Bonum Certa Men Certa

FSF Says Microsoft's Flagging of Its Site as 'Gambling' is Wrong; FSF's Anti-UEFI Petition Grows Popular, Debian Joins

Stallman at protest
Hartmut Pilch (FFII founder) and Richard Stallman (FSF founder)



Summary: The Free Software Foundation stands up against Microsoft's abuses

SEVERAL days ago we wrote about Microsoft's mistreatment -- whether deliberate or not -- of the FSF. The FSF's current chief has responded and reminded free software supporters that Microsoft has quite a history when it comes to starving the FSF:

If Microsoft's "reputation" database can't tell the difference between a gambling site and an independently audited registered nonprofit public-interest charity founded almost 30 years ago, it is certainly doing you and your business more harm than good.

Last week, it was brought to our attention that our primary online donation form at donate.fsf.org was being blocked by corporate systems that use a Microsoft "network security" program. It seems Microsoft has labeled us as a "gambling site." As a result, many people were unable to make donations.

I have submitted a correction, asking that they remove the "Gambling" label and instead list us in their "Non-Profit/Advocacy/NGO" category.

We will avoid attributing this error to malice just yet, and wait for their correction. I will update this post if and when they respond to us.

This reminds me of another situation several years ago, when BadVista campaign pages were conspicuously absent from Microsoft's live.com search results, even though the same pages had been appearing on the first page of "windows vista" Google results for some time. Many people contacted Microsoft about this, and eventually the pages began appearing as one would expect.


On Saturday, the FSF said that its petition against Microsoft's UEFI scheme had gotten over 30,000 signatures and Debian too is on this petition now, unlike Canonical and Red Hat [1, 2, 3, 4]. Only a week ago I argued that Debian and FSF are among the very few whom we can trust for defence of computing freedom. They're not businesses.

Silently, and often behind the scenes or via proxies like CompTIA, Microsoft fights hard to daemonise and gag the FSF. We covered some examples before. It is very clear why Microsoft is afraid of the FSF's message.

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