11.12.20

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Microsoft Playing Hardball and Talking ‘Double Dutch’ to Undermine the Free Software Community

Posted in Free/Libre Software, Microsoft at 3:27 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

The disturbing attack on Free software carries on, characteristically led by Microsoft

Tough Game

Summary: The betrayal in the Free software community is partly caused by monopolies that bribe people to defect and, in effect, attack the community by promoting proprietary software

SOME people have already found this disturbing new message from Guido van Rossum, who decided to defect instead of retiring. Microsoft offered him lots of money.

“We’ve long warned about Microsoft infiltrating Python and seeing that van Rossum (van Icaza) was willing to work for the Condy Rice-connected DropBox, maybe we should not be surprised that he’s already shilling Microsoft’s proprietary software (which is basically what Microsoft pays him to do).”Python is dead now. Just to be sure, we’ve checked that it’s not a satirical account and proceeded to deleting all Python from our RSS feeds. We’ve long warned about Microsoft infiltrating Python and seeing that van Rossum (van Icaza) was willing to work for the Condy Rice-connected DropBox, maybe we should not be surprised that he’s already shilling Microsoft’s proprietary software (which is basically what Microsoft pays him to do).

“RIP python,” MinceR wrote in IRC, knowing that it’s all about money now. Many people will undoubtedly be upset by this, especially those who invested in learning and coding in Python. Python taking more bribes from the monopolists isn’t exactly news (Google also). It’s all about money and selling expensive stuff or “computer time”; Python has even copied Microsoft in making newer versions not compatible with older ones, rendering perfectly fine code obsolete. Just like that, for little or no reason…

Dagger and appleAre we shocked? A bit. But it was already getting disturbing when they took Microsoft bribes and they advertised Azure for that money. Python was packed up and sold maybe 2 years ago and van Rossum confirms that he lacks principles; his Twitter timeline is shilling bad stuff with surveillance, in effect rendering himself little but a Microsoft marketing rep, repeating their talking points and enticing people to enter proprietary traps.

Things like these continue to happen (e.g. Stormy Peters) and some people tell us we’re not under attack, we’re just being ‘absorbed’ by those looking to crush and destroy software freedom (while they pay loads of money to recruit people to defect). Over the years we heard about Microsoft approaching other high-profile people of his calibre, offering them jobs to trouble communities and remove their leaders. Those strategies help attack our community projects and generally echo much of what we saw in the Bill Gates deposition.

As a side note, this isn’t the only high-profile person who has been doing suspicious things. Days ago someone wrote to us regarding Werner Koch, saying something not right was going on. “The issue arises from one of the names in the Guix petition,” we were told. “Werner Koch. He’s one of the main people behind GPG and the OpenPGP specification. I haven’t noticed any hostility from Koch towards the Yubikey threat that we are faced with today. In fact, Werner accommodates Yubikey considerations into GPG development. It’s impossible that he’s not aware of the threat to user security posed by products like Yubikey; yet he’s happily making GPG embrace potential spyware products.” (Evidence)

On it goes: “This is a topic of much concern to GPG users. The link is to the GPG development tracker site. You might want to keep that site (dev.gnupg.org) on your radar and search for keywords that have to do with security abusers. GPG is in everything from Git to Debian. You can imagine the threat closed hardware like Yubikey poses. Embracing closed hardware like Yubikey sends a concerning message to GPG users. Of all the things that GPG users want, putting their private PGP keys into potential spyware is about one of the worst practices imaginable.

“The fact that Koch was part of the coup against RMS, added to all this, is immensely disturbing.”

“…this isn’t the only high-profile person who has been doing suspicious things.”“The Raspberry Pi Zero W still has networking,” an associate of ours noted, and “the plain Raspberry Pi Zero could work as key dongle if a USB module is tacked on top. More ambitiously, KiCAD could be used to design a better USB add-on to include a few capacitive buttons, whether GPIO or I2C. Maybe (only maybe) one of the newer Arduino models such as the Every would have the processing power and RAM to deal with a key.” [1, 2]

“There are also a few off-the-shelf open alternatives to closed hardware. The Nitrokey is the only one I can recall for now, but there are others. Not surprisingly it is very difficult to find the names of the others.

The associate noted that Yubikey costs $650, calling that “Crazy.” We recently wrote about other issues associated with that product. Is it ‘snakeoil’? Is encryption being undermined along with the Free software community? Are there no people with backbones anymore? Why does the man who created Python promote NSA back doors?

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