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10.07.19

EFF Should Protect or Represent Geeks, Not ‘Hipsters’

Posted in EFF, Google, Microsoft at 3:52 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Hipster

Summary: The EFF’s reliance on some corporate cash (sometimes billionaires) raises important questions about adherence to said goals

Some people, including longtime readers, have responded to what we wrote last night about the EFF (we said more this morning). Several people believe that what they dub “hipsters” are ruining the EFF as insiders or as members (supporters). One person responded to our article "Electronic Frontier Foundation Makes a Mistake by Giving Award to Microsoft Surveillance Person" by saying that “it would be like something from the Microsoft playbook: join something and subvert it from the inside, there’s a Microsoft quote in the Comes docs about that.” (that means Comes v Microsoft)

It would be nice if the EFF spoke about EPO abuses and quit taking 'surveillance capitalism' money (a newer example of it was covered here this morning).

“…it would be like something from the Microsoft playbook: join something and subvert it from the inside, there’s a Microsoft quote in the Comes docs about that.”
      –Anonymous
From what we’re able to gather, based on the EFF’s IRS filings (these are publicly available), the EFF saw a boost in budget after the Snowden leaks but it went almost ‘downhill’ from there (further analysis might show members not renewing); they must get leaner rather than pursue corporate cash. They need to always ensure principles of integrity are at the forefront. Taking money from surveillance companies and giving these companies EFF awards isn’t the way to achieve this.

We’ve examined the latest IRS filing from the EFF. It says that the EFF receives about 4 million dollars a year from members, which leaves one wondering where the remainder (about twice that amount) comes from. The salaries aren’t totally crazy; the chief nets just over $250,000 a year. SF/Bay Area is expensive, but maybe $100,000 would suffice.

But here’s our biggest issue: The main concern here is that the EFF might become a “hush organisation”, attracting corporate funding in exchange for leaving these corporations alone (no criticism) or worse — lobby for their agenda. Is this already happening subconsciously? Is there self-censorship as opposed to spiking and threats to staff? The bottom line is, the EFF needs to reject all corporate money or risk becoming another Linux Foundation.

It’s difficult to forget how the EFF badmouthed E-mail encryption, partly based on misinformation, while promoting “phone stuff” (with back doors) as a viable alternative. If many EFF members and staff just loosely value privacy but mostly use Apple’s ‘i’ things, what does that say about the EFF’s orientation? Months ago and as recently as weeks ago the EFF also helped Apple’s and Microsoft’s “privacy” propaganda. At one point or another these ‘gaffes’ become too difficult and too frequent to overlook or ignore. It’s part of a pattern. Their main “free speech” staff (York) blocked me in Twitter for merely retweeting something.

10.06.19

Linux Foundation: Firing All GNU/Linux-Oriented Journalists and Giving Jobs to Microsoft

Posted in GNU/Linux, Google, Microsoft at 10:43 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

With a budget of about $100,000,000 per year (no tax to pay) the Linux Foundation pays only a few developers

Linux Foundation fellows

Summary: The degree of service to GNU/Linux is very low (and proportionally decreasing) at the so-called ‘Linux’ Foundation, which gives more jobs to Microsoft (GitHub) than to Linux

THE lack of commitment to Software Freedom necessitates affirmative action. Corporations might talk about “Linux” and “Open Source”, but they want GNU and its licence to go away along with the “F” word (freedom).

“The LF won’t mind seeing GNU/Linux deteriorating; all that matters to LF management is the LF; they even have their own logo which has nothing to do with Tux.”This is not a new problem, but several events over the past year, starting with Torvalds taking a ‘break’ and culminating in the ousting of Stallman, ought to alarm those of us who care about (and use) GNU/Linux.

A gentle reminder is in order; it’s a reminder that, amid the GNU/RMS/FSF storm, the Linux Foundation (LF) continues to outsource virtually EVERYTHING to Microsoft GitHub while rejecting GPL/copyleft. Jim Zemlin has lost his appetite for “Linux”. There’s simply more money in selling Linux to Microsoft or outsourcing the LF to Microsoft via GitHub.

What does the LF still do for Linux? It pays the salaries of half a dozen people who code. See above (not all are Linux hackers).

What else does the LF do for Linux except 'diluting' the brand? Not much. Not anymore.

We already miss the old Linux.com. After nearly 2 decades as a news site Zemlin’s PAC, the LF, fired all the staff and all the editors. Not due to lack of funds, just lack of interest in Linux (and they never ever made a statement about this!).

Linux.com should have been kept running. Instead it became spammy and Google News recently delisted it (maybe 4-8 weeks ago, it’s difficult to say when exactly).

The LF won’t mind seeing GNU/Linux deteriorating; all that matters to LF management is the LF; they even have their own logo which has nothing to do with Tux. That right there says quite a lot.

The Free Software Foundation Will Be Far Stronger With Richard Stallman Back On Its Board

Posted in Bill Gates, Deception, EFF, FSF, GNU/Linux, Google, Microsoft at 12:32 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Super Stallman
Image credit: The Fall Of Stallman by Alessandro Ebersol (Agent Smith) at PCLinuxOS Magazine

Summary: Looking back at three weeks of misinformation, we insist that Stallman should have his membership — if not position — in the Free Software Foundation (FSF) Board reinstated

THE FSF lost its main identity and asset. Deep inside it knows it. It lost its founder, who emphasises this role of his in his E-mail signature these days. He lost his place there not for technical reasons. Brendan Eich suffered a similar fate at Mozilla for something not work related (which had happened nearly a decade earlier). Have any lessons been learned since then?

“Brendan Eich suffered a similar fate at Mozilla for something not work related (which had happened nearly a decade earlier).”Our habitual contributor figosdev is writing a HOWTO regarding federation of Free software advocacy (work in progress) and a week ago on the LibrePlanet mailing list someone announced a thing called FSForce (The Free Software Force, sounding similar to FOSSForce but completely unrelated to it).

Adrienne G. Thompson’s reply said “I too have explicitly noted in previous posts that “[T]he Free Software Foundation has not broken but maintains the relationship with Software Freedom Conservancy that has promoted the persecution of Richard Stallman,” nominating SFC President and FSF Board member Bradley Kuhn “Best Director” for the internet drama “The Backstabber” in the upcoming FSF Resign Awards.”

“Well, much of the criticism of Richard Stallman, RMS, was disguised as that (“he has been there too long”, “he’s sexist” and so on); he’s trying to mend things and he told me repeatedly that he had stepped down due to pressure from outside the FSF, not inside it, as a matter of personal will under great media strain.”We should add that trying to disguise criticism of technical groups using parallel accusations of “sexism”, “racism”, “intolerance”, “old” (incumbent) is nothing new, as if technical matters are to be tackled using identity politics. Microsoft apparently does this to Google. So why stop there?

Well, much of the criticism of Richard Stallman, RMS, was disguised as that (“he has been there too long”, “he’s sexist” and so on); he’s trying to mend things and he told me repeatedly that he had stepped down due to pressure from outside the FSF, not inside it, as a matter of personal will under great media strain. I personally prefer to see the FSF going back to the way it was a month ago, preferably without the people who dethroned RMS with outside pressure (not entirely outside as one of them is also on the FSF’s Board). I don’t need to repeat the name quoted above, but let’s just say that this is the person who wrote the most damaging press release.

What this whole sad episode serves to show is misuse of media; Alessandro Ebersol put it like this in his new article:

In fact, who really had ties with that citizen Epstein was Bill Gates, who, according to emails obtained exclusively from The New Yorker, Epstein would have instructed Bill Gates to donate $2 million to a MIT research lab in October 2014. The directors of MIT Media Lab delivered the emails, and they clearly link Gates to Epstein.

However, this connection goes beyond donation, as both Gates and Epstein had a common interest in eugenics, a perverted form of science that seeks to genetically improve the human population by getting rid of undesirable ones (who was also interested in that? Hmmm, ahhh, that Austrian guy!)

We can even speculate that the attack on Stallman’s person was a way to get the public’s attention diverted away from Gates, who really had a connection with Epstein.

The proprietary software people (workers, hence proponents, defending their wallets and banks accounts basically, not morality) generalise and stigmatise FOSS people as sexist even though the ‘inventor’ of proprietary stuff, Bill Gates (remember that infamous letter he wrote), is the real connection to Epstein and pedophilia. Why aren’t Microsoft employees issuing a call/petition to “remove Gates”?

Talk about projection…

A reader has, in the meantime, told us about the Microsoft propagandist (anti-Google, privacy-washer of Microsoft surveillance) whom the EFF foolishly gave an award several weeks ago. That person is, apparently, nowadays attacking everyone, using the EFF’s award as a ‘budge’ of credibility. The EFF has moved in really a bad direction, in essence rewarding privacy abusers from Microsoft. Why? Don’t ask me! The EFF’s demise may be a subject for another day — it barely says anything about patents for a number of months now. Its most prominent person in that ‘department’ moved to Mozilla earlier this year.

“The proprietary software people (workers, hence proponents, defending their wallets and banks accounts basically, not morality) generalise and stigmatise FOSS people as sexist even though the ‘inventor’ of proprietary stuff, Bill Gates (remember that infamous letter he wrote), is the real connection to Epstein and pedophilia. Why aren’t Microsoft employees issuing a call/petition to “remove Gates”?”“Read that article,” said a reader to us, “and the linked-to one by Danah Boyd, then read my comment [...] and ask yourself if there’s anything controversial in it, except the one thing, it contradicts the house dogma. And in the main article they manage to link Jeffrey Epstein to scientists, tech innovators and the Nobel Prize winners. What the fuck does raped, trafficked or harassed got to to with technology or me or you?”

Speaking for myself alone, I can’t help but feel like they’re mimicking some of these same old stunts, e.g. in LibrePlanet (we wrote about CoC matters associated with it several times in the past and an FSF person confirmed what we had heard to be true). Those who don’t comply with a corporate agenda are being painted as sexist. Ask Torvalds why he was pushed out of kernel development a year ago. Ask him what he actually said that was sexist (or can be somehow interpreted as such).

09.27.19

Somehow Microsoft is Always Everywhere Linux Gets Attacked by Lawsuits and Antitrust Actions

Posted in Antitrust, GNOME, GNU/Linux, Google, Microsoft, Patents at 2:45 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Microsoft is in the shadows. This page has been removed since.

Patent troll with IV

Look more closely:

Patent troll with IV quote

Summary: Patent trolls with Intellectual Ventures (IV) ties won’t do Microsoft with its “Microsoft loves Linux” PR campaign any favours, especially now that these trolls are preying on GNU/Linux in the courtroom

AS we noted in the previous post, EU Parliament needs to make it very clear that software patents granted in Europe are not legal. The European Patent Office (EPO) pretends not to understand that and it terrorises its boards into acceptance, in effect nodding to this abuse. Similar things happen at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) in order to ignore 35 U.S.C. § 101.

“Microsoft continues to attack GNU/Linux, albeit usually by proxy. Somehow we’re supposed to ignore this?”The profound damage caused by these patents isn’t just prospective; there’s already evidence of it at present. Days ago GNU/Linux came under attack from Microsoft-connected trolls (CCIA responded to this last night, citing it as a good case against Coons’ ‘reform’ and for Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) inter partes reviews (IPRs)). We’ve already covered several similar cases in the past — cases where European Free software developers came under fire from trolls; the outcome was, typically, removal from the Net (code taken offline).

Hardly to our surprise, increasingly corrupt (it takes bribes) corporate media will not bother pointing out the Microsoft link to this troll; it won’t quit parroting lies such as “Microsoft loves Linux”; just remember where the troll got patents from. Also remember the slimy tactics from Microsoft, which the Microsoft-funded SCO lawsuit helped highlight. These tactics extend to and include hiring (bribing) scholars for them to attack Google/Android without any disclosure of these payments. They tell us they “love Linux” (like BP loves solar power) and here’s a new report of interest:

The Texas attorney general’s office has hired three consultants for a multi-state probe it is leading into Alphabet Inc’s Google, including an economist who worked with some of the firm’s major rivals and a lawyer who is a Microsoft veteran.

How very typical. We’ve lost count of the times we saw similar stories. This is a form of regulatory entryism. We saw lots of this about a decade ago when Microsoft pressed for antitrust action against Android/Linux.

Microsoft continues to attack GNU/Linux, albeit usually by proxy. Somehow we’re supposed to ignore this?

09.15.19

Openwashing Report on Open Networking Foundation (ONF): When Open Source Means Collaboration Among Giant Spying Companies

Posted in Deception, Free/Libre Software, Google at 9:44 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Weekly openwashing report

Summary: Massive telecommunications oligopolies (telecoms) are being described as ethical and responsible by means of openwashing; they even have their own front groups for that obscene mischaracterisation and ONF is one of those

DUE TO lack of time we probably won’t (and can’t) keep these “Openwashing Reports” a daily feature but merely weekly, as originally intended. Moreover, once we cover a particular theme or a strand of openwashing we’ll try to move on to the next and merely ‘shelve’ new examples in our Daily Links under “openwashing” (there’s one big batch coming later today). We don’t want to sound too repetitive (with the arguments, not the pertinent new examples), so this series will have a special nature with a certain uniqueness. Today’s “Openwashing Report” is about ONF; it’s the turn of telecoms, based on the past week’s news (there was an event). It’s a pattern we have observed for over a decade and it’s usually the same ‘news’ sites that are the main culprits; we know who funds these (some are transparent about it). They would have us believe that every large telecom company is now “Open”. This is the art of marketing by openwashing…

“They would have us believe that every large telecom company is now “Open”. This is the art of marketing by openwashing…”Disguising ‘interop’ (somewhat of a buzzword) and shims/standards as “open” is another form of openwashing; here’s a new article entitled “How network standards and open source organizations differ” (there’s some fragmentation among these organisations).

“Both open source and network standards organizations want to develop the next-generation network,” it says. “Yet their methods differ, and they can benefit different types of organizations.”

“The Linux Foundation makes Orwell proud by painting surveillance — the opposite of privacy — as a matter of confidentiality!”What’s common to all of them is the nature of members. They relay or transmit a lot of traffic, lots of information of lots of different people. They snoop, they intercept, they analyse and they inform. They’re informants of militaries, governments or — as they prefer for people to think — “advertisers”. The openwashing pattern to watch out for here is pretty simple: surveillance is being framed as “open” or “sharing” or “confidential”. Yes, confidential! The Linux Foundation makes Orwell proud by painting surveillance — the opposite of privacy — as a matter of confidentiality! That’s how deeply dishonest they are.

“They work like a tightly-knit family and it mostly boils down to cost-cutting collaboration, sharing of code among the members.”This weekend we’ve decided to do an article about openwashing in the telecom sector mostly because a lot of new examples are available. It’s because of the event of the Open Networking Foundation (ONF).

How many of our readers are familiar with the Open Networking Foundation (ONF)? Open is a familiar word, sure. But how many people heard of ONF? How many people participated in some form? How much is actually known about it? We are guessing that few of our readers know much. ONF is actually rather secretive. It’ll like an onion one has to peel and it’s not a pleasant (or easy) experience.

They work like a tightly-knit family and it mostly boils down to cost-cutting collaboration, sharing of code among the members. Not freedom. Hardly even genuine openness.

Let’s look at some examples from last week’s news.

Comcast wants to be thought of as “Open” because it shares code with few other giant telecoms (we’ll use abbreviations for “telecommunications”). Watch this puff piece that says “Comcast sent its Senior VP of Next Generation Access Networks Elad Nafshi to the Open Networking Foundation (ONF) conference today to announce that the service provider has rolled out some open source software as part of its Distributed Access Architecture (DAA) buildout.”

The conference was used by Comcast to also issue paid nonsense. From the conference: “The ONF today announced that Comcast has reached production roll-out of the Trellis Open Source Network Fabric as part of Comcast’s Distributed Access Architecture (DAA) buildout.”

“Comcast wants to be thought of as “Open” because it shares code with few other giant telecoms (we’ll use abbreviations for “telecommunications”).”The Open Networking Foundation’s (ONF) conference is more like a PR platform than a real, traditional conference which is open to all. It’s openwashing of surveillance infrastructures. You don’t get to tinker with the code, but wow! Oh yeah! “Open”…

Whatever.

Here’s another puff piece that says “Comcast today said it deployed Trellis, the Open Networking Foundation’s (ONF) open source SDN fabric, in “multiple markets.””

SDxCentral is a ‘tool’ of the Linux Foundation, VMware etc. Those sites are deeply corrupt. They run or ‘operate’ on the cash of companies they cover. So in effect they’re like peripheral PR agencies. Check out their internal blog; it’s nauseating. Imagine the BBC or CNN having a section in which they invite corporations to become “partners” with their own (dedicated) ‘news’ sections, fused together with so-called original ‘news’ (or ‘content’)…

“SDxCentral is a ‘tool’ of the Linux Foundation, VMware etc. Those sites are deeply corrupt. They run or ‘operate’ on the cash of companies they cover. So in effect they’re like peripheral PR agencies.”More openwashing by SDxCentral (PR for the Linux Foundation and various other “sponsors”) can be found here. This one bears the headline “AT&T’s Fuetsch Touts Trellis Deployed in Tier-1 Network” (AT&T uses the above to spy on millions if not billions of people, but let’s celebrate because something is “Open”).

Then there was also Edgecore. This is collaboration among giants. It’s good to collaborate, but it is not about freedom; it’s just a cost-cutting exercise. Watch this press release [1, 2] and accompanying puff piece for ONF: “Taiwan-based Edgecore is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Accton Technology. Historically, Edgecore built boxes that the incumbent telecom vendors, such as Cisco and Ericsson, would buy. These vendors would then re-label the boxes and sell them to their own customers. “With the movement to open source, some of these vendors that used to be in the background are becoming more visible,” said Timon Sloane, VP of marketing with the ONF.”

“This is collaboration among giants. It’s good to collaborate, but it is not about freedom; it’s just a cost-cutting exercise.”Look at this surveillance giants galore [1, 2]. They shower themselves using openwashing, with the Open Networking Foundation’s (ONF) help.

TechDirt published an article under a week ago about how the telecom giants try really hard to distract us with “Big Tech”, blaming the likes of GAFAM as if they’re the sole culprits and privacy violators. In reality, both telecoms and GAFAM are enemies of everybody’s privacy. Google, for example, wants a monopoly on access to your data, i.e. it wants to infringe your privacy and for no other company to do the same (hence “security”). From exclusivity come higher pricing opportunities. You are the product. Remember that! To ISPs the customers have increasingly become just “products” to be “informed on” (e.g. to governments and advertisers).

This past week, for the third week in a row, Google was still googlebombing the word “privacy” to make it seem like it fights for it, not against it, plus openwashing on the side. We saw dozens of examples early in the month and it isn’t stopping. Examples now include [1, 2].

Also get a load of this from Appuals (“Google Talks About The Importance Of Open Source And Open Data In A Recent Blog Post”). A proprietary software company talks about the importance of what it barely does. Google’s openwashing is nothing too new or unique. How many core, important google things are Open Source in their entirety? Same question for Microsoft…

“This past week, for the third week in a row, Google was still googlebombing the word “privacy” to make it seem like it fights for it, not against it, plus openwashing on the side.”Is Google Search Open Source? How about Apps (office suite, Gmail etc.)? Android as in AOSP is “open” mostly for compliance reasons (they make use of many external projects, including Linux). The same goes for Chromium…

Almost nothing is really “open”. Google’s Summer of Code (GSoC) is an extension of the marketing strategy, something along the lines of “don’t be evil…” (a motto that Google has already abandoned officially)

Going back to the main subject at hand, an openwashing consortium of surveillance giants totally ‘orchestrated’ the media this past week. Here’s a puff piece entitled “ONF works on an open source evolved packet core” (who other than giant telecoms has contributed to this?) and to quote:

The original 3GPP evolved packet core was not CUPS compliant, said Guru Parulkar, executive director of the Open Networking Foundation (ONF). Control User Plane Separation (CUPS) of evolved packet core (EPC) nodes provides for the separation of functionality in the S-gateway, P-gateway and MME.

Guess who makes all the commits.

Here’s another new press release (from that same event):

The ONF today announced that the Stratum™ project has been released as open source. Stratum is now available under the Apache 2.0 open source license, and Stratum is forming the foundation for ONF’s next-generation software defined networking (SDN) work.

Based on this press release there has been fluff:

Stratum is a silicon-independent platform designed to let network operators easily integrate new devices from a wide range of vendors, expanding and upgrading their infrastructure in real time. It strictly defines the interface between switches and controllers as an unambiguous “contract,” avoiding proprietary silicon interfaces and software APIs that lock operators into one vendor’s hardware.

Another piece of fluff from the same site:

The ONF today announced that the Stratum project has been released as open source. Stratum is now available under the Apache 2.0 open source license, and Stratum is forming the foundation for ONF’s next-generation software defined networking (SDN) work.

How many companies is that even relevant to? Not many. Only the few which participate.

“How many companies is that even relevant to? Not many. Only the few which participate.”We don’t wish to come across as too cynical. If openashing is the wrong term by which to describe ONF, then we need to come up with another new word. It’s when companies come together to share code and the public can see the code. In the past they habitually did all this, but the public was shut out.

ONF is not a fraud but a vastly better thing than all telecoms having their own pool of proprietary software. ONF is a good thing in general, but it boils down to collaboration, not Open Source or Free software (they’re all, for the most part, against freedom because their surveillance facilitates oppression).

“Remember that Software Freedom includes privacy; the cheapening or departure from freedom (to “Open Source” or “Open” or “Collaboration”) is a sacrifice/compromise whose end goal (or ultimate objective) is to rationalise abuse. It’s about maintaining the status quo, i.e. not reforming anything except the marketing slant.”We’re still thinking what to call all this. It’s not limited to ONF and there are overlaps in the Linux Foundation, whose chief Jim Zemlin rejects Open Source (he uses a proprietary operating system with proprietary on it). We’ve meanwhile noticed that F5 is, perhaps as expected, leveraging NGINX (just Open Core basically) for openwashing purposes. F5 is spying on a lot of traffic, but it prefers to be seen as “Open”. Perhaps that was one of the main ‘perks’ of buying NGINX.

Remember that Software Freedom includes privacy; the cheapening or departure from freedom (to “Open Source” or “Open” or “Collaboration”) is a sacrifice/compromise whose end goal (or ultimate objective) is to rationalise abuse. It’s about maintaining the status quo, i.e. not reforming anything except the marketing slant.

09.08.19

Openwashing Report: G.A.F.A.M. Surveillance and Military/Imperialism as ‘Open’ and ‘Sharing’

Posted in Deception, Free/Libre Software, GNU/Linux, Google, Microsoft at 8:23 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Let’s spread democracy

Weekly openwashing report

Summary: The (mis)use of the term “Open Source” to promote monopolies has become so profound that even corporate media such as Forbes takes note of it (but obviously defends the practice)

THOSE who’ve read the “Openwashing Report” series long enough very well know it’s not focused on Microsoft or on large companies. It calls out every openwashing culprit we stumble upon in our research irrespective of size/market share. And G.A.F.A.M. (the 'big five') just happen to be some of the biggest culprits, Microsoft typically being the worst. Microsoft is also a bit unique in several ways. As we explained on August 20th:

There’s a common and perhaps deliberate misconception. We’re supposed to think that GNU/Linux is under attack from many large companies, but in reality there’s one single company standing to gain the most from a destruction (or hijack) of Linux. That company isn’t SCO but the company that subsidises SCO’s lawsuits against Linux. It’s also the only company that’s blackmailing, using patents, ChromeOS (GNU/Linux) and Android (Linux) OEMs, even in 2019. Those who don’t understand that are either indoctrinated or dishonest. Google isn’t the company that assaults Linux in court. Apple isn’t the company that started the “Get the Facts” FUD campaign. Amazon’s AWS is predominantly GNU/Linux and has nothing to gain from Windows. As for Facebook? It’s deeply connected to Microsoft. It’s problematic for a lot of reasons. Apache’s Jim Jagielski used Facebook’s abuses as a pretext for excusing Microsoft’s.

As a general note, Techrights was primarily focused on Novell in the early days (when the site was small). Nowadays we’re very much hinged on the key principles (e.g. software freedom/Software Freedom and software patents) and don’t single out any particular company. It’s important not to cheer for ‘brands’ — Linux included — but to keep in mind underlying ideologies and values.

“It’s important not to cheer for ‘brands’ — Linux included — but to keep in mind underlying ideologies and values.”FOSS, as in Free software, is nowadays used everywhere, yet software freedom is to be found almost nowhere. Due to openwashing, in our humble assessment, proprietary software is often marketed as “open” and “awesome”, just because some code might be available. It’s like false marketing. Clown Computing, as a side note, tells us that outsourcing our data and computing is “awesome” and a business would be a “relic” or a “dinosaur” for owning and controlling its own systems. The surveillance industry likes it like that because centralisation makes spying a lot more trivial.

The sad truth is that FOSS dominates, but at the same time freedom does not. Software Freedom (we sometimes capitalise it like that) is almost nowhere to be seen and general freedom (e.g. from surveillance ) isn’t quite prevalent. Something needs to be done. Corporations do what they did to Hippies in the 70s. They tell FOSS people that they’re winning; but actually FOSS is being taken over by monopolies.

Last month we wrote about openwashing of surveillance datacentres. Doing it the Facebook and Microsoft way (Open Compute Project), Nexedi and Hydro66 have just issued this press release. Classic openwashing! This is the kind of thing we’ve long written about it. “Open Compute” is hardly ‘open’ and it is hardly free/Free, either…

“The sad truth is that FOSS dominates, but at the same time freedom does not.”Another nonsensical new buzzword of G.A.F.A.M. and the Linux Foundation is “Confidential”; pretty meaningless, right?

Calling mass surveillance “Confidential” (the very opposite!), as was done a few days ago in Computer Weekly, is an insult to the concept of confidentiality. “Companies committed to this work include Alibaba, Arm, Baidu, Google Cloud, IBM, Intel, Microsoft, Red Hat, Swisscom and Tencent,” it says. They call their surveillance networks “confidential computing…”

On Microsoft GitHub is where they put their code. Yes, GitHub! Which is in NSA PRISM…

But worry not; Microsoft tells us that GitHub will patch our software and code without intervention. Yes, always trust automatic patches (and patching) from the NSA and the company that puts back doors in everything for it.

“”Open Compute” is hardly ‘open’ and it is hardly free, either…”Remember that surveillance is “confidential” now. Orwell would have loved it. NSA back doors are “Security” (the S in the acronym!) and War is “Peace”…

Let’s dive a little deeper into new examples from the past week, starting with (perhaps) the biggest privacy violator, whose tentacles are all over Web pages and sometimes packet transmission as well.

Google

The “big G”, one of the ‘big five’ or G.A.F.A.M., was mentioned here last weekend. We explained how it had spun various surveillance projects as “open”. Media was happy to play along in a big way!

Not only is Google openwashing out of control. It seems to be in control of the media judging by the number of puff pieces to that effect (more than Microsoft even!). We can only guess that a Google News near-monopoly helps towards this goal.

“Not only is Google openwashing out of control. It seems to be in control of the media judging by the number of puff pieces to that effect (more than Microsoft even!).”Curiously enough, a year after Microsoft declared its intentions for GitHub Google still uses it, even for new projects. Back in the days Google had its own code repositories (Google Code), but apparently outsourcing even of Google’s own projects is seen as OK now. Well, if you actually value privacy there or elsewhere, Mr. Google, you will pursue a host that is privacy-oriented (but of course you don’t/won’t). Over the past week we found loads of articles like “Google open sources differential privacy dev library”; there’s a whole array of others [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9] with the words “Open Source” and “privacy” in the headline. Does it not bother anyone that this is Google and GitHub, which is proprietary software and in NSA PRISM?

“Google today introduced Neural Structured Learning (NSL),” said another new article, “an open source framework that uses the Neural Graph Learning method for training neural networks with graphs and structured data.”

Google uses that for surveillance. We’re supposed to think surveillance becomes ethical when the abuser ‘makes up’ for it by uploading some code to proprietary software (the Microsoft censorship machine called GitHub).

“We’re supposed to think surveillance becomes ethical when the abuser ‘makes up’ for it by uploading some code to proprietary software (the Microsoft censorship machine called GitHub).”So Google surveillance is... open. Moreover it’s for disabled people, such as deaf and blind people (we wrote about this pattern as well a week ago). Here’s the latest example to that effect (“Google open-source software allows call and music streaming directly to hearing aids”). So if you oppose privacy-infringing activity, then you actually harm deaf people? That’s the sort of PR tactic which listening devices (“smart” “assistant”) companies gravitate towards.

Marketing genius. Google does loads of openwashing these days. Those who oppose? They must really hate people with disabilities! How dare they? Never mind the fact that “I put my code on proprietary software GitHub for “openness” or for Open Source” is a bit like “I gave you a braid of dead flowers because I love flowers” (not you).

Notice these patterns. They’re becoming more widespread over time. Now let’s look at Microsoft.

Microsoft

Each quarter that passes, each time journalists are back from holiday, there’s fewer and fewer of them. And they do less and less actual journalism. PR liars (think along the lines of “Microsoft loves Linux”) are happy to fill this vacuum. Microsoft exploits that too.

“Each quarter that passes, each time journalists are back from holiday, there’s fewer and fewer of them. And they do less and less actual journalism. PR liars (think along the line of “Microsoft loves Linux”) are happy to fill this vacuum. Microsoft exploits that too.”Over the years we’ve taken note of Fossbytes, seeing how it gradually becomes an anti-Linux site. Ignore the “FOSS” part; it’s a Microsoft promotion site, nowadays run by utterly clueless (or worse — dishonest) people…

“Microsoft loves Linux” is the kind of lie they push there every week. They’re also openwashing proprietary software of Microsoft quite routinely. They describe Microsoft as “FOSS”. But they should stop repeating this lie. Because pretty much every big project/product of Microsoft remains proprietary. Microsoft didn’t ‘open up’. It’s a paid-for PR campaign. Always fact-check and assess pertinent facts.

Just before the weekend we saw Adrian Bridgwater (Forbes) repeating these PR lies. He has long repeated Microsoft talking points about FOSS; when I pointed this out he threatened me. Once again he says “Microsoft loves Linux”. He can say that all he wants (that’s the price of free speech), but it doesn’t make this PR lie any more true, just more crap being flung at a wall.

A Techrights reader too noticed this article and quoted from it the Microsoft-connected WhiteSource: “VP of product for open source security and compliance company WhiteSource David Habusha suggests that this shift is materially impacting the entire open source community, since it is nearly impossible for hobbyist programmers and smaller special interest groups (SIGs) to compete with these huge corporations, who have the money needed to develop and maintain open source projects at a higher level.”

“Microsoft didn’t ‘open up’. It’s a paid-for PR campaign.”WhiteSource is part of this problem; WhiteSource works closely with Microsoft and badmouths FOSS every week. It glorifies and cherishes proprietary software monopolies with openwashing.

We’ve meanwhile also noticed that Microsoft is again openwashing the proprietary software HoloLens through GitHub (which is itself proprietary). It’s a paid press release… it’s cross-posted. Not too shockingly the Microsoft-connected propaganda networks (check ownership) were happy to participate in the openwashing of HoloLens. Microsoft, Open Source and HoloLens are all in the headline; never mind if Microsoft and HoloLens are both proprietary. As a reminder, Microsoft sacked all HoloLens staff when it bought the company; it then gave HoloLens to the US Army (to help kill people more efficiently). It is a relatively old controversy.

“As a reminder, Microsoft sacked all HoloLens staff when it bought the company; it then gave HoloLens to the US Army (to help kill people more efficiently).”If Microsoft buys your company, it’s time to move on or risk being an active (complicit) participant in crimes and other immoral acts, shows history… nowadays a lot of Microsoft’s business/operation is helping governments spy on and oppress people. This is an actual fact and articles around the world have covered this point reasonably well (not necessarily in English).

Yesterday we wrote about the way Microsoft is ‘Linuxwashing’ its surveillance devices that are plugged into Azure (much of that has been in the media lately); someone then told me, on that same day:

#Microsoft has also recently developed hardware platforms and SoCs where they are the only actor allowed to manage all the cryptography keys stored in HW.

This means that they will be able to sell licenses for cryptography as ‘IoT service’ and make sure system manufacturers and users will pay fees to use open standards and cryptography on their HW.

#Microsoft IoT plans are extremely obscure and well hidden behind their #openwashing campaign

Notice that the term openwashing — which we coined more than a decade ago — is spreading and gaining momentum. This is good because it helps communicate a particular issue in concise (one-word) terms.

Microsoft is, according to this, also openwashing PowerToys — software that you can only run on proprietary software with NSA back doors. How open is it really?

“Notice that the term openwashing — which we coined more than a decade ago — is spreading and gaining momentum. This is good because it helps communicate a particular issue in concise (one-word) terms.”This sort of ‘propaganda’ style of reporting is becoming far too commonplace. For technology (i.e. the whole site) ZDNet deserves treatment akin to that of Daily Fail (renamed ‘Mail Online’ in Britain to dodge hard bans; it’s a really bad tabloid; not reliable and occasionally lying, intentionally, for hits). The site is full of Microsoft insiders who call themselves ‘reporters’ and it is owner entirely by CBS, which is a notorious megaphone of the CIA (new example here in ‘Intelligence Matters’, hosted by a former CIA chief in their prime time news sites/channels).

For CBS, in the area of tech (e.g. ZDNet, Tech Republic, CNET), it’s also a megaphone of Microsoft (which helps commit crimes against humanity and participates in imperialism). Watch who they pick/recruit as staff writers; some are working concurrently at Microsoft, i.e. they’re salaried by Microsoft.

Speaking of imperialism, let’s look at Amazon.

Amazon

The openwashing of listening devices (surveillance which media calls “smart” “assistants”) by the Pentagon-connected Amazon is a subject we covered here several times last month. Here they go again openwashing Alexa: “Amazon has turned its proprietary Alexa Skills Kit Command Line Interface (ASK CLI) into an open-source tool kit.”

So-called ‘tool kit’. Classic openwash.

“The openwashing of listening devices (surveillance which media calls “smart” “assistants”) by the Pentagon-connected Amazon is a subject we covered here several times last month.”Over at another CBS-owned tech site (Tech Republic), Mac Asay (now working for Amazon’s AWS) is promoting “open source” as in pure exploitation (just what the employer does). He became notorious for his Microsoft propaganda (where he had also pursued a job) and he has become a foe of Free software. His latest article, “The key to open source sustainability is good old-fashioned self-interest,” was mentioned to us by readers. Months ago he was defending Amazon’s abuse of Free software projects. Shortly afterwards Amazon gave him a job. Coincidence?

ZDNet

After much hesitation we’ve decided to demote ZDNet like we did Ars Technica. To be frank, Ars Technica is a defunct Web site. They don’t produce anything of value anymore. People other than us point this out too. Publicly!

Seems like their ‘in-house pedophile’ Microsoft Peter added fuel to the bonfire, harming credibility and morale. They pay the price for hiring and paying salaries to Microsoft ‘moles’ (who publish articles 'on behalf' of Microsoft's PR staff).

“They pay the price for hiring and paying salaries to Microsoft ‘moles’ (who publish articles ‘on behalf’ of Microsoft’s PR staff).”Something similar now happens in ZDNet, a prime proponent of openwashing, just like its parent company. Over time we find less (and fewer) reasons to ever link to ZDNet’s Microsoft brainwashing staff. It’s a rogue bunch and it it weren’t for some writers like SJVN, we’d probably just impose a mental block (like blacklist) of the domain. Funded by the likes of Microsoft to promote their agenda, i.e. corrupt ‘journalism’, the site has nothing to offer which favours FOSS. Almost nothing (except SJVN’s articles). News from ZDNet (from yesterday and the past week) is all wrong. Exim has an important bugfix, for example, but the CBS tabloid ZDNet went with: “Millions of Exim servers vulnerable” (in the headline).

As if to imply millions of businesses have just been compromised and the sky is falling. This what happens when CBS hires trolls and drama queens like Catalin Cimpanu from Bleeping Computer (misinformation site, anti-FOSS bias). Many other writers have publicly complained about misinformation from Cimpanu; the same is true for Dan Goodin from Ars Technica — to the point where Ars Technica actually got sued for defamation (over one of many defamatory articles from Goodin).

As we said at the start of this long article, journalism is rotting. People who care about truth say, “let’s create a Web site about facts and news…”

“Openwashing, for instance, is Big Business. There’s demand for it; rich people view that as a form of reputation laundering and this is how the Linux Foundation makes much of its money.”Liars and lying opportunists say, “let’s create a Web site that attracts funding from sponsors and advertisers to lie to the public…”

Guess where the money is. Openwashing, for instance, is Big Business. There’s demand for it; rich people view that as a form of reputation laundering and this is how the Linux Foundation makes much of its money. Sad, but true.

09.05.19

Richard Stallman Lectures Microsoft on Free Software and Software Freedom

Posted in Free/Libre Software, FSF, GNU/Linux, Google, GPL, Microsoft, Red Hat at 1:58 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

A great Microsoft selloff or a chance/opportunity to turn Microsoft staff away from the anti-GPL agenda?

GPL/RMS

Summary: Richard Stallman (RMS) reportedly went to Microsoft to speak about Software Freedom; this seems to be part of Microsoft’s campaign to come across as ‘friends’ with FOSS (even whilst attacking it, both directly and indirectly)

THE technology tabloid of CBS says that “Free software advocate Richard Stallman spoke at Microsoft Research this week” and the article was composed by one of their full-time Microsoft boosters (some were literally Microsoft staff on Microsoft’s payroll!).

“Is Microsoft trying to pay off RMS? It doesn’t look like it, but his visit there can be distorted to say all sorts of bizarre things.”The Microsoft booster who controls Linux.com soon rewrote the headline and added his own interpretation as follows: “Mary Jo Foley of ZDNet reports that Microsoft invited free software legend Richard Stallman to speak at its Microsoft Research headquarters this week. Stallman, known for launching the Free Software Movement to develop the GNU operating system, was and still is a staunch Microsoft critic. Stallman delivered his standard talk around four freedoms.”

“[I]t doesn’t excuse developing proprietary software. A desire for profit is not wrong in itself, but it isn’t the sort of urgent overriding cause that could excuse mistreating others. Proprietary software divides the users and keeps them helpless, and that is wrong. Nobody should do that.”

Richard Stallman

Is Microsoft trying to pay off RMS? It doesn’t look like it (he’s not corruptible), but his visit there can be distorted to say all sorts of bizarre things. For example, one might claim that his visit ‘endorses’ Microsoft. This is the kind of spin one can expect to find on TFiR, where Swapnil’s partners are now promoting proprietary software for Microsoft (obviously!). It’s about exFAT, which isn’t about “Linux” but about Microsoft, all about Microsoft [1, 2]. It’s not even a Free software implementation of it but an old proprietary one with patent tax on it (Paragon’s). “The technology can be purchased as an SDK library that can be embedded in any application,” says the puff piece, soon to be followed by promotion of other proprietary software in spammy ‘articles’ (same author). What worries us is that Linux.com was put in these hands…

“Sadly, we’re seeing some certain betrayal of principles from all sorts of directions.”We’ve also just noticed more new evidence (post by Juozas Auskalnis) of Microsoft exercising control over Red Hat (using money). It’s all about money. At what cost? As one blogger put it this afternoon, “the worst case scenario is when one’s life depends on (especially when closed) source code that one has not written oneself.”

Sadly, we’re seeing some certain betrayal of principles from all sorts of directions. Google also. Early this morning we wrote about Google openwashing and privacywashing by outsourcing code to a proprietary software platform, GitHub. This brings hilarity to new heights. Obviously Google outsourced all the ‘open’ code (for ‘privacy’) to NSA PRISM and Microsoft [1]. Google pretends to care about privacy while fighting a war against it and letting the NSA’s back doors partner maintain the code. Corbet has just written about this [2].

Related/contextual items from the news:

  1. Enabling developers and organizations to use differential privacy

    Differentially-private data analysis is a principled approach that enables organizations to learn from the majority of their data while simultaneously ensuring that those results do not allow any individual’s data to be distinguished or re-identified. This type of analysis can be implemented in a wide variety of ways and for many different purposes. For example, if you are a health researcher, you may want to compare the average amount of time patients remain admitted across various hospitals in order to determine if there are differences in care. Differential privacy is a high-assurance, analytic means of ensuring that use cases like this are addressed in a privacy-preserving manner.

  2. Google’s differential privacy library

    Google has announced the release of a new library for applications using differential privacy techniques.

Openwashing Report: Mass Surveillance is Now… Open!

Posted in Deception, Free/Libre Software, Google, Microsoft at 3:45 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Weekly openwashing report

Summary: Mass surveillance by proprietary software (either at the user’s end or the server side, where Free software can be made secret, proprietary, impossible for the user to modify) is being framed as ‘championing’ Open Source; it doesn’t seem to matter, not to the mainstream media at least, how this code gets used in practice and what for

THE public is expected to celebrate the code that is harming the public every second of the day. Openwashing tactics have become the go-to PR strategy.

“That redefines if not distorts what we typically mean by Open as in Open Source.”Sometimes not even code is being made available; last week we saw “open source APIs” (the old lie) being leveraged as a classic openwashing pattern. Things that latch onto surveillance monsters are now open? Well, maybe they’re open to abuse or open to receiving MOAR more data. That redefines if not distorts what we typically mean by Open as in Open Source.

Take the term “Smart City” (above) or “Smart Car” for example. That just means a city or a car with surveillance in it. And now they’re openwashing this whole abomination, with articles such as “Will Open Source Platforms Bridge The Gap Across Smart Car Solutions?”

“Take the term “Smart City” (above) or “Smart Car” for example. That just means a city or a car with surveillance in it.”That was published only days ago.

How about OpenADx? It isn’t open. It’s a front group for proprietary software companies including Microsoft. “Originally launched by Bosch and Microsoft,” says this press release, “[t]he working group launches with original members AVL, Bosch, Eteration, IBM, itemis, JC Information Management, Red Hat, and Siemens.”

It’s about spying inside cars. Hardly surprising to see Microsoft as a founding member. We’ll come again to Microsoft in a moment.

Facebook

Now, how about Facebook?

Facebook apparently has an “Open Source Community”; That’s what this news headline from Vice tells us. But it’s a proprietary software surveillance operation with some openwashing on the side; watch how they demonise people: “Facebook’s Open Source Community Is Reckoning With Toxicity and Harassment”

It says that “[l]ike other open-source communities, ReactJS is now reckoning with how it treats traditionally underrepresented groups in tech.”

“It’s about spying inside cars. Hardly surprising to see Microsoft as a founding member.”Corporate means for kicking out people under the guise of "manners". Here’s another new headline: “React, a popular open source project that started at Facebook, is adopting a new code of conduct after several people on Twitter called out racism in the community”

So-called “open source project”; there have been scandals associated with the licence they choose, the patents, and Facebook’s control of it. This is a surveillance tool.

As for the ethical aspects these reports allude to, spare me the tears. As I wrote about in length yesterday, the Linux Foundation‘s liars called me the “F” word three times so far this week. The Foundation’s staffers want us to adopt a Code of Conduct they themselves violate. They’re not pleasant people and when you put people who want to be TV stars in charge of a group that’s supposed to steer a project of geeks you end up with abuse. They can be a lot worse than geeks. We’ll have more to say about that in a separate (and later) post.

Google and GitHub (Microsoft)

Speaking of the Foundation, which is happy to let Microsoft tell Linux what to do (adopt our OWN APIs/file systems or else!), we couldn’t help but notice yesterday’s news pick by the Linux Foundation’s Linux.com. I immediately joked about it, claiming that they plug in some Google stuff instead of GNU/Linux stuff (there were three news picks that day, one for proprietary software of Microsoft and this one). Are we supposed to think that anything Google is the same as “Linux”? Is Google’s surveillance OK because it’s… open? Watch how the media frames this. This is openwashing of surveillance capitalism on proprietary GitHub (yes, they too gave the code to Microsoft!). “The source code for the AI is now available on GitHub,” it says, “which you can check out from here. You may also download arm64 APK here, and a version with 3D mode here.”

“This is a surveillance tool.”Here’s another new report: “Google open sources real-time hand and finger tracking tech”

Give a finger to it. That’s just Google’s openwashing of surveillance capitalism and it’s putting all the code in imperialistic GitHub. “Google has made its hand detection and tracking tech open-source,” it says, “giving developers the opportunity to poke around…”

Poke around…

More openwashing by Google.

It’s surveillance you can ‘tinker’ with…

“That’s just Google’s openwashing of surveillance capitalism and it’s putting all the code in imperialistic GitHub.”Yay. Let’s dance.

Speaking of GitHub as the medium (it’s in NSA PRISM now), mind this new article from JAXenter where GitHub is presumed ‘synonymous’ with FOSS (never mind if GitHub itself is proprietary and owned by the foremost enemy of FOSS).

If Microsoft does not own and control a FOSS project, does it not exist and won’t count? JAXenter reinforces monopoly and coercion by proprietary software (which is what GitHub is). They leave out every project that isn’t controlled by Microsoft.

We’ll return to Microsoft later.

AMDOCS et al.

A buzzword-hyped surveillance “revolution” is apparently “fueled” by “open source” (or openwashing of malicious proprietary software from monopolies connected to spy agencies). That’s what this new article about “hey hi” (AI) tells us. There’s also openwashing of mass surveillance by companies such as AMDOCS, which process a lot of data and leave copies to states.

But worry not; according to this, “open source as a driver of innovation will be the focus” (of surveillance) by the likes of Amdocs and Adtrans, which also got this puff piece. Yet more openwashing of proprietary 5G — a typical feature from Light Reading: “Sessions, presented by Amdocs and Adtrans, to be presented at tail end of SCTE/ISBE event in New Orleans on October 3.”

That’s next month. “Post-Cable-Tec Expo Sessions to Focus on 5G, Open Source” is the headline.

“A buzzword-hyped surveillance “revolution” is apparently “fueled” by “open source” (or openwashing of malicious proprietary software from monopolies connected to spy agencies).”One looks for articles about “Open Source” and ends up finding these surveillance-centric events. Classic openwashing by iconectiv here (ONAP); their message, between the lines: We made some code changes, hence our network is now “open”…

Over at Telecompaper this press release got expanded with fluff.

It’s not “bad” per se; but the underlying stuff will be closed with some “open bits” to tinker with (or “see”). We’re supposed to think that all networks and telecoms are now “open” even when they’re not (and to make matters worse, they’re used for pervasive surveillance at every level, even intra-packet, e.g. DPI).

Microsoft

Perhaps we should expect this ‘champion’ of so-called ‘open’ to be the worst culprit. Indeed, Microsoft never disappoints. How about openwashing of listening devices, or military-grade surveillance by Microsoft?

“How about openwashing of listening devices, or military-grade surveillance by Microsoft?”This was put at the very top of Linux.com earlier this week (this is what Swapnil does almost every week). Remember that the Linux Foundation boils down to its Board, and seats on the Board are for sale basically.

These articles are all about Microsoft’s listening devices, a.k.a. “conversational HEY HI!” (AI).

Beware the openwashing of such listening devices. All sorts of surveillance are nowadays being spun as “open” or “helping the blind” (or disabled people). Swapnil did a whole series of interviews to that effect last month; They exploit and abuse the disabled (hijacking social causes) to push evil agenda of surveillance.

Are you against listening devices?

“They exploit and abuse the disabled (hijacking social causes) to push evil agenda of surveillance.”Then you’re against disabled people!

“WHY DO YOU HATE BLIND PEOPLE?”

Microsoft used these tricks to demonise OpenDocument Format (ODF) as well.

So nowadays surveillance is being disguised as a ‘social cause’.

It hardly surprised us that mostly Microsoft sites and Microsoft boosters promoted this latest openwashing offensive from Microsoft, e.g. here, here, and here. It’s all because “open” makes spying “ethical”, right?

“Openwashing works great for surveillance capitalism.”To quote one puff piece, “Microsoft announced that it is releasing a new open-source toolkit that allows researchers and developers to create chatbots with different personas called the Intelligent Conversation Engine: Code and Pre-trained Systems (ICECAPS).”

That’s just openwashing of listening devices by Microsoft, the NSA’s foremost partner. Other shallow pieces can be found outside Microsoft’s ‘fan media’, e.g. CBR and Analytics India Magazine, but most of the coverage we saw comes from Microsoft boosters. Maybe they even lie to themselves about how wonderful it is that devices designed to listen to all tenants in entire homes, cars and offices (and relay the audio to governments) are now “open”. Because of an “open-source toolkit” (see what we wrote about “open-source APIs” at the start).

Openwashing works great for surveillance capitalism.

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