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Dividing the Linux desktop
LWN.net Weekly Edition for June 13, 2013
A report from pgCon 2013
Little things that matter in language design
"The freedom to trust that the program will not report any detail of you activity to a remote site without explicit permission".
The right to not be reported
Posted Dec 8, 2012 17:21 UTC (Sat) by man_ls (subscriber, #15091)
Perhaps as a right it works:
The right to keep your activity private without explicit, opt-in permission.
Posted Dec 10, 2012 5:55 UTC (Mon) by davidescott (guest, #58580)
Firefox ships with "do not track" set to a default "off" state, requiring that users turn it on in order for it to be effective. In other words Firefox is operating under and opt-out model.
Furthermore Firefox requires that you install add-ins like Adblock manually instead of incorporating them into the browser.
Firefox even supports Cookies a known means of monitoring and tracking user behavior.
Almost all Linux distributions ship TOR as an optional package and one has to "opt-out" of the larger government and corporate monitored internet.
Somehow none of those seem as bad, presumably because we draw a distinction between actively participating in an activity that detracts from privacy, than simply turning ones back on a third parties violation of ones privacy, but given a number of comments in RMS' letter I don't think that turning ones back is an acceptable moral position to RMS. Among his comments:
> To protect users' privacy, systems should make prudence easy: when a local search program has a network search feature, it should be up to the user to choose network search explicitly each time.
> A network search feature should also inform the user clearly and concretely about who will get what personal information of hers, if and when she uses the feature.
> If a sufficient part of our community's opinion leaders view this issue in personal terms only, if they switch the surveillance off for themselves and continue to promote Ubuntu, Canonical might get away with it. That would be a great loss to the free software community.
> If we can only say, "free software won't spy on you, unless it's Ubuntu," that's much less powerful than saying, "free software won't spy on you."
That said GNU has its own fork of Firefox that does more to protect privacy, so he could point to that and say "I don't advocate for the use of Firefox," but if that is the case it would be more fair to bring that up instead of focusing on Canonical.
Stallman: Ubuntu Spyware: What to Do?
Posted Dec 8, 2012 22:43 UTC (Sat) by cyanit (guest, #86671)
This allows Ubuntu to abuse his trademark power to give more visibility to his crippled distribution compared to variants lacking the antifeature in question.
Posted Dec 9, 2012 15:39 UTC (Sun) by vonbrand (subscriber, #4458)
I, for one, am fine with $DISTRIBUTION being the only one to be able to use their trademarks to advertise their (mis)features...
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