Free Software Calling
Fewer people are willing to “put up with the shit” given by so-called ‘Big Tech’, seeing that it’s mostly about social control rather than enablement or emancipation.
FREE software is needed for a Free (as in freedom) society. What’s a free society? Glad you asked! Over the past (almost) 12 months we in the UK have been mostly confined to small spaces, discouraged from meeting other people. At the same time encryption was being demonised as a tool of terrorism, so most person-to-person communication was wiretapped or at least recorded.
What’s so horrible about that? Let’s examine what the Stasi Museum says or is intended to remind citizens of Germany. I haven’t gone inside, but I went past it 2 years ago. “The museum has approximately 100,000 visitors per year,” says Wikipedia.
Free will requires an understanding that one isn’t under pressure, whether real or perceived, e.g. the freedom to express particular unpopular viewpoints, even over the telephone. What’s unpopular isn’t unlawful. As we noted half a decade ago, EPO examiners became quite mortified by the phones on their desks, correctly assuming everything can be recorded and may/will be used against them. That’s a symptom of freedom being lost; it’s a supine, oppressed society being made ever more subservient, unwilling to even talk about corruption (by those who might be listening).
So what’s Free (libre) software? That’s software that doesn’t actually care if a government mandates back doors in encryption or bans real E2EE.
At this moment in time we need more, not less, privacy and free speech. We need software that respects our freedom instead of spying on us. If you haven’t had time to explore software freedom, there may never be a better time in the future. Lock-downs have given most people a lot more spare time (I myself have had a highly productive year). To get started visit gnu.org and learn some of the motivations for it all. Don’t be misled by corporate front groups of monopolies (e.g. the Linux Foundation, which acts as a middleman for monopolies looking to hook up with media so as to whiten their bad reputation).
Software freedom isn’t about cost-saving even though it can, in practice, reduce spendings (there’s more to life than money). Ask people in long-repressed countries how much they value autonomy and real freedom (if they ever experienced any). With surging censorship (there’s huge uprising against social control media, including YouTube) it’s clear that we’re only losing, not gaining, freedom. Unless we walk away from the state- (and sometimes military-) sponsored cabal looking to control minds and hearts by misinformation, spying, and censorship.
This post is also available in Gemini over at: gemini://gemini.techrights.org/2021/03/03/free-software-in-2021/