The 99th Reason To Migrate To FLOSS and GNU/Linux

Christine Hall thinks M$’s penchant for assisting US government agencies with vulnerabilities of WindowsTM on hundreds of millions of PCs around the world may be the last straw for users of IT who value security. Combined with the NSA leaks, the world now knows M$ is not their friend and may well be their enemy. This is not theoretical. Only a few years ago nations demanded to see the source code… Obviously some subterfuge was involved as USA got a lot more.
“Microsoft has been giving information about unpatched security vulnerabilities in Windows and other MS software to U.S. intelligence agencies and the military. The information has then been used to patch government computers and to attack computers under the control of suspected terrorists and military foes. While there’s certainly nothing wrong with the former use, the later will undoubtedly be problematic for Microsoft now that the information is public knowledge.”

see Time to Take Advantage of Microsoft's Vulnerabilities.

Some of us didn’t need the other 98 reasons to migrate. The first, that FLOSS is the right way to do IT for all the advantages of sharing and cooperation, or that GNU/Linux just keeps on working no matter what the workload, were more than sufficient. Still there are many governments and businesses who think the costs of doing business with M$ were just the cost of doing business. Now they may see doing business with M$ as a risk too great to bear.

I expect at least governments hostile to USA, more or less, will accelerate adoption of GNU/Linux. Let’s see, that could be Russia, China, Iraq, Iran, Venezuela, Cuba, Ecuador, Syria, … Well, it’s a long list. Then there are all the businesses around the world that compete with USA and its businesses… There’s even the possibility that M$ has been using this technique for decades to snoop on competitors in their never-ending search for new and better ways to eliminate competition. Could even be used to gather information to blackmail governments…

Will GNU/Linux salesmen edit their “talking points” to reflect this new reality or will the world knock on their door demanding assistance migrating to truly Free Software?

About Robert Pogson

I am a retired teacher in Canada. I taught in the subject areas where I have worked for almost forty years: maths, physics, chemistry and computers. I love hunting, fishing, picking berries and mushrooms, too.
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6 Responses to The 99th Reason To Migrate To FLOSS and GNU/Linux

  1. dougman says:

    On this subject, NSA secretly spying on people, all traffic is intercepted regardless of source and archived for possible later retrieval.

    The majority of this work, was implemented from the late 90s up until the first couple years after the turn of the century.

  2. Maou Sadao says:

    @Michael Rudas:

    Okay, your defense consists of quoting … Google personnel! Yes, that works just fine. Do you know why I have a hard time believing Google’s lies? Because of this, for example:

    https://mailman.stanford.edu/pipermail/liberationtech/2013-June/008815.html

    Mr. Nacchio resisted the NSA’s request to sniff out his own customers. Then the NSA set him up and threw him into prison to teach him a lesson. You really think the CEO of a big IT company will go to prison over defending their users’ data? Think again.

    Perhaps you want to believe in Google because they support Linux and paint themselves as the good guys. But better wake up and smell the sh*t.

  3. Maou Sadao wrote, “You don’t even care about NSA/PRISM. You don’t even care that Canada’s security agencies are probably doing the same. You’re just interested in bashing Microsoft for any reason. What a sad troll.”

    Nonsense. I’ve been watching the USA train-wreck for decades. USA has been doing the work of “terrorists” for $0 for ages. Al Qaeda invested a few $million in 9/11 and USA spent $trillions and offered them easy targets on roads and cities in Afghanistan and Iraq ever since.

    Think what the terrorists want, USA to collapse into turmoil recoiling from the world-stage. Now even individuals on the run dare to thumb their nose at “the greatest country on Earth”. USA did that all by itself.

    All this is interesting but not what this blog is about except that M$ supplies NSA and the terrorists fertile fields of action on IT globally. I include M$’s insecurity in the long list of reasons to leave their OS in the ditch. The fact is that the Internet was conceived by DARPA, part of the military-industrial complex, ages ago not only as a tool to support commercial and military/political operations but also a tool to spy on the world. That the network is a double-edged sword is just another example of short-sighted policies. There isn’t much I can do about that except watch. Like the dinosaurs the world will sort itself out eventually and things will be the way they are supposed to be with people using IT for all kinds of purposes and doing so without M$ running things.

    The one good thing I see in all this is that the world is catching on to what I knew in the 1980s having visited the US embassy in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, and saw all kinds of radio antennae on the roof every few feet… and concrete blocks preventing close access by vehicles… It is paranoia if the world is not out to “get” USA and paranoia drives the USA to do mad things like entrusting wet-behind-the-ears techies to know too much. You can build all the walls you want and hire several times as many military as you need and buy the most expensive toys and still be vulnerable doing that.

    The craziest thing the USA does in IT is to allow M$ to run on most desktop PCs. That’s a recipe for disaster even without threats foreign and domestic.

  4. Michael Rudas says:

    Maou Sadao: “Google is in bed with the NSA, too.”

    Ummm… No.
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/blog/2013/jun/19/google-chief-legal-officer-david-drummond-live-q-and-a

    Who’s the “sad troll” here?

  5. Maou Sadao says:

    ROFL! Google is in bed with the NSA, too. Yet Mr. Pogson has never a problem recommending their cloud (!) services to anyone. If you believe that there’s a big IT company which refuted the NSA and was able to get away with it, you’re a fool. And because of this simple truth, it shows once again what a terrible hypocrite you are, Mr. Pogson.

    You don’t even care about NSA/PRISM. You don’t even care that Canada’s security agencies are probably doing the same. You’re just interested in bashing Microsoft for any reason. What a sad troll.

  6. dougman says:

    Reason #100: Security researchers use a Linux Live CD, bootable from a removable drive, in order to retrieve malicious files from a compromised computer.

    Reason #101: Computer repair personnel use a Linux Live CD, bootable from a removable drive, to recover files for their client as Windows is busted and is out to lunch.

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