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GNU/Linux: Source Code and Human Rights

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| The problem with explaining FOSS in terms of source code is that, unless
| you're a developer, source code is only the means to an end. As Peter Brown,
| the executive director of the Free Software Foundation, pointed out to me a
| couple of years ago, promoting FOSS in terms of source code is like promoting
| recycling in terms of the technical details of recycling, such as the
| temperature at which certain plastics melt or the chemical processes that
| occur in an operating smelter -- basically, most people don't care.
| Instead of talking technicalities, environmentalists talk about what
| recycling can do for you and your community. In other words, they refer
| simultaneously to self-interest and ethics.
| If FOSS is ever going to gain a strong foothold outside its own community,
| its advocates need to adopt a similar approach. Outside of their own circles,
| they need to stop talking about being able to change the source code, which
| will only produce stony-faced indifference in the average listener. Instead,
| FOSS supporters need to talk about the advantages that access to the source
| code brings to the average user: The consumer rights and the extension of
| free speech that accessible source helps to promote.


Related (case of point):

Microsoft patents the mother of all adware systems

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| The adware framework would leave almost no data untouched in its quest to
| sell you stuff. It would inspect "user document files, user e-mail files,
| user music files, downloaded podcasts, computer settings, computer status
| messages (e.g., a low memory status or low printer ink)," and more. How could
| we have been so blind as to not see the marketing value in computer status
| messages? Â* Â*


Beware of Skype

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| The Skype network has been a concern of government intelligence agencies
| since its inception because it provides a worldwide network of encrypted VoIP
| calls to potential “terrorists”. So how coincidental is it that 10 days after
| Bush signs into law a Bill giving the government authority to track foreign
| calls that go through U.S. networks that Skype, for the first time in its
| existence, undergoes a massive worldwide outage?
| [...]
| But there are FOSS alternatives to Skype people really should start
| considering now. One is the OpenWengo Project. Businesses, and even
| individuals, should also consider setting up their own Asterisk servers with
| encryption.


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| Vista—Microsoft’s latest operating system—may prove to be most
| appropriately named, especially for those seeking evidence of how a
| computer was used.


Will Microsoft Put The Colonel in the Kernel?

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| "The kernel meets The Colonel in a just-published Microsoft patent
| application for an Advertising Services Architecture, which delivers targeted
| advertising as 'part of the OS.'



Can FOSS save your privacy?

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| Well, the Bush regime has already claimed "we don't need no steenkin
| warrant" to listen to your phone calls, see what websites you visit,
| scan your emails, and now, with the revelation of a new
| "signing statement", it?s even claiming the authority to read your
| physical mail. When the government becomes the biggest threat to
| your privacy, you better take advantage of the legion of privacy
| advocates creating FOSS to help you retain what little bit of privacy
| you can still have.
| [...]
| However, just because your privacy is being threatened doesn't mean
| you have to accept it. There is a growing array of FOSS being
| developed to provide us with the ability to control our privacy.
| It's about time we all start using it.


Polippix: The Political Linux Distribution of Denmark

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| From what I have been able to determine, PROSA, the Association of
| Computer Professionals, is the group responsible for its development
| and distribution. Their feelings on how privacy is being affected in
| the country of Denmark are rather obvious, and it looks as if they
| are not going to take these concerns lying down.


How NSA access was built into Windows

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| A careless mistake by Microsoft programmers has revealed that
| special access codes prepared by the US National Security Agency
| have been secretly built into Windows.
| [...]
| The first discovery of the new NSA access system was made two years
| ago by British researcher Dr Nicko van Someren. But it was only a
| few weeks ago when a second researcher rediscovered the access
| system. With it, he found the evidence linking it to NSA.


NSA Builds Security Access Into Windows

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| A careless mistake by Microsoft programmers has shown that special access
| codes for use by the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) have been secretly
| built into all versions of the Windows operating system.

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