12.13.21

Microsoft GitHub Exposé — Part X — Connections to the Mass Surveillance Industry (and the Surveillance State)

Posted in Free/Libre Software, Microsoft, Novell, Patents, Red Hat at 3:28 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Series parts:

  1. Microsoft GitHub Exposé — Part I — Inside a Den of Corruption and Misogynists
  2. Microsoft GitHub Exposé — Part II — The Campaign Against GPL Compliance and War on Copyleft Enforcement
  3. Microsoft GitHub Exposé — Part III — A Story of Plagiarism and Likely Securities Fraud
  4. Microsoft GitHub Exposé — Part IV — Mr. MobileCoin: From Mono to Plagiarism… and to Unprecedented GPL Violations at GitHub (Microsoft)
  5. Microsoft GitHub Exposé — Part V — Why Nat Friedman is Leaving GitHub
  6. Microsoft GitHub Exposé — Part VI — The Media Has Mischaracterised Nat Friedman’s Departure (Effective Now)
  7. Microsoft GitHub Exposé — Part VII — Nat Friedman, as GitHub CEO, Had a Plan of Defrauding Microsoft Shareholders
  8. Microsoft GitHub Exposé — Part VIII — Mr. Graveley’s Long Career Serving Microsoft’s Agenda (Before Hiring by Microsoft to Work on GitHub’s GPL Violations Machine)
  9. Microsoft GitHub Exposé — Part IX — Microsoft’s Chief Architect of GitHub Copilot Sought to be Arrested One Day After Techrights Article About Him
  10. YOU ARE HERE ☞ Connections to the Mass Surveillance Industry (and the Surveillance State)

GitHub: Where everything comes to die

Summary: Many people have long spoken about GitHub's ties to ICE; few have paid attention to intelligence ties, including the NSA and Nat Friedman’s proximity to people from Palantir

“I saw your article expressing concerns about Nat Friedman’s character on TechRights.org,” a source has has told us. “I’m sure you’re already aware of the various surveillance tech patents and his connections to Palantir.”

“Over the past few years we’ve casually mentioned that — putting programmes such as PRISM aside — Microsoft hired from the NSA for leadership positions at GitHub.”Those are software patents; some are connected to Novell. And there’s also some interesting stuff in here. To quote: “During the course of a computer session, many actions may be performed on a computer. For several reasons, including increasing workforce productivity, it may be desirable to monitor these actions. Known applications enable monitoring of actions performed on the computer through logging of events, such as keystrokes, web sites visited, emails sent/received, windows viewed, and passwords entered. Known applications further enable capturing of screen shots at scheduled time intervals. Known event monitoring applications are typically run in stealth mode to make them undetectable to users of the monitored computer.”

Spyware?

Well, purely moral objections aside, that one sounds like a software patent (which we oppose).

Over the past few years we’ve casually mentioned that — putting programmes such as PRISM aside — Microsoft hired from the NSA for leadership positions at GitHub. Moreover, GitHub introduced programmes wherein people’s code will be silently ‘fixed’, without the developers’ intervention. This exacerbated an already-worrying situation, as the NSA not only spies (through Microsoft) on everything in GitHub; it can control the supply chain and, in theory, can deliver specially-crafted downloads to people it wishes to spy on. Not an unprecedented strategy we might add…

As it turns out, there’s more to it than we previously knew. We’ll come to the ‘meat’ of it in just a moment.

“We remind readers that we wrote a great deal about Skype when Microsoft bought it, in effect taking a European company to the United States, then changing the network topology to make wiretapping easier.”When you speak to people who have worked for a variety of companies and saw things from within you get to discover unwritten (mostly verbal) information. Our informants casually dropped some pointers. “Also want to say I have other tech abuses unrelated to these guys I’ve been exposed to that I wish were more reported on like ElasticSearch being a basically a public sector wing of the NSA…”

Well, the ElasticSearch story is also interesting, especially if we have documents related to this, because at my job we use ElasticSearch sometimes. I didn’t know about connections to the NSA until those were shown to me. It’s not imaginary; it’s very real. “So I briefly worked with some former NSA people,” a source told us, and “one of them said that people working at the NSA get tired of being restricted by federal law so they go into the private sector and turn surveillance into a product…”

We remind readers that we wrote a great deal about Skype when Microsoft bought it, in effect taking a European company to the United States, then changing the network topology to make wiretapping easier. About a year later, owing to Edward Snowden’s NSA leaks, we saw that Microsoft had almost instantaneously added Skype to PRISM, a programmes in which Microsoft was the first (as if it was pioneered by Microsoft and the NSA).

“Another one [of the colleagues] said that ElasticSearch is significantly composed of ex-NSA.”

“Well, almost nobody checks the binaries.”So it’s the same as Cloudera or Hortonworks (the company they bought; Red Hat's current CEO is coming from their board).

It’s what some people call an “open secret”; a lot of companies in the US are connected to the military. A site called “Tech Inquiry” notes: “In the first of a two-part report, Easy as PAI (Publicly Available Information) dissects the subcontracting networks behind Project Maven, as well as its broader context in PAI aggregation within the Secure Unclassified Network (SUNet) and for US Special Operations Command (USSOCOM). We also map out the subcontracting networks involving US Department of Defense procurement of location-tracking technologies, including how they involve well-known think tanks.

“Elastic has Endgame now,” our source noted, as “there’s lots of stuff about them working with the NSA on their website; I don’t know if there’s any backdoors in their open source stuff but probably.”

Well, almost nobody checks the binaries. It’s just one among other issues and sadly a lot of people trust that anything they download from GitHub is 1) benign 2) received at the downloader’s end with full integrity. In the age of ‘Clown Computing’ or ‘SaaS’ [sic] we’re meant to just trust programs we have no control of and not even any real understanding of.

“In the age of ‘Clown Computing’ or ‘SaaS’ [sic] we’re meant to just trust programs we have no control of and not even any real understanding of.”On the subject of GitHub more specifically, “Nat Friedman has an executive assistant that worked at Palantir as Chief of Staff.” Title is Chief of Staff to Global Head of Business Development at Palantir.

A close friend of Friedman has “also mentioned some friend of theirs that was an early employee at Palantir,” according to the source, which “never got a name… told me he lives in Tarrytown and gave his wife a million dollars and she left him and he was selling his house…”

In the next part we’ll continues to explore privacy/surveillance aspects. Also, there’s a trial due one week from now.

If you know more, please get in touch with us. This is one of several parts about the “intelligence” ties of GitHub and other Microsoft tentacles.

11.29.21

Microsoft GitHub Exposé — Part VIII — Mr. Graveley’s Long Career Serving Microsoft’s Agenda (Before Hiring by Microsoft to Work on GitHub’s GPL Violations Machine)

Posted in GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Mono, Novell at 7:24 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Series parts:

  1. Microsoft GitHub Exposé — Part I — Inside a Den of Corruption and Misogynists
  2. Microsoft GitHub Exposé — Part II — The Campaign Against GPL Compliance and War on Copyleft Enforcement
  3. Microsoft GitHub Exposé — Part III — A Story of Plagiarism and Likely Securities Fraud
  4. Microsoft GitHub Exposé — Part IV — Mr. MobileCoin: From Mono to Plagiarism… and to Unprecedented GPL Violations at GitHub (Microsoft)
  5. Microsoft GitHub Exposé — Part V — Why Nat Friedman is Leaving GitHub
  6. Microsoft GitHub Exposé — Part VI — The Media Has Mischaracterised Nat Friedman’s Departure (Effective Now)
  7. Microsoft GitHub Exposé — Part VII — Nat Friedman, as GitHub CEO, Had a Plan of Defrauding Microsoft Shareholders
  8. YOU ARE HERE ☞ Mr. Graveley’s Long Career Serving Microsoft’s Agenda (Before Hiring by Microsoft to Work on GitHub’s GPL Violations Machine)

GitHub: Where everything comes to die

Summary: Balabhadra (Alex) Graveley was promoting .NET (or Mono) since his young days; his current job at Microsoft is consistent with past harms to GNU/Linux, basically pushing undesirable (except to Microsoft) things to GNU/Linux users; Tomboy used to be the main reason for distro ISOs to include Mono

THE LAST part took note of Nat Friedman and Alex Graveley (“best friends” in Graveley’s eyes; Miguel de Icaza said they go back 20 years). Today we look more closely at what Mr. Graveley had done before Microsoft/GitHub enlisted him to promote a GPL violations tool (a tool for encouraging — not detecting — copyleft violations).

“All this stuff needs daylight, as the media completely failed to report about what had actually happened earlier this year.”Based on long conversations with a source, “on LinkedIn [he makes] claim to Copilot,” but that goes further back to things we covered over a decade ago. “It sounds like you might know more about that than me,” the source said, as “the timeline starts with the Tomboy stuff.” (We called them “Team Mono”)

That was ages ago, but many of the same people are still involved and they are officially under Microsoft’s umbrella, with a salary from Microsoft as well. “From my understanding,” the source noted, “Alex wasn’t even 18 when this stuff started” because he “dropped out of high school at 15″ and later met “Nat [Friedman] through an IRC[-based] Linux channel or something…”

They also did some podcasts together (Friedman and Graveley), as we noted here before. Friedman had worked for Microsoft as an intern (mid 90s, seems to be when he met Miguel de Icaza). It took many years before he worked directly for Microsoft once again. A lot of the time was spent hooking up companies like Novell with Microsoft and then promoting .NET through Xamarin, which also led to a “payday” from Microsoft.

Our source said, “he hides that and I wonder why?”

He would then attack Free software through shells and proxies, the latest of which was GitHub. We’ve already covered a number of scandals related to this. “I know almost nothing about his personal life,” our source noted, but Richard “Stallman [said] that his dad was a stock broker though…”

“I just thought that was super weird,” the source said, “saw on some email to Richard” [Stallman] that said: “It seems that your efforts to build resistance to Amazon’s ludicrous one-click patent are really paying off! My father is a stock broker, and tonight he showed me a news item which came over his company’s internal wire service describing (fairly accurately) the boycott and your roll in it. Apparently it has been widely distributed among the brokerage firms, and AMZN was down 7 points today on the news (at least, there was no other readily-apparent reason for the downturn). Perhaps now that Amazon is getting hit in the pocketbook, they’ll pay more attention.”

Mr. stock market…

But this series isn’t so much about Friedman but about the issues, notably Copilot (connected to GitHub and proprietary spyware for desktops, Visual Studio). We’re going to focus on GPL violations they enable and who’s promoting this practice; that’s the role of Alex Graveley. Visual Studio ‘Code’ is proprietary spyware (the so-called ‘telemetry’ has become notorious enough) and a certain “Nathaniel Dourif Friedman” has a software patent on spyware. Spyware like this: “During the course of a computer session, many actions may be performed on a computer. For several reasons, including increasing workforce productivity, it may be desirable to monitor these actions.”

If it sounds like a SOFTWARE patent, bear in mind it is with Novell, which openly bragged about its software patents and tried to leverage them to attack rival GNU/Linux vendors in collusion with Microsoft. Our moral objections aside (those are patents which we oppose), Mr. Graveley too has such patents. All the Hackpad patents are listed there. “For clarification, Alex’s legal name is Balabhadra Graveley,” our source noted, and “to further clarify he is a white man and not Indian despite the sound of his name” because of his “hippie Hare Khrishna parents…”

His LinkedIn (Microsoft) account suggests he still works for Microsoft:

Alex Graveley

“Team Mono or whatever you want to call it,” our source noted, is “alive and well…”

Except Friedman is gone, likely forced to resign to save face.

All this stuff needs daylight, as the media completely failed to report about what had actually happened earlier this year.

One less important aspect of it all is, Alex Graveley was inadvertently the subject of many old posts of ours. Because of Mono and Tomboy. Readers might want to get some context, assuming they never heard about this controversy before. Here’s an article from 2013:

And half a dozen (among more) from 2009:

“I do have this message where Alex calls Tomboy his life’s work,” our source said. The above articles spoke about technical issues, not just legal issues. And sure, those are old… as the site was a lot younger back then (about 2.5 years old) and nowadays we do deeper investigations. It certainly seems like Friedman and others set him up for richness; by sucking up to Microsoft, with Mono, he was swimming close to the sharks.

Tomboy as a piece of software is junk. That’s why someone else from Novell (alumnus) rewrote it in C++; there’s just nothing special about it, which makes sense considering he wrote it as a high school dropout with little experience in software engineering.

“I’ve seen his code,” the source said, calling it “very procedural”.

Gnote’s developer rewrote the whole thing in a better language, not controlled by Microsoft. Yes, his whole program was re-written as a hobby in C++ — a process which didn’t take long — and then it run much faster (details in the above links).

The original implementation (Tomboy) was technically weak. Among the quotes we heard about Graveley: “He is so insecure”; “Full of doubts and strong opinions”; “Fun to be around, but also very self destructive” (attributed to Miguel de Icaza, speaking on experiences with Alex Graveley).

“Based on his code,” our source added, “Alex is the kind of engineer that doesn’t understand easy to read doesn’t mean it’s simple…”

“I write easy to read code that is well organized and get underestimated for it…”

Tomboy was apparently so bad that someone simply rewrote the whole program in another language, C++, and did so very quickly; the technical improvements were vast.

So is Graveley even good at software development? He didn’t finish school.

He is insecure but (now) well connected, so he’ll try to use the current status to compensate for a weak background. “I suspect that Alex and Nat share darker secrets,” our source added. “I don’t even understand why Alex is working. [...] In regards to Github, the Github hate community has already been in touch on Twitter, mostly in regard to the ICE stuff…”

GitHub does worse than ICE, but the media seldom talks about that. The media suppressed that and more, whereas it actively helped ‘pacify’ the ICE protesters by shoveling up “Arctic Vault” puff pieces. We wrote about it back then.

07.19.21

Monopolies Cannot ‘Decapitate’ a Movement

Posted in Deception, GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Novell at 5:30 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Monopolies will run out of money trying to kill off (or privatise) the movement

Novell, Microsoft, Red Hat

Red Hat, IBM, Debian / Ubuntu

Canonical, Microsoft, Arch / Valve

Summary: Despite the ‘theft’ or the mass plunder of projects (e.g. GitHub takeover), even at the expense of billions of dollars (with ongoing losses, both financial and logistical), we keep coming back again and again like a hydra

“Microsoft is not a question of technology, since it is a cult backed by politics,” an associate of ours asserted this morning. “Decisions to deploy Microsoft are not technological decisions. See Munich as one of many large examples, but the same thing happens on a smaller scale, too. In Munich, Microsoft was able to override technological factors with politics and cult loyalty.”

“15 years ago we wrote a lot about how Microsoft was infiltrating everything, including Novell/SUSE.”Alas, and in spite of all these setbacks, we’ve been making a lot of measurable progress over the years.

15 years ago we wrote a lot about how Microsoft was infiltrating everything, including Novell/SUSE. Microsoft had been doing this for about 20 years, so it’s nothing new! Half a decade ago it planted a flag inside the Linux Foundation.

Over 10 years ago Apple joined the litigation club, in effect resorting to many lawsuits on several fronts. Oracle did the same.

In 2014 we began focusing on the EPO (up until that time we mostly focused on the US) and a few years ago we explored the state of Free software amid corporate coups, including the 2018 announcement from IBM (taking over the largest GNU/Linux company).

“Over 10 years ago Apple joined the litigation club, in effect resorting to many lawsuits on several fronts.”Last week Valve shook things up a bit and we’re cautiously optimistic about the future, seeing that some steps are made towards sharing, whereas reactionary steps are taken by dying companies that defraud their shareholders, violate the GPL, and try to own everything by unbridled aggression. It is a losing strategy. The community is a lot more agile and can endure these attacks, just like it endured SCO.

There are some exciting projects and initiatives in the making. Some of them we’ve partly or fully embraced. Some we advocate regularly, Gemini for instance…

The best weapon we have is patience and perseverance. We don’t have misled shareholders to appease every quarter; we don’t need to beg for government subsidies/bailouts, either. Keep morale high and keep coding. But still… know the enemy to understand the attacks.

“Mind Control: To control mental output you have to control mental input. Take control of the channels by which developers receive information, then they can only think about the things you tell them. Thus, you control mindshare!”

Microsoft, internal document [PDF]

07.13.21

The Largest Distros of GNU/Linux Fight for Microsoft Hegemony (Instead of Freedom)

Posted in GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Novell, Red Hat, Ubuntu at 11:26 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Video download link | md5sum 691de53cdee744adb0447b3d0f8f83bc

Summary: GNU/Linux ought not be reduced to merely another brand; if the goal is software freedom, then we won’t get there by relying on bigger corporations that make alliances with Microsoft and strive to ‘monetise’ everything

The Free software community is in a tough spot at the moment. Even though GNU/Linux is used more than ever before, rarely does freedom follow this trend. There’s actually entrenchment of ‘Linux-powered’ (e.g. Android) surveillance and GNU/Linux-based (e.g. Facebook, Google disservices) espionage.

The video deals with this new (this morning’s) example of Red Hat pushing (promoting but with drug-dealing slant) Microsoft’s proprietary software (check the licence, as it’s legally and technically proprietary software). It’s malicious software, a potential keylogger, which is also monopolistic and a piece of spyware in the “telemetry” sense. The sad thing is, Red Hat under IBM’s leadership is becoming barely better than SUSE. Meanwhile, Canonical too bends and jumps all over itself to appease Microsoft.

We need to change the flag bearer of GNU/Linux to something else if we want to promote (or preserve) software freedom.

07.12.21

If Capitalism Stands for Free Market Competition, Then Proprietary Software is Like Communism

Posted in Microsoft, Novell, Ubuntu at 2:17 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

The ‘Microsoft bloc’

Gate on Capital Hill (Budapest, Hungary)
Budapest, Hungary

Summary: Canonical stopped competing with Microsoft; in fact, today’s Canonical actively helps Microsoft, in effect breaking its promise to the Ubuntu community

THE company known as Canonical works for Microsoft; a direct contradiction when one considers the #1 bug in Ubuntu (replacing Windows and Microsoft). How did this happen? How was Microsoft allowed (from the perspective of competition authorities) or ever permitted to take over a competitor? Days ago we published a couple of things about the latest disgusting gesture [1, 2], earlier today we saw more of the same (Canonical pushing WSL, i.e. Windows, at the expense of GNU/Linux), and this certainly won’t be the last of that.

We’re meant to believe that this whole ‘free market’ thing works (or will work out at the end), but since the Novell-Microsoft deal (2006) we’ve been seeing a systematic abduction of Microsoft’s rivals, ranging from Yahoo! (Web) to Nokia (mobile) and even Canonical. Red Hat/IBM is a separate case. Another article…

I don’t want to get into all those labels and political smears/analogies, but to me it seems like Microsoft doesn’t accept the basic concept of competition. It is just trying to take over the competition, in effect cheating in an effort to ‘win’ a match. After bribing the Linux Foundation Microsoft managed to put its staff in charge of Linux (Microsoft’s Levin announced all the stable releases a couple of weeks ago) and it took over millions of Free software projects by just buying their platform. Why wasn’t this prevented by authorities?

“Canonical has become supine and useless. Ubuntu’s days may be numbered, but at least we have projects like Gentoo, Arch, Devuan and so on as ‘lifeboats’ of sorts.”This is not competition; it reminds me of what the Soviet Union did in eastern Europe and we could come up with all sorts of vivid memes, even tough memes like the one below. Nobody ever survives a partnership with Microsoft in the long run. And Microsoft laughs at its very own ‘partners’, show internal documents.

Canonical has become supine and useless. Ubuntu’s days may be numbered, but at least we have projects like Gentoo, Arch, Devuan and so on as ‘lifeboats’ of sorts.

Nicolae Ceaușescu: Microsoft is a great partner
Nicolae Ceaușescu nearly outlived his usefulness to the Soviets

06.06.21

Beware the Spin and False Pretenses as IBM and Google Are Dangerous to Software Freedom as Well

Posted in Free/Libre Software, Google, IBM, Novell at 2:37 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

“An analogy [of Microsoft] would be the owner of a toll bridge, which is the only bridge across a river, paying the owner of land to deny access to a site where a competitive bridge is partly built.”

Judge Robert Bork, former US Supreme Court nominee

Summary: There’s a tendency to focus on just one “Evil Empire” (a reductionist over-simplification), but at the moment software freedom faces threats from GIAFAM and more; even Intel (the “other I”) is problematic

THE threat posed by Apple (to software freedom) is real and has long been recognised, even if Apple is posing as “UNIX” something. But a lot of people wrongly assume that Google is our friend because of programs such as Summer of Code (never mind abuses of privacy and ‘GPL condoms’ like Google’s attempt to replace Linux in Android) and that IBM, being the owner of Red Hat, is mostly benign if not beneficial. We increasingly find that IBM is the new Novell, not just because many people from IBM ran Novell and both companies fought in court against SCO but because both bought GNU/Linux vendors and then (still) leveraged software patents, liaised with Microsoft, and attacked the Free software community in a number of ways.

“And IBM would do just about anything — even desperate measures like killing CentOS — in pursuit of money, just to meet quarterly targets.”Microsoft is still very dangerous (for many different reasons), but let’s not lose sight of the potent threat posed by what figosdev called “GIAGAM” (I for IBM). IBM is dying but not dead yet. And IBM would do just about anything — even desperate measures like killing CentOS — in pursuit of money, just to meet quarterly targets. To better understand what goes on inside IBM watch these threads any day (I watch these about 10 times a day) as many are from insiders and former insiders. They think IBM is going down the bin, just like Novell did. They live on borrowed time, profiting from legacy products/profits/clients while they still last (and while they experience brain drain, a staff exodus, never mind layoffs).

06.03.21

Red Hat is Becoming Somewhat Like SUSE, Stranded Inside a Company That Doesn’t Get Free Software (Pushing Proprietary Software for Money)

Posted in GNU/Linux, IBM, Microsoft, Novell at 4:51 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

They just don’t understand our culture and they don’t want to, either

Jeff Jaffe's blog
SUSE and Red Hat employees inside GCC are bossed by people who dislike the FSF and don't understand Free software communities; instead they harvest and look to 'monetise' software patents

Summary: With IBM officials calling all the shots at Red Hat (like Novell’s CEO did, after his long IBM career, inside SUSE) we need to think carefully of the full ramifications of old proprietary software giants taking over GNU/Linux distributors

Yesterday Red Hat published this blog post about Microsoft SQL Server. It’s far from the only such post and we’ve become accustomed to Red Hat’s promotion of proprietary software. As recently as today, for example, Red Hat was promoting SAP Store… same thing SUSE does… and it’s all becoming reminiscent of what Novell did to SUSE!

“Generally speaking, Red Hat is leaning on proprietary software companies nowadays, promoting their stuff instead of competing with them, hoping that this will bring income to IBM.”But let’s not get ahead of ourselves here; the analogy isn’t great because in Novell’s case there was a patent collusion with Microsoft, whereas with IBM and Microsoft there’s a longstanding cross-licensing affair. And saying “boycott Novell” is like saying “boycott IBM” (unlike boycotting SUSE, which would be like calling for a Red Hat boycott quite needlessly, knowing that many parts of the company actually do some useful things, still).

Generally speaking, Red Hat is leaning on proprietary software companies nowadays, promoting their stuff instead of competing with them, hoping that this will bring income to IBM. In the process, to use examples from earlier today [1, 2], Red Hat is rebranding servers as “clown” and paying fake ‘experts’ to produce propaganda in “study” clothing. “A new IDC white paper sponsored by Red Hat…”

I really don’t want to bash Red Hat. I never really did, but I’m growingly concerned that some of the strategic moves at Red Hat “came from above” and they harm the community as a whole, not just Red Hat. As somebody put it 3 hours ago: “What does IBM have? Z, DB2, cloud paks??? They are also screwing Redhat dude. IBM is finished 10 years back. Nothing can change it. If you are at IBM, it means you are low skilled and can’t find any jobs elsewhere.”

Novell had the same issue when it signed the deal with Microsoft.

06.02.21

It Remains Largely Unclear Whose Idea It Was to Change GCC Copyright Assignment Practices (or How/Why It Started)

Posted in Free/Libre Software, FSF, GNU/Linux, IBM, Law, Novell, Red Hat, SLES/SLED at 6:10 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Video download link

Summary: Coders who merge their work into the GNU Compiler Collection (GCC) will no longer assign or surrender copyrights to the Free Software Foundation; it would be worth finding out how this outcome was reached and why as there’s lack of clarity on this

YESTERDAY there was a new release of GCC. Shortly after the release was announced we saw reports about the FSF loosening the Copyright Assignment (CA) requirements long imposed — to use a relatively harsh term — on GCC contributors. Why did this happen? Whose idea was it? We doubt the FSF just did this on its own volition. Was there pressure from the anti-RMS petitioners? Notice how many of them are from IBM and how many in that petition work on GCC. The corporate affiliation (employer) isn’t mentioned, but about a third of them were — and still are — IBM employees. IBM’s motivations and covert objectives are suspicious for a number of reasons (as mentioned in the video above).

Copyright symbolThe video above discusses what this situation means, but it remains uncertain how that came about. We’re not being told anything about the behind-the-scenes story. It’s not even clear whose decision it was (there are mutually-contradicting framings; some say the FSF did it, whereas some/most claim GCC did it). Maybe some meeting minutes can elucidate this whole thing. Maybe there’s already sufficient transparency to explain this, but currently the articles on this matter don’t go that deep.

“Clarity on this issue isn’t ‘small potatoes’ because it may represent a ‘soft coup’ or constitute another (new) wave of attempts to dethrone/weaken the FSF and take power (software freedom) away from Free software users/developers.”For completeness, all the links from the video are listed here — a page that will expand over time as new information arrives (we expect more material and investigations/follow-ups to come). Clarity on this issue isn’t ‘small potatoes’ because it may represent a ‘soft coup’ or constitute another (new) wave of attempts to dethrone/weaken the FSF and take power (software freedom) away from Free software users/developers.

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