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Re: Making GNUS continue to work with Gmail

From: Richard Stallman
Subject: Re: Making GNUS continue to work with Gmail
Date: Sun, 16 Aug 2020 23:23:29 -0400

[[[ To any NSA and FBI agents reading my email: please consider    ]]]
[[[ whether defending the US Constitution against all enemies,     ]]]
[[[ foreign or domestic, requires you to follow Snowden's example. ]]]

  > With the solution used by Kmail, Thunderbird and others, when a
  > user adds a Google account to [per] mail client, a Google login
  > page is opened in a browser, on which [person indicates per]
  > login and password.  This page is the https://accounts.google.com
  > page, and it uses nonfree JavaScript code.

Thank you for posting this information.  About use of Google services
I know only what people tell me.

Let's look at the implications of this for the situation we are in.

First, a question: does creating a Gmail account go through some
Google page (perhaps the same one) that also requires nonfree
JavaScript code?

If so, then anyone who starts using Gmail in the future will have had
to run that same nonfree software to start.  It would be wrong to
steer anyone in that direction, but when users do so on their own
initiative it is not our responsibility.  (If someone decides to use
Gmail, that won't be because we suggested it.)

So I think it would be acceptable for GNUS to have an app key such
that, IF a user does these things with Gmail, per Gmail account works
with GNUS.  But it would not be acceptable for the code of GNUS or the
documentation of GNUS to steer users towards doing those operations
with Gmail.

I have a hunch there may be a bounded but perhaps large set of people
who started using Gmail at a time when it did not require running
nonfree software to make the account.  It looks like Google is going
to force them to run nonfree software at least once or else stop using
Gmail.  That is injustice, and too bad, but it's Google's injustice,
not ours.  It does not rasie an ethical issue about our conduct.

I've made a number of suppositions here.  Are any of them mistaken?

Dr Richard Stallman
Chief GNUisance of the GNU Project (https://gnu.org)
Founder, Free Software Foundation (https://fsf.org)
Internet Hall-of-Famer (https://internethalloffame.org)

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