Free software is not trusted software

Free software is not trusted software

Postby Lyberta » 08 Jan 2019, 17:22

It's been a while since I wanted to write this and recent Javascript discussion on this forum kinda sealed the deal. So:

Free software is not trusted software

A bit ranty, yes, my bipolar symptoms usually go into manic state when I create (or in this case write) something. Probably gonna lower the rantiness of text later.
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Re: Free software is not trusted software

Postby Julius » 08 Jan 2019, 19:02

Lyberta {l Wrote}:Probably gonna lower the rantiness of text later.


Yeah, please do :)

Small remark: NodeJS run Javascript delivered by the npm packet-manager isn't really the same as Javascript run in a browser.

But I am not sure why you make this an "open-source software" problem, it is a software (period) problem that you should not run anything from untrusted sources unless it's heavily sandboxed.
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Re: Free software is not trusted software

Postby drummyfish » 09 Jan 2019, 02:42

Wait wait wait. I think there may be some misunderstanding of what free SW promises.

Free SW is a software that grants freedom, not security. This freedom includes the freedom to escape malware. It is therefore a prerequisite for security. A basic idea to build upon.

Security is an extra step. You can start something that builds a repository of secured software on top of free SW. It would probably be something like a package manager, with only signed packages. It would be based on free SW, not competing with it.

Any software marked as Open Source is malware by default unless proven otherwise.


I agree that what's marketed as open-source usually has catches (openwashing, non-free platform requirements etc.) and has to be double and triple checked. Just as RMS says, they stripped the idea of the ethics and freedom part. From my experience, SW marketed as free (as opposed to open) SW is basically 100% okay.

It’s time to start a war on Open Source.


If you ask for my personal opinion, wars are never good. Passive resistance is what I choose. Stick to ethics, stress it as your priority, educate it, deny anything unethical.
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Re: Free software is not trusted software

Postby Lyberta » 09 Jan 2019, 09:34

drummyfish {l Wrote}:Free SW is a software that grants freedom, not security.


That's the entire point of the article.

drummyfish {l Wrote}:Security is an extra step.


Yes, that's why I argue that free software by itself doesn't provide truly practical benefits. My rant is that there is no organization like FSF that promotes the extra step that is so needed in practice.

drummyfish {l Wrote}:You can start something that builds a repository of secured software on top of free SW. It would probably be something like a package manager, with only signed packages. It would be based on free SW, not competing with it.


That's the direct solution. But there should be an education movement that would teach ppl not to run stuff from untrusted sources even if it is free software.

It’s time to start a war on Open Source.


drummyfish {l Wrote}:If you ask for my personal opinion, wars are never good. Passive resistance is what I choose. Stick to ethics, stress it as your priority, educate it, deny anything unethical.


I guess that's the specifics of my country. People who don't like the government "argue in the kitchens" and as a result government-sponsored fascism is rampant and no amount of lawful intervention will work because the government always rewrites all the laws to stop opposition. The same way Open Source movement rewrites ethics and corporations rewrite laws via lobbying. The only solution to this is civil war.
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Re: Free software is not trusted software

Postby drummyfish » 09 Jan 2019, 16:09

Of course, I agree with the facts and sorry if I misunderstood, it just seemed to me you were bashing free SW for not doing it's job and blaming the wrong guy. Apologies if that's not the case.

I see you're focusing on security and privacy, and that's great, but let's not forget that's not the only part of freedom. E.g. for me personally free SW is important for other reasons, such as unrestrained creativity, sharing, education, providing all humans with good means of computing. From this point of view, free SW and the FSF are doing an excellent job, and they are trusted by me.

Lyberta {l Wrote}:"argue in the kitchens"


Not what I'm saying. My point is more about violent revolutions sometimes doing more harm than good. Don't get me wrong, I do support active efforts, e.g. what the FSF is doing in the courts... as a lesser evil, conducted carefully by the chosen soldiers. However, for an ordinary citizen, I do believe it is more important to take a non-violent, passive stance, like leading a good example to others, refusing to take part in unethical business, giving up their copyrights to show disagreement with it. That's very different from arguing in the kitchen. War is powered by hate... let's rather base our efforts on a more positive emotion. Just my opinion.
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