FLOSS + SNOWDEN = FREEDOM

“The European Parliament calls upon the Commission “for the systematic replacement of proprietary software by auditable and verifiable open-source software in all the EU institutions, and for the introduction of a mandatory open-source-selection criterion in all future ICT procurement procedures”. The Parliament “strongly reiterates its call for the development, within the framework of new initiatives such as the Digital Single Market, of a European strategy for greater IT independence”.
 
The call for a migration to open-source software is part of the very same ‘Resolution on the follow-up to the European Parliament resolution of 12 March 2014 on the electronic mass surveillance of EU citizens’ that was amended with a call on the “Member States to drop any criminal charges against Edward Snowden”. The Members should “grant him protection and consequently prevent extradition or rendition by third parties, in recognition of his status as whistleblower and international human rights defender”.
 
The resolution was accepted last week by the Parliament in a 342 to 274 vote. The paragraph on Snowden was accepted in a 285 to 281 vote.”
 
See European Parliament wants EU institutions to switch to open source
This is a strange and prominent mixing of the direction of IT (Information Technology) and fundamental human rights. It’s a slap in the face of powerful people who call for Snowden‘s imprisonment/execution and a rebuke to powerful people who want to hide what software does to enrich or to empower themselves further.

It’s strange because it’s the excessive use of power which has helped the enslaved-through-software people of the world to realize they are enslaved by the kinds of things M$ and big government do. It’s strange because neither M$ nor big government want what’s happening yet they’ve helped make it happen. Slowly but surely the simple concept that Richard Stallman put forth so many years ago to fight abuse of power by corporations vis a vis software has become a global force not just among techies but politicians and citizens on a global scale. The freedom to run, examine, modify and distribute software is at last recognized by millions as a part of fundamental human rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Those who wish to use the power of IT to suppress human rights are being exposed merely by their clinging to non-Free software. Yes!

The widespread use of FLOSS (Free/Libre Open Source Software) such as GNU/Linux, Android/Linux, smartphones, tablets, LibreOffice, VLC, FireFox and Chrome have demonstrated the extreme usefulness of IT to do good in the world to most of humanity but now appears poised to replace the underpinnings of power in the modern world which were developed in feudal times: secrecy as a tool for oppression.

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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2 Responses to FLOSS + SNOWDEN = FREEDOM

  1. oiaohm says:

    The funny part is how governments around the world have been given access to what Microsoft claims their products are built from without any legal right to confirm it. I think at long last governments around the world are waking up to the reality.

    This has also been the funny reality. Some how it legally right for governments to have access to the source code of all the software they use yet normal citizen is not allowed the same rights.

    Level after Level of double standard.

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