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www/philosophy judge-internet-usage.html po/jud...

From: James Turner
Subject: www/philosophy judge-internet-usage.html po/jud...
Date: Fri, 23 Sep 2011 15:18:30 +0000

CVSROOT:        /web/www
Module name:    www
Changes by:     James Turner <jturner>  11/09/23 15:18:30

Added files:
        philosophy     : judge-internet-usage.html 
        philosophy/po  : judge-internet-usage.translist 

Log message:
        A new article about internet usage from RMS RT #709866


Index: judge-internet-usage.html
RCS file: judge-internet-usage.html
diff -N judge-internet-usage.html
--- /dev/null   1 Jan 1970 00:00:00 -0000
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+<!-- Parent-Version: 1.57 -->
+<!--#include virtual="/server/header.html" -->
+<title>A wise user judges each Internet usage scenario carefully - GNU
+Project - Free Software Foundation</title>
+<!--#include virtual="/server/banner.html" -->
+<!--#include virtual="/philosophy/po/judge-internet-usage.translist" -->
+<h2>A wise user judges each Internet usage scenario carefully</h2>
+<p>by Richard Stallman<br />First published in <a
+href="http://www.europeanbusinessreview.com/?p=4623";>The European
+Business Review</a></p>
+<p>Businesses now offer computing users tempting opportunities to
+let others keep their data and do their computing. In other words,
+to toss caution and responsibility to the winds.</p>
+<p>These businesses, and their boosters, like to call these computing
+practices &ldquo;cloud computing&rdquo;. They apply the same term
+to other quite different scenarios as well, such as renting a remote
+server, making the term so broad and nebulous that nothing meaningful
+can be said with it. If it has any meaning, it can only be a certain
+attitude towards computing: an attitude of not thinking carefully about
+what a proposed scenario entails or what risks it implies. Perhaps the
+cloud they speak of is intended to form inside the customer's mind.</p>
+<p>To replace that cloud with clarity, this article discusses
+several different products and services that involve very different
+usage scenarios (please don't think of them as &ldquo;cloud
+computing&rdquo;), and the distinctive issues that they raise.</p>
+<p>First, let's classify the kinds of issues that a usage scenario
+<em>can</em> raise. In general, there are two kinds of issues to
+be considered.  One is the issue of <em>treatment of your data</em>,
+and the other is <em>control of your computing</em>.</p>
+<p>Within treatment of your data, several issues can be distinguished:
+a service could lose your data, alter it, show it to someone else
+without your consent, and/or make it hard for you to get the data
+back. Each of those issues is easy to understand; how important they
+are depends on what kind of data is involved.</p>
+<p>Keep in mind that a US company (or a subsidiary of one) is required
+to hand over nearly all data it has about a user on request of the
+FBI, without a court order, under &ldquo;USA PATRIOT Act&rdquo;,
+whose blackwhiting name is as orwellian as its provisions. We know
+that although the requirements this law places on the FBI are very
+loose, the FBI systematically violates them. Senator Wyden says
+that if he could publicly say how the FBI stretches the law, <a
+public would be angry at it</a>. European organizations might well
+violate their countries' data protection laws if they entrust data
+to such companies.</p>
+<p>Control of your computing is the other category of issue.
+Users deserve to have control of their computing. Unfortunately,
+most of them have already given up such control through the use of
+proprietary software (not free/libre).</p>
+<p>With software, there are two possibilities: either the users control
+the software or the software controls the users. The first case we
+call &ldquo;free software&rdquo;, free as in freedom, because the users
+have effective control of the software if they have certain essential
+freedoms. We also call it &ldquo;free/libre&rdquo; to emphasize that
+this is a <a href="/philosophy/free-sw.html">question of freedom, not
+price</a>. The second case is proprietary software. Windows and MacOS
+are proprietary; so is iOS, the software in the iPhone. Such a system
+controls its users, and a company controls the system.</p>
+<p>When corpation has power over users in that way, it is likely to
+abuse that power. No wonder that Windows and iOS are known to have spy
+features, features to restrict the user, and back doors. When users
+speak of &ldquo;jailbreaking&rdquo; the iPhone, they acknowledge that
+this product shackles the user.</p>
+<p>When a service does the user's computing, the user loses control
+over that computing. We call this practice &ldquo;Software as
+a Service&rdquo; or &ldquo;SaaS&rdquo;, and it is equivalent to
+running a proprietary program with a spy feature and a back door. <a
+href="/philosophy/who-does-that-server-really-serve.html">It is
+definitely to be avoided.</a></p>
+<p>Having classified the possible issues, let's consider how several
+products and services raise them.</p>
+<p>First, let's consider iCloud, a coming Apple service, whose
+functionality (according to advance information) will be that users
+can copy information to a server and access it later from elsewhere,
+or let users access it from there. This is not Software as a Service
+since it doesn't do any of the user's computing, so that issue
+doesn't arise.</p>
+<p>How will iCloud treat the user's data? As of this writing, we don't
+know, but we can specculate based on what other services do. Apple
+will probably be able to look at that data, for its own purposes
+and for others' purposes. If so, courts will be able to get it with
+a subpoena to Apple (<em>not</em> to the user). The FBI may be able
+to get it without a subpoena. Movie and record companies, or their
+lawsuit mills, may be able to look at it too. The only way this might
+be avoided is if the data is encrypted on the user's machine before
+upload, and decrypted on the user's machine after it is accessed.</p>
+<p>In the specific case of iCloud, all the users will be running Apple
+software, so Apple will have total control over their data anyway. A
+spy feature was discovered in the iPhone and iPad software early in
+2011, leading people to speak of the &ldquo;spyPhone&rdquo;. Apple
+could introduce another spy feature in the next &ldquo;upgrade&rdquo;,
+and only Apple would know. If you're foolish enough to use an iPhone
+or iPad, maybe iCloud won't make things any worse, but that is no
+<p>Now let's consider Amazon EC2, a service where a customer leases
+a virtual computer (hosted on a server in an Amazon data center)
+that does whatever the customer programs it to do.</p>
+<p>These computers run the <a href="/gnu/linux-and-gnu.html">GNU/Linux
+operating system</a>, and the customer gets to choose all the
+installed software, with one exception: Linux, the lowest-level
+component (or &ldquo;kernel&rdquo;) of the system. Customers must
+select one of the versions of Linux that Amazon offers; they cannot
+make and run their own. But they can replace the rest of the system.
+Thus, they get almost as much control over their computing as they
+would with their own machines, but not entirely.</p>
+<p>EC2 does have some drawbacks. One is, since users cannot install
+their own versions of the kernel Linux, it is possible that Amazon
+has put something nasty, or merely inconvenient, into the versions
+they offer. But this may not really matter, given the other flaws. One
+other flaw is that Amazon does have ultimate control of the computer
+and its data. The state could subpoena all that data from Amazon. If
+you had it in your home or office, the state would have to subpoena
+it from you, and you would have the chance to fight the subpoena in
+court. Amazon may not care to fight the subpoena on your behalf.</p>
+<p>Amazon places conditions on what you can do with these servers,
+and can cut off your service if it construes your actions to conflict
+with them. Amazon has no need to prove anything, so in practice it
+can cut you off if it finds you inconvenient. As Wikileaks found out,
+the customer has no recourse if Amazon stretches the facts to make
+a questionable judgment.</p>
+<p>Now let's consider Google ChromeOS, a variant of GNU/Linux which is
+still in development. According to what Google initially said, it will
+be free/libre software, at least the basic system, though experience
+with Android suggests it may come with nonfree programs too.</p>
+<p>The special feature of this system, its purpose, was to deny
+users two fundamental capabilities that GNU/Linux and other operating
+systems normally provide: to store data locally and to run applications
+locally. Instead, ChromeOS would be designed to require users to save
+their data in servers (normally Google servers, I expect) and to let
+these servers do their computing too. This immediately raises both
+kinds of issues in their fullest form. The only way ChromeOS as thus
+envisaged could become something users ought to accept is if they
+install a modified version of the system, restoring the capabilities
+of local data storage and local applications.</p>
+<p>More recently I've heard that Google has reconsidered this decision
+and may reincorporate those local facilities. If so, ChromeOS might
+just be something people can use in freedom&mdash;if it avoids the
+many other problems that we <a
+href="/philosophy/android-and-users-freedom.html">observe today in
+<p>As these examples show, each Internet usage scenario raises its own
+set of issues, and they need to be judged based on the specifics.
+Vague statements, such as any statement formulated in terms of
+&ldquo;cloud computing,&rdquo; can only get in the way.</p>
+<!-- If needed, change the copyright block at the bottom. In general,
+     all pages on the GNU web server should have the section about
+     verbatim copying.  Please do NOT remove this without talking
+     with the webmasters first.
+     Please make sure the copyright date is consistent with the document
+     and that it is like this: "2001, 2002", not this: "2001-2002". -->
+</div><!-- for id="content", starts in the include above -->
+<!--#include virtual="/server/footer.html" -->
+<div id="footer">
+<p>Please send general FSF &amp; GNU inquiries to
+<a href="mailto:address@hidden";>&lt;address@hidden&gt;</a>.
+There are also <a href="/contact/">other ways to contact</a>
+the FSF.<br />
+Please send broken links and other corrections or suggestions to
+<a href="mailto:address@hidden";>&lt;address@hidden&gt;</a>.</p>
+<p>Please see the <a
+README</a> for information on coordinating and submitting translations
+of this article.</p>
+<p>Copyright &copy; 2011 Richard Stallman</p>
+<p>This page is licensed under a <a rel="license"
+Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 3.0 United States License</a>.</p>
+<!-- timestamp start -->
+$Date: 2011/09/23 15:16:41 $
+<!-- timestamp end -->
+<!-- <div id="translations"> -->
+<!-- <h4>Translations of this page</h4> -->
+<!--  -->
+<!-- Please keep this list alphabetical by language code. -->
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+<!-- <ul class="translations-list"> -->
+<!-- English -->
+<!-- <li><a -->
+<!-- href="/philosophy/judge-internet-usage.html">English</a>&nbsp;[en]</li> 
+<!-- </ul> -->
+<!-- </div> -->

Index: po/judge-internet-usage.translist
RCS file: po/judge-internet-usage.translist
diff -N po/judge-internet-usage.translist
--- /dev/null   1 Jan 1970 00:00:00 -0000
+++ po/judge-internet-usage.translist   23 Sep 2011 15:17:36 -0000      1.1
@@ -0,0 +1,8 @@
+<!-- begin translinks file -->
+<div id="translations">
+<ul class="translations-list">
+<!-- English -->
+<li><a href="/philosophy/judge-internet-usage.html">English</a>&nbsp;[en]</li>
+</div> <!-- id="translations" -->
+<!-- end translinks file -->

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