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Stallman on Operating System Security and Web Anonymity

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Linux
Interviews
OSS

TODAY we turn our attention to two subjects which are not frequently tackled by the corporate media. The first one expands on matters we covered in the [cref 69848 second part] and to a lesser degree [cref 69804 the first part] of this interview. The second subject is anonymity. Browsing the Web these days is hard without identifying oneself, due to many cookies and cross-site interaction (e.g. Google and Facebook code inside plenty of Web pages). I asked Stallman what to use for search and the full transcript follows.

Dr. Roy S. Schestowitz: Whenever the source code is being passed for the NSA before release, as you see before the release of Windows Vista or Windows 7, they always pass it through the NSA and they assure you that it’s fine and that it [has[ gone through hardening of the operating system. I think fewer people will believe that after the Snowden leaks, but anyway I...

Dr. Richard M. Stallman: Well, the thing is, it's different in the case of Windows because Microsoft keeps that source code secret from the users, which is in itself reason to distrust it and that's why it has the universal back door. The users can't take that out, so once software is proprietary, that means that the owner of a program has power over the users, it subjugates the users and that is an opportunity for abuses. But that opportunity is not there in the same way with Free software where the users can change this code. Not only do it individually, but they can work together to make their own version of it.

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