“FREE AS IN FREEDOM”, thats what Dr. Richard Stallman shouted in my ear after he signed his name on a book I just bought in yesterday’s event at Oakland University. It seems that the word ‘Free’ has a totally different meaning in the computer world. I was telling him about KALI Linux – successor to BackTrack – a free advanced platform for penetration testing. Dr. Stallman had no idea what that OS is. Of course, it is not one of the distributions of GNU/Linux, therefore it is not ‘Free’. So, What is ‘Free’?
According to the Free Software Foundation (fsf.org), Free Software must allow the following freedoms:
Freedom 0: Run the software however the user wants without any limits
Freedom 1: Has access to the source code and the ability to change it.
Freedom 2: Freedom to redistribute exact copies.
Freedom 3: Freedom to redistribute it with the code changes the user made.
But, isn’t that what Linux distributions such as Ubuntu, Fedora, KALI, etc… are? No!!!, they are not according to Dr. Stallman who declared Ubuntu to contain spyware. Free Software means that no harm is going to be inflicted on the user’s privacy such as snooping. You are wondering what snooping is, you fire up your browser, go to Google or Bing – Happy Now Microsoft? – and search for that word. Do you know that your activity is traced and recorded in these companies servers. Have you ever wondered why Amazon always suggest products that you are interested in buying? Dr. Stallman vision of free software is that the user has to be the controller of his machine and his information. To know what is going behind the scenes of his program and to stop or change the unwanted activities.
Dr. Stallman spent about an hour and a half presenting images of mostly cartoonish computer users with shackles around their necks. Guess who are the jailers. Check Dr. Stallman website to know the answer. Or wait, let me just give you the source code for that section in his website as a first step in our journey to the “Free Software” transition.
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Dr. Stallman went after all the previously mentioned companies as he always do. You can feel the anger in his voice for the unjustified, corrupted, and shameful acts committed by them.
Finally, Dr. Stallman changed into his other persona. Saint IGNUCIUS of the EMACS Church.
OH MY LORD…
I CAN SEE THE LIGHT NOW…..
Hallelujah Hallelujah Hallelujah Hallelujah
Would the world be a better place with ‘Free Software’? Maybe… As long as ‘Free’ is not translated into different meanings
Is it Possible? Yes… Everything is possible in the world of computers
Is it Logical? No… A lot of bad people are out there. We need to choose the less evil ones to have control over our info.
Happy Hacking Dr. Stallman,