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Re: Practicality of GNU project and libre movement (Sagar Acharya : 2)

From: Sagar Acharya
Subject: Re: Practicality of GNU project and libre movement (Sagar Acharya : 2)
Date: Fri, 24 Jul 2020 09:51:10 +0200 (CEST)

I've been wrong on some fronts but not entirely, thanks to Roberto Beltran for 
explaining the business aspect. Becoming a patreon is still donations and 
relying on others. I do understand that when the GNU project just gives 
selflessly, the chances of people donating back improve. I see KDE slimbook is 
a step in right direction but still whether it is completely free software is 
questionable. Ecosia a search engine does a great job of earning from searches 
(although with bing backend) and using the money to plant trees. That's not 
relying on others and paving the path ahead themselves.

GNU's full form is "GNU's not unix" and it's aim was to build a completely free 
software system. It is not 90% free and 10% nonfree or 99% free and 1% nonfree. 
1% is enough space for nonfree software to inject malware. Completely free 
means 100% free. Yes, postfix, python, apache etc. have their contributions but 
still they've failed when it comes to freedom (their aim is not freedom, GNU's 
is, they fill a small gap). WRT free hardware, it has been found that vendors 
can have read only flash chips with malware and Intel ME has complete access 
over a system irrespective of OS. I highly recommend Joanna Rutkowska's 
"stateless laptop" 2015 paper for more details.

Free software is a first step towards complete computer security. Today 
GNU/Linux still has proprietary blobs. GNU/Linux-libre is completely free. How 
many people use GNU/Linux-Libre based OSes? How many smartphone users do not 
use Android or iOS on their phones today? How many people have hardware free of 
"trusted areas"(which the hardware company inserts to "protect" us) and nonfree 
driver blobs? Answer to first 2 questions is very few (according to me 
definitely less than 10%), and the last question is miniscule.

An application can be made to think that it is root when it is not and it can 
be run within a sandbox which makes nonfree applications still manageable but 
hardware, booting software and OSes cannot ever be nonfree. The sad part is 
today libreboot and coreboot don't work with recent Ryzens and Intel processors.

Point is GNU is losing. Majority of booting software used is proprietary, 
majority of hardware used is backdoored and majority of OSes used are nonfree. 
With Google having power over every Android user which it may or may not choose 
to exploit, freedom is down in the bins. The sad part about freedom is if 
others are not free, then you aren't because you are singled out from others. 
If I want to be free, atleast significant size of population must be free so I 
can hide or mix among them. Things are becoming even worse with drones soon to 
come, SaaSS facilitating control even over hardware of user's data and 
softwares, and so much infrastructure of website companies based on cloud.

Thanking you
Sagar Acharya

P.S. Chris Franklin, I'll surely check out occupycapitalism
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