my wife’s view, this is another way Microsoft advances its agenda through the Linux Foundation (it has long been stated in the news that Microsoft wants to manage those “passports”) and the “contact-tracing” tools the Linux Foundation put its name behind had been outsourced to Microsoft’s proprietary software trap (GitHub). Not to even mention Gates’ stake in patents on vaccines [1, 2, 3].

“In my wife’s view, this is another way Microsoft advances its agenda through the Linux Foundation (it has long been stated in the news that Microsoft wants to manage those “passports”) and the “contact-tracing” tools the Linux Foundation put its name behind had been outsourced to Microsoft’s proprietary software trap (GitHub).”Whether you support those “passports” or not (what next? A “passport” to enter a building? A store? “Passports” for leaving one’s own apartment?), Linux as a brand has no place in “passports”. It’s bad enough that in the name of “Linux” they’re monopolising Web site trust and outsourcing both their own Web site and the project code to proprietary software of Microsoft [1, 2].

This institution has become "Stalin's dream" and people like my wife, who were only introduced to “Linux” one decade ago, already resent the brand, or at least the foundation (Torvalds’ employer).

Microsoft recently did similar things at the Raspberry Pi Foundation and since we’ve mentioned attempts to interject Rust (GitHub-controlled, not only for code) into Linux how about news from yesterday about a new thing called the Rust Foundation [1-4]? It was announced by Daniel Nazer from the EFF (where he used to combat “bad” patents such as software patents). He left the EFF to join Mozilla some 1-2 years ago and he does not mention that Microsoft is in the Board of the Rust Foundation [1]. The official announcement [4] calls Microsoft a “Founding member company,” reaffirming our suspicion about the direction of Rust.

“There are meanwhile more dodgy foundations being formed, where Microsoft sits on the board and all the code — not to mention newsletters and meeting minutes — are being outsourced entirely to Microsoft’s proprietary software monopoly.”So, in short, the “Linux” brand is now being used for privacy-violating (and pointless) contact-tracing, which we now know was grossly misused, mishandled and put in the hands of bad actors in direct violation of promises made to those choosing to participate (there were many press reports about it). That same “Linux” brand is also used for openwashing of so-called ‘vaccine passports’, painting with the “Linux” (or “ethical”) brush a threat to a decent society, never mind if such ‘vaccine passports’ are pretty useless anyway (there’s still hardly any data about efficacy of such vaccines).

There are meanwhile more dodgy foundations being formed, where Microsoft sits on the board and all the code — not to mention newsletters and meeting minutes — are being outsourced entirely to Microsoft’s proprietary software monopoly. You need to sign up with Microsoft to participate. Be sure to check who leads OpenJS, which is also linked to OSI and the Linux Foundation. This is how full-time Microsoft employees become the bosses of Torvalds.

Maybe all those foundation will end up just as corrupt as the Gates Foundation.

References (Rust Foundation):

  1. Mozilla Welcomes the Rust Foundation

    Today Mozilla is thrilled to join the Rust community in announcing the formation of the Rust Foundation. The Rust Foundation will be the home of the popular Rust programming language that began within Mozilla. Rust has long been bigger than just a Mozilla project and today’s announcement is the culmination of many years of community building and collaboration. Mozilla is pleased to be a founding Platinum Sponsor of the Rust Foundation and looks forward to working with it to help Rust continue to grow and prosper.

    Rust is an open-source programming language focused on safety, speed and concurrency. It started life as a side project in Mozilla Research. Back in 2010, Graydon Hoare presented work on something he hoped would become a “slightly less annoying” programming language that could deliver better memory safety and more concurrency. Within a few years, Rust had grown into a project with an independent governance structure and contributions from inside and outside Mozilla. In 2015, the Rust project announced the first stable release, Rust 1.0.

  2. The Rust language gets a foundation

    The newly formed Rust Foundation has announced its existence.

  3. Rust Foundation Established To Steward The Rust Programming Language

    Mozilla has been sponsoring the Rust programming language for more than a decade while in 2020 as part of Mozilla’s big round of layoffs most of the Rust team was let go along with dropping the Servo web engine team. Following that plans were drafted to create the Rust Foundation as an independent entity.

  4. Hello World!

    Today, on behalf of the Rust Core team, I’m excited to announce the Rust Foundation, a new independent non-profit organization to steward the Rust programming language and ecosystem, with a unique focus on supporting the set of maintainers that govern and develop the project. The Rust Foundation will hold its first board meeting tomorrow, February 9th, at 4pm CT. The board of directors is composed of 5 directors from our Founding member companies, AWS, Huawei, Google, Microsoft, and Mozilla, as well as 5 directors from project leadership, 2 representing the Core Team, as well as 3 project areas: Reliability, Quality, and Collaboration.

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