Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Why American Corporate Software Can No Longer Be Trusted

Soulskill posted more than 2 years ago | from the looking-out-for-number-one dept.

Businesses 240

jrepin writes "There is a problem with proprietary, closed software, which makes Rick Falkvinge, the founder of the first Pirate Party, a bit uneasy: 'We get a serious democratic deficit when the citizens are not able to inspect if the computers running the country's administrations are actually doing what they claim to be doing, doing all that and something else invisibly on top, doing the wrong thing in the wrong way at the wrong time, or doing nothing at all. ... In the debate around the American Stop Online Piracy Act, American legislators have demonstrated a clear capability and willingness to interfere with the technical operations of American products, when doing so furthers American political interests regardless of the policy situation in the customer’s country."

cancel ×

240 comments

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

China does the same stuff (-1, Flamebait)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | more than 2 years ago | (#38506948)

with there software and does it to us software used over there.

Re:China does the same stuff (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38506992)

How about instead of constantly changing usernames to escape your negative karma, you try learning how to form a coherent sentence?

Re:China does the same stuff (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38507112)

how the hell is "China does the same stuff How about instead of constantly changing usernames to escape your negative karma, you try learning how to form a coherent sentence?" a coherent sentence?

Why do you post anonymously Anonymous Coward?

Re:China does the same stuff (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38507288)

Yea, that thing at the top, it's called a subject line. It's where the subject goes, not the start of the post. What really makes your rant impressive is that not only did you attack me for posting anonymously while posting anonymously, but if I follow your retarded rules for reading a thread, your post reads:

  "China does the same stuff how the hell is 'China does the same stuff How about instead of constantly changing usernames to escape your negative karma, you try learning how to form a coherent sentence?' a coherent sentence?"

And for the record, my original post was in fact coherent, grammatically correct English, and I post anonymously because I'm keylogged at work for compliance reasons and all the admins abuse it to hack each others accounts.

Re:China does the same stuff (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38507508)

their

Re:China does the same stuff (2)

rickb928 (945187) | more than 2 years ago | (#38507606)

You need a new job. And your admins need to be fired.

Just saying. I'm keylogged here too, but the admins are watched as well.

Re:China does the same stuff (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38507676)

Well, yea, I'm one of those admins, and I may or may not have started it.

Re:China does the same stuff (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38507828)

Double whoosh!

Android (3, Informative)

Weezul (52464) | more than 2 years ago | (#38507398)

If you use Android, you should check out the Guardian Project [guardianproject.info] .

I'm shocked (1)

bonch (38532) | more than 2 years ago | (#38508006)

I'm totally shocked that the "founder of the first Pirate Party" hates corporate software. Shocked, I tell you. Maybe Slashdot could also get Steve Ballmer to write some anti-Linux essays.

This guy's very existence is a conflation of free-as-in-speech and free-as-in-beer, a difference that used to be important enough around here that posters would go out of their way to point it out. But today, we're in such an absurd situation that we're seeing essays from the Pirate Party on the front page. How can people be expected to take a group with such a name seriously?

HATE AMERICA WEEK (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38506962)

It's Hate America Week on Slashdot, kinda like shark week only with more BO and pointless ranting.

Re:HATE AMERICA WEEK (2)

Script Cat (832717) | more than 2 years ago | (#38507148)

This has very little to do with America. It has lot to do with the Homeland which is a new thing.

Re:HATE AMERICA WEEK (1)

what2123 (1116571) | more than 2 years ago | (#38507294)

I have been pondering for a long while on whether America is a Fatherland or an Motherland but you certainly make justice with your case in that it is a Homeland. All this Homeland "this" and Homeland "that." I think it's safe to say, we are at home, when we are in America.

Re:HATE AMERICA WEEK (3, Insightful)

Script Cat (832717) | more than 2 years ago | (#38507404)

The difference is the ideas. The idea of America is being lost. What is leftover when that is gone is just another place. May as well be called just Homeland. The ideas that are traditionally associated with America are not espoused by those that use the term Homeland.

Re:HATE AMERICA WEEK (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38507408)

"Homeland security" is a euphemism for the doctrine of applying the same ham-fisted methods of control to citizens of the USA that the US government applies abroad.

Re:HATE AMERICA WEEK (4, Funny)

flimflammer (956759) | more than 2 years ago | (#38507710)

It's a Foster Motherland.

Re:HATE AMERICA WEEK (2, Funny)

AliasMarlowe (1042386) | more than 2 years ago | (#38507736)

I have been pondering for a long while on whether America is a Fatherland or an Motherland...

You insensitive clod! America is and must be a Parent-Land, utterly free of sexist gender-laden stereotypes.
Oh, wait, that "Parent-Land" term might be construed as ageist or anti-youth. Uh, America is and must be an Infantile Parent-Land! Now that's more like it.

Re:HATE AMERICA WEEK (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38507904)

More like adult baby land.

Re:HATE AMERICA WEEK (2)

daem0n1x (748565) | more than 2 years ago | (#38508280)

What about single mothers, you insensitive clod???

Re:HATE AMERICA WEEK (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38507152)

Look around, every week is hate America week on Slashdot.

Re:HATE AMERICA WEEK (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38507682)

Stop doing things that deserve it then.

Re:HATE AMERICA WEEK (1)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | more than 2 years ago | (#38507434)

Hate Week? TFS and TFA are about American corporate software. I thought it was Hate Century. And, I got an early start in the last century!

What surprises me is that people do actually "trust" the software on their machines. Not that I have any use for kiddy diddlers, but we've read a number of stories of diddlers deleting shit off their machines, just to have Windows serve the "deleted" data up to law enforcement. If that happens to diddlers, it happens the same way to anyone else who might want to hide something.

Trust? I have nothing to "hide", really - but if I decide to delete stuff, dd if=/dev/urandom of=/dev/hda Trust? Not in this lifetime!

Yes, I know there are legitimate technical uses for all those logs that Windows keeps. Unix-likes tend to keep some of the same sort of logs. But, those logs are transparent to the users. At least to any user who isn't a total noob, or a complete ignoramus. Windows? Didn't they do away with DOS, and continue to hide more and more of the mechanisms of the operating system from the non-tech users? To even view the OS files, I have to bypass a smokescreen, telling Explorer, "Yes, I really want to view C:\Windows folder!"

The Era of Linux is at hand (5, Insightful)

DadLeopard (1290796) | more than 2 years ago | (#38506988)

Well if you deal out Microsoft, Apple And Google, you are left with not much but Linux as an alternative! I for one would love to see this happen as resources and money would have to be poured in to make Linux distributions and applications that were world class!

Re:The Era of Linux is at hand (5, Insightful)

Presto Vivace (882157) | more than 2 years ago | (#38507006)

I am increasingly of the view that Richard Stallman is correct, living in freedom means using free software.

Re:The Era of Linux is at hand (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38507158)

Because freedom means having one person define what freedom means.

Re:The Era of Linux is at hand (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38507900)

It does when the other person's definition of freedom is slavery.

Re:The Era of Linux is at hand (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38507928)

Like Slavery to the GPL.

Re:The Era of Linux is at hand (5, Informative)

SplashMyBandit (1543257) | more than 2 years ago | (#38508150)

n00b. No one forces you to adopt the GPL. Only those enlightened souls who *actually create something* can choose to use the GPL. All the *non-creators* who want to use the stuff the creators made without giving their own users the same freedoms are the ones who whinge.

GPL is not slavery and saying it is means you have a poor grasp of it. GPL is set of copyright terms that are designed to avoid slavery/proprietary lock-in/corporate malfeasance to users. If you don't want to use/re-use GPL software then don't. The GPL creators owe you nothing so quit whinging. How about you *create* something yourself - then we'll see what the copyright infringers and software stealers (China is bad for this) make with your stuff.

Re:The Era of Linux is at hand (1)

umghhh (965931) | more than 2 years ago | (#38508276)

yes and it is me

Re:The Era of Linux is at hand (1)

iinventstuff (1888700) | more than 2 years ago | (#38507246)

Perhaps ... as long as the definition of 'freedom' doesn't morph to equal 'piracy'...

Re:The Era of Linux is at hand (3, Funny)

gatkinso (15975) | more than 2 years ago | (#38507552)

I am not sure how you pirate completely free software, but since not all free (speech) software is free (beer) software, I suppose it is possible.

Re:The Era of Linux is at hand (3, Insightful)

Gonoff (88518) | more than 2 years ago | (#38507614)

This a mis-association a lot of FOSS advocates/enthusiasts have to deal with.
Freedom can no more morph to equal 'piracy' than it can morph to equal purple or anaconda.

I can use my freedom to 'pirate' IP, wear purple underpants or keep a snake but the fact I choose not to has nothing to do with my freedom or lack of it.
My wanting freedom has nothing to do with wanting to do certain things that large corporations have had our legal systems changed to prevent. Just because people are very against those legalised criminals does not mean that they want to steal their Imaginary Property.

Re:The Era of Linux is at hand (1)

Hatta (162192) | more than 2 years ago | (#38507840)

Freedom implies the freedom to share.

Re:The Era of Linux is at hand (5, Informative)

SplashMyBandit (1543257) | more than 2 years ago | (#38508224)

The word 'piracy' is an attempt by Big Media to frame the debate. Let's be clear: 'piracy' is unlawfully attacking a ship on the high seas; 'copyright infringement' means unlawfully copying something. In this case 'freedom' will never equate to piracy. Freedom may mean ignoring copyright infringment if it is for the greater social good (which is my understanding of Stallman's position) - in fact in the past the USA was founded on industries that bypassed patents and copyrights held by British industry (such as automated looms etc), so such as position is not without precedent and is no less moral than the fledgling US government (the 'Founding Fathers' as they seem to be idolized as today).

Re:The Era of Linux is at hand (2)

DigiShaman (671371) | more than 2 years ago | (#38507284)

You're assuming for a moment that future laws will not be written to ban such activity. Possibly enforced too via hardware. Even American based root CAs may all belong under a single Government agency. There's not a single industry in which politicians won't corrupt, control, rape, and pillage all in order to maintain a seat of power. They can not and will not leave well enough alone. To do so otherwise would leave a vacuum of power open to their rivals irregardless of the validity of such a premise.

Re:The Era of Linux is at hand (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38507794)

Where's the evidence that he made that assumption? I reread the post you replied to, and there's nothing at all about whether free people will be breaking the law or not.

Re:The Era of Linux is at hand (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38507806)

I am increasingly of the view that Richard Stallman is correct

I guess it also means that we need to stop getting haircuts and shaving entirely, and switch to an exclusive diet of nothing but copious amounts of pasta, pepperoni pizza, Cheetos, Little Debbie snack cakes, and chugging entire 3-litre bottles of Pepsi Cola at one sitting.

Re:The Era of Linux is at hand (1)

bonch (38532) | more than 2 years ago | (#38507966)

Richard Stallman also believes that necrophilia [stallman.org] and voluntary pedophilia [stallman.org] should be legal. Maybe not the best spokesperson to get behind.

Re:The Era of Linux is at hand (5, Informative)

Pharmboy (216950) | more than 2 years ago | (#38507070)

you are left with not much but Linux as an alternative!

FreeBSD, (and other BSDs), FreeDOS, Darwin, Haiku, Plan 9, Solaris just to name a few. FreeBSD in particular is quite competitive with Linux, since many of the same GUI elements and applications will run on both.

Re:The Era of Linux is at hand (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38507580)

Yes I'm sure Haiku will come up first on their list of OSes that people actually give a shit about. They'll probably implement the backend in Haiku, the frontend on Plan 9, and the supporting software on Solaris so that every one of you chucklefucks can jack off about the fact that someone actually uses your OS.

Re:The Era of Linux is at hand (2)

Pharmboy (216950) | more than 2 years ago | (#38507706)

You do realize that people DO use some of these already? And while OS/2 isn't free, it is still be used years after it was "obsolete". It runs our PBX, and still some ATMs. Dell ships systems with FreeDOS as OEM software if you like. (I've used it, a little different but good.). Solaris, well, if you don't know Solaris, I can see why you didn't log in to post, although OpenIndiana is a better fork to use. Open or closed, lots of iron still runs Solaris.

Re:The Era of Linux is at hand (4, Interesting)

CAIMLAS (41445) | more than 2 years ago | (#38507780)

FreeBSD in particular is quite competitive with Linux, since many of the same GUI elements and applications will run on both.

Not quite true.

For a very narrowly defined subset of hardware, FreeBSD is quite competitive with Linux assuming you're using DragonFly and not FreeBSD due to the erratic and insecure nature of ports maintenance.

FreeBSD lacks the accessibility and support that Linux does. By "support" I not only mean community support and end-user documentation (or kernel architecture documentation which is correct/consistent/current, for that matter), but hardware support, which is spotty on quality even when the hardware is "supported". ("That's the vendor's responsibility", someone will say. Since when has that been fully accurate? Even MS has taken great efforts to make sure that there are good drivers for Windows.)

Never mind that most applications which work on FreeBSD do so through a Linux compatibility layer which is kludged together, at best, and a maintenance and security nightmare at worst.

It'd be nice to have an alternative, but FreeBSD proper is not it.

Re:The Era of Linux is at hand (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38507854)

Please remove Solaris from that list. Solarrys is about as far away from free software as it can get.

Re:The Era of Linux is at hand (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38507890)

Why is ReactOS being left out of that list? Is it too M$ for the liking of the /. l44tists :') ?

Re:The Era of Linux is at hand (3, Interesting)

pla (258480) | more than 2 years ago | (#38507164)

Unfortunately, not even that - The recent debacle with Canonical/Ubuntu needing to pull the Oracle/Sun JVM pretty much demonstrates that we can't even trust FOSS, without completely disabling any form of updates whatsoever.

That said, at least with open source, you have a chance of identifying and disabling the myriad ways a system tries to update itself. Good luck getting anything proprietary to stop phoning home, short of never connecting it to the internet (in which case it may just petulantly refuse to work, a la the annoying DRM in many games).

Re:The Era of Linux is at hand (4, Informative)

houstonbofh (602064) | more than 2 years ago | (#38507202)

That was FUD. Oracle is moving Java from the Java6 sdk to the openjdk, and this Ubuntu upgrade move you from sun java to open jdk... If you can live without update, don't do the upgrade. Upgrade Manager even tells you what it is doing.

Re:The Era of Linux is at hand (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38507356)

THEYRE TAKING OUR JAVA!

Re:The Era of Linux is at hand (3, Informative)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | more than 2 years ago | (#38507482)

"If you can live without update,"

The wife is doing fine on a three year old installation. Updating Firefox broke Pogo - or updating Java broke Pogo. One or the other. So, she nagged at me for three days to DOWNGRADE Firefox and Java, and there have been no updates on her machine since. If it breaks Pogo, it's bad, bad, BAD!

Re:The Era of Linux is at hand (5, Insightful)

pla (258480) | more than 2 years ago | (#38507932)

That was FUD. Oracle is moving Java from the Java6 sdk to the openjdk, and this Ubuntu upgrade move you from sun java to open jdk.

Yes and no... Given the more-or-less equivalence of the two JDKs, it means a minor nuisance for most people as they search the forums to figure out why Random App X inexplicably broke, and how to point their favorite toys at Open instead of Sun. Should they ever have needed to do so?


Upgrade Manager even tells you what it is doing.

To most people, an official "update" amounts to a calm reassurance that some geek-deities somewhere far away, perhaps Silicon Valley, perhaps Finland, perhaps Mars for all they know, have cast a spell that will make everything work out alright. Even among lower-tier tech-savvy people, very few would know whether or not they wanted to let the updater make the indicated change. Hell, even as a seasoned developer, I wouldn't necessarily know (prior to the change) what, if anything, would break as a result.


I don't disagree with you in spirit, but the issue still boils down to having changes made semi-unwittingly to your system, for political rather than technical reasons. Not because it will give you the best long-term outcome, but because an agreement has expired between parties you don't even recognize as even remotely relevant to the state of "your" PC.

And that I take as the heart of the FP's argument - We can't trust proprietary software because we can't know when a distribution agreement may retroactively expire, or a court may waves their wand-o'-justice to make P2P magically illegal overnight, or some government wants to censor any mention of Pastafarianism. None of those, except by my decision to play ball, should have any effect whatsoever on my PC that worked just fine the day before.

Re:The Era of Linux is at hand (4, Informative)

sjames (1099) | more than 2 years ago | (#38507220)

Had The Oracle/Sun JVM been free-er, that move would have been unnecessary.

Re:The Era of Linux is at hand (1)

SplashMyBandit (1543257) | more than 2 years ago | (#38508240)

Quit whinging. It needed to be fixed and is now fixed - this is just the transition period.

Re:The Era of Linux is at hand (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38508244)

Also the Neocons have realized that the usage of GNU/Linux is dramatically rising, so they've started implementing spy-ware into open-source projects. Look at the crap Gnome is turning out to be with its plug-in type GUI, so in the near future applications installed using Gnome can punch holes through your security measures. Firefox is becoming less configurable, and will probably migrate towards the Apple philosophy of giving no more then two options. The backup programs that are provided with distributions default to an Amazon cloud, so when your SSD drive fails after a years use hopefully you've paid Amazon to backup your data. Red Hat and its systemd will eventually make it easer to monitor hundreds of millions of users. Btrfs a never delete file system which will cause your SSD drive to fail much sooner. Microsoft's contributions to KVM to allow virtual machines to be configured and compromised by the host. All devices becoming Virtual, so they can be rerouted across the network. It's not the Era of Linux so much, yet the Era of Big Brother.

Re:The Era of Linux is at hand (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38507438)

It's kind of hard to "rule out" Google when both of their operating systems and their browser are open source.

(the OSs are both Linux-based, though, IIRC...)

Sure is @ hand: Exposed 4 what it is (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38507582)

In 2011, for being as security-vulnerable as other OS, ala these very current examples:

---

KERNEL.ORG COMPROMISED:

http://linux.slashdot.org/story/11/08/31/2321232/Kernelorg-Compromised [slashdot.org]

---

Linux.com pwned in fresh round of cyber break-ins:

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2011/09/12/more_linux_sites_down/ [theregister.co.uk]

---

Mysql.com Hacked, Made To Serve Malware:

http://it.slashdot.org/story/11/09/26/2218238/mysqlcom-hacked-made-to-serve-malware [slashdot.org]

---

Linux's showing in CA's breached recently too? Ok:

http://uptime.netcraft.com/up/graph?site=StartCom.com [netcraft.com]

http://uptime.netcraft.com/up/graph?site=GlobalSign.com [netcraft.com]

http://uptime.netcraft.com/up/graph?site=Comodo.com [netcraft.com]

http://uptime.netcraft.com/up/graph?site=DigiCert.com [netcraft.com]

http://uptime.netcraft.com/up/graph?site=www.gemnet.nl [netcraft.com]

The list of CA Servers BREACHED that RUN LINUX (StartCom, GlobalSign, DigiCert, Comodo, GemNet)... per these articles verifying that:

http://itproafrica.com/technology/security/cas-hacked/ [itproafrica.com]

&

http://threatpost.com/en_us/blogs/site-dutch-ca-gemnet-offline-after-web-server-attack-120811 [threatpost.com]

---

NOW - ESPECIALLY TOSS ON ANDROID (yes, a Linux since it uses a Linux kernel) in also, since it's being "shredded" on the mobile phone security-front rampantly for years now?

You get the picture...

* TOP THAT ALL OFF W/ DUQU ROOTKIT/BOTNET BEING SERVED FROM LINUX SERVERS, PER THIS ARTICLE (very recent):

http://it.slashdot.org/story/11/11/30/1610228/duqu-attackers-managed-to-wipe-cc-servers [slashdot.org]

APK

P.S.=> NewsFlash/New NEWS: Linux Security Blunders DOMINATE in 2011, despite all /. "FUD" for years saying "Linux = SECURE" (what a crock of shit that's turning out to be, especially on ANDROID)

... apk

"No longer"? (4, Insightful)

Lisias (447563) | more than 2 years ago | (#38507008)

And it was ever trustful, in the first place?

Re:"No longer"? (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38507146)

I don't get the article.

What does SOPA in the USA add to the fact that closed source software cannot be trusted?

Re:"No longer"? (1)

The End Of Days (1243248) | more than 2 years ago | (#38507280)

Basic rhetorical technique used by politicians. It's not like the populists can tell the difference between a reasoned argument and a spittle-flecked rant, so just jam as much crap in there as you can and make sure to pause for applause.

Re:"No longer"? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38507464)

Because SOPA illustrates how much control over US legislation that corporations have. If they have that much control over legislation, how much control do they have over software? Even software written by other corporations.

At least I think that's what he means.

Re:"No longer"? (1)

The End Of Days (1243248) | more than 2 years ago | (#38507680)

Well based purely on the facts of the situation, it would appear that SOPA illustrates... nothing of the sort. You see, it's not a law, it's a bill. Apparently not a very popular one, at that. For all the frothy bullshit the Slashdot feedback loop has fed you, it really hasn't actually gone anywhere in the legislative process yet.

What I love the most is that the opposition to SOPA seems to be about 5% real issues (namely the impossibility of enforcing it correctly and the damage it would do to the fundamentals of the Internet) and 95% "OMG I WANT MY FREE ENTERTAINMENT!"

The most impassioned argument I heard was from a camgirl who was upset that she might not be able to play music during her shows (obviously benefitting from the creative works of others with no intention of recompense). Truly, expression we need to protect.

Re:"No longer"? (1)

The End Of Days (1243248) | more than 2 years ago | (#38507926)

And I would like to note, because I know how Slashdot will interpret any non-froth as support - I oppose SOPA entirely.

Re:"No longer"? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38508256)

Yeah, it's not really clear what exactly he is saying.
Just trying to find something similar yield this:
There is a problem for other countries in using US-made hardware and software since the US government is known to insert backdoors into stuff and/or intentially cripple things if it's to their benefit.

That's why having our own European and Chinese GPS-like system is important: the US GPS system can just be fooled on command (or just disabled, though at least you'd be able to detect that easily).

In any case, if you can't see what the technology actually does, it's dangerous to use it.
If you are within the US, you can convince yourself that the US government doesn't harm US citizens (however deluded that belief is), but outside, there is nothing like it.

Who watches the watchers? (5, Insightful)

shmlco (594907) | more than 2 years ago | (#38507700)

I find this sort of thing rather amusing. You didn't trust closed source software...

So you download ten million or so lines of source code from some anonymous server, written by thousands of people you've never met and will never know. You then build it using even more software and libraries and tools running under yet another OS, and you then install it on hardware with its own BIOS and roms and controllers.

Hundreds of millions of lines of code you've never seen, and never will see...

And yet the end product of THAT result is somehow more trustworthy.

Right.

Re:Who watches the watchers? (5, Insightful)

PaladinAlpha (645879) | more than 2 years ago | (#38508160)

True or false: it's easier to audit software you have the source to, compared to software you only have a binary for.

True or false: the source to a piece of distributed software is in the hands of many people.

True or false: if one person finds a problem, they can find others.

How would you feel if laws were secret? Yet, how often have you read through all the laws on the books?

Re:"No longer"? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38507196)

Perhaps the title should be edited. It can no longer be trusted not to be an extension of a corrupt, inefficient, and idiotic body of lawyer-rejects. The "Wild West" days of computers are over.

Re:"No longer"? Missed the point (3, Insightful)

b4dc0d3r (1268512) | more than 2 years ago | (#38507594)

No it was not, but that's not the point. Congress can order technology to restrict freedoms outside America. That was only theoretically the case before SOPA and similar bills. Now, there is no reason to assume that the American government is not interfering with any technology you can't inspect yourself.

Or to remove the double negatives: Now there is reason to assume the American government is interfering with any technology you can't inspect yourself.

Re:"No longer"? (1)

drb226 (1938360) | more than 2 years ago | (#38508288)

See also: RMS.

Indiana's system lost $300 million (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38507058)

"How was the missing money, well, missing?

Gov. Daniels held a press conference to say, in effect, oops, the state lost track of $300 million, but don’t worry, because we’ve found it now. Those who accept this explanation at face value are probably the same folks who eagerly await the Easter bunny each year."

http://indianaeconomicdigest.com/main.asp?SectionID=31&SubSectionID=92&ArticleID=62992

Patriot Act Backlash Mk2 (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38507074)

Since everyone overseas is already worried about keeping their data in the United States because it can be interfered with or seized by the government at the whim of a panicking Congressman, or leaving money in the country because of our constantly fluctuating tax laws^H^H^H^H^H loopholes, and left extremely wary of even doing business in the country (we're rapidly becoming small potatoes in an international context, globalism strikes back) -- this is just a natural extension. The US already bans imports of electronic goods from China for being used in government or defense applications, which is hilarious because our manufacturing base is gone.

Re:Patriot Act Backlash Mk2 (3)

the eric conspiracy (20178) | more than 2 years ago | (#38507232)

Really? Do you have a reference for that? AFAIK the US Government does NOT ban the use of Chinese electronics in government or defense applications.

Re:Patriot Act Backlash Mk2 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38507924)

I have anecdotal evidence; we recently ran into this at work. We were providing hardware for a federal project, and because there was federal money involved, all of the hardware had to be assembled in the USA. Mind you, the boards were still manufactured in China, but final assembly had to take place here.

Re:Patriot Act Backlash Mk2 (5, Informative)

Baloroth (2370816) | more than 2 years ago | (#38507532)

which is hilarious because our manufacturing base is gone.

Which is why we still have more manufacturing capability than any [wikipedia.org] other country in the world, including China? Granted those stats are a bit old, it's still true. The number of jobs is down (by a lot), because US manufacturing has grown more efficient, which creates the impression that we lack manufacturing capability. Well, that and all the "Made in China" crap you find at Walmart. The reality is the US makes ~18% of the worlds manufactured stuff. And that is considered a "small fraction" of the US's economy. In an international context, the US is massive. Still by far the biggest player.

Also, the US probably should ban Chinese electronics in defense applications, but they don't.

RMS? (1)

DurendalMac (736637) | more than 2 years ago | (#38507096)

Is that you, Richard Stallman? Are you in disguise?

That's not a problem (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38507118)

What Falkvinge is identifying as a problem (the people can no longer tell what the government is doing) is likely an on-purpose feature, not an unintended consequence.

Wow! Major conclusion jumpage here! (2)

Lashat (1041424) | more than 2 years ago | (#38507120)

Recent SOPA decisions highlight the lack of technical knowlege in the legislative body of congress, yes. Also, they show how powerful lobbying efforts can negatively impact the legislative process.

However, no evidence is offered in TFA that supports the major assumption that "American Corporate Software can no longer be trusted for anything".

Re:Wow! Major conclusion jumpage here! (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38507454)

Confuscious say, "man who leap off cliff, jump to conclusion."

Be that as it may, it remains true that when someone clearly has ulterior motives, and offers you a tool without allowing you to see how it works, you have good reason to be distrustful.

Trust? (2)

willaien (2494962) | more than 2 years ago | (#38507124)

We can trust that it isn't sending stuff back home without telling us - we can discover that because software not by that vendor is on the router.

What else matters, really? If it's phoning home, we can detect it.

If you're worried about data logging locally, you can always use truecrypt or similar to protect that from falling in anyone else's hands.

Re:Trust? (1)

the_bard17 (626642) | more than 2 years ago | (#38507384)

Unless the folks who made the software on the router are in cahoots with each other, or a third party. With all the secrecy behind "National Security" these days, I wouldn't put it past the government to try something like ensuring a router manufacturer designs a router to ignore attempts to log certain "phone home" data.

Not that I'm saying they're doing that, but that I could see them doing that. I'd be very surprised if nobody in the government has at least considered it.

Re:Trust? (1)

willaien (2494962) | more than 2 years ago | (#38507746)

That would require everyone's routers to have it. All major companies, and operating systems (including Linux), with some pretty heavy suppression to keep it going...

Re:Trust? (1)

PaladinAlpha (645879) | more than 2 years ago | (#38508250)

That would require everyone's routers to have it. All major companies, and operating systems (including Linux), with some pretty heavy suppression to keep it going...

(emphasis mine)

Meaning, therefore, there needs to be some FOSS in the loop, which is apropos of the non-trustworthiness of corporate software.

Re:Trust? (3, Informative)

AHuxley (892839) | more than 2 years ago | (#38507788)

Re "If it's phoning home, we can detect it."
The problem is not so much what is "phoning home" everyday but the carrieriq like layer between any shipped phone in parts of the world wrt https and all input.
From 2006 "FBI taps cell phone mic as eavesdropping tool" http://news.cnet.com/2100-1029-6140191.html [cnet.com]
Before that you had the fun of the safe 56 bits and the Data Encryption Standard.
More at http://cryptome.org/nsa-v-all.htm [cryptome.org]
Products have shipped for generations before smart people began to discover what they had really installed and recommended beyond the accepted public math and low price.

What about Cloud Services? (2)

PatSand (642139) | more than 2 years ago | (#38507170)

I assume that you are talking about conventional software you buy and install on your desktop/laptop/tablet/phone. But what about cloud-based services (Salesforce, Google, iTunes, etc.)? They are exposing an interface and set of functions but the rest of it is not transparent. This class of software is probably where we should focus anti-SOPA efforts...

What About Bring Your Own Device To Work? (1)

theshowmecanuck (703852) | more than 2 years ago | (#38507820)

On one hand Slashdotters are yelling about how untrustable corporate software is, an on the other had they are yelling about how much they want the ability to hook up their personal laptops, smartphones, tablets, etc. to the corporate networks when they go to work. WTF!? Come on guys, give your fucking heads a collective shake. What's it to be then, the corporate software is safe enough to expose your personal devices or it's ... what?

This is why I never could fucking understand this "I want to use my own laptop or smartphone at work" bullshit. I have never wanted to or trusted a corporate infrastructure enough to have full access to their systems; and conversely allow them to have access to my personal devices. If they want to have accounting and software tracking software look at the various nodes (and unless we're talking seriously small start up companies, they all do this), then I want them to supply me with a laptop, PC, tablet, smartphone, or whatever else is needed.

Corporations bad, Pirates good? (2)

iinventstuff (1888700) | more than 2 years ago | (#38507212)

Not even commenting on the article's content, is it really better to trust a pirate?

Re:Corporations bad, Pirates good? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38507956)

Not even commenting on the article's content, is it really better to trust a pirate?

Short, context-aware, answer: Yes.

For a longer answer, please to define "pirate" first. What, in your understanding, is the agenda of a "pirate"? Also, what, if anything, do you know about this particular "pirate" and does he, in your opinion, fit the definition?

How do you feel about the points raised in the summary allready? Are those charasteristic of someone accurately described as a "pirate" in your definition?

Anyway, here's the medium sized answer, free of charge:

Yes, if Falkvinge is a pirate, as you say, and since he in the summary is said to raise these issues, then yes, it is better to trust a pirate (if it is this one at least) than a corporation.

Running the numbers? (4, Interesting)

thej1nx (763573) | more than 2 years ago | (#38507342)

One of the major arguments for SOPA have been the trillions of dollars of theoretical losses of sales by the Media companies. As has been pointed out repeatedly ad nauseum, these losses are only theoretical.

But has someone on the senate actually done some estimation of possible loss of revenue, if the internet actually becomes splintered and USA loses its control? Or of even more foreign governments just turning to open source solutions, instead of to, say Microsoft? China, for example, is a big competitor already for the control of internet. They control a sizable part of it already. Let us say that they actually get it in their head to actually set up an alternate mechanism and act as the controlling authority? Even USA doesn't really dares to stand up to them... so all in all, we are talking of China ultimately controlling the distribution of said media/softwares, and who knows what terms they will set for the USA based companies?

I will admit that chances of above happening are remote at the moment. But what are these media folks, and their employees in the senate, smoking? Why even take the chance?

shit!? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38507352)

we need a new law (0)

martiniturbide (1203660) | more than 2 years ago | (#38507514)

We need a law that makes this two things 1) Every commercial software must have the source code available for inspection/viewing under whatever license the author wants. 2) The discontinued software must be released under public domain or under an open source software. ...so we can have a Office 97 and Windows 98 open source spin off ;P

Re:we need a new law (0, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38507786)

You assume that anybody wants to read microsoft source code. Hell, for all we know, it might be write-only software.

Closed source software can never be trusted (4, Informative)

Hentes (2461350) | more than 2 years ago | (#38507584)

Security-critical environments are one of the few places where open source should be a must.

Brilliant! (4, Insightful)

jjoelc (1589361) | more than 2 years ago | (#38507672)

We all know that SOPA is all about the money (I'll ignore the "everything is" argument, for now). Money the *IAAs feel they are losing, money the politicians have accepted in campaign contributions... Even the advertisements trying to drum up support for SOPA are about all the jobs (money) that will be lost if this doesn't become law...

Every argument I've heard has been about ideals and technology... We all know how politicians and corporations feel about ideals. Freedom of speech, Impossible to implement, Would break the very foundation of the web, etc... All meaningless to these people without a dollar sign attached to them.

This is the first argument I have heard that directly turns the tables. "Pass SOPA, and we will no longer trust any software produced by a US company." This would affect many more than just MS, Apple, and Google... How many PCs will Dell, (or HP, or Acer, or...) sell outside of the US if they are not allowed to sell them with (or without) Windows? If Dell et. al. are forced into producing computers with Windows installed for the US market, and %NotWindows% for the rest of the world, how long before they decide it isn't worth the effort, and just pick their favorite %NotWindows% for the entire line? How many jobs will be lost if no one in Europe is allowed to use Photoshop, MS Office, iTunes, AutoCAD,... The list goes on and on.

Do I think this is likely to happen? Not really.. But it makes for a good advertising campaign against SOPA.

Can Anyone figure out what he's arguing here? (2)

brit74 (831798) | more than 2 years ago | (#38507674)

I read the article, and I can't figure out what he's talking about. Can anyone make sense of the article? Is he talking about some aspect of SOPA (stop online piracy act) that I am not aware of? The aspects of SOPA that I'm familiar with is the fact that the US will be able to disconnect domains based on reports of piracy on websites. Here's some examples of what I'm talking about:

"[US] policymakers are not the slightest afraid of legislatively ordering American-run corporations to sabotage their customers in order to further United States foreign policy... Worded differently, the American legislature has taken itself the right to sabotage American products, boobytrapping them to enforce American laws and economic interests outside of its borders by directly sabotaging the administration of other countries."

In what way does SOPA order American-run corporations to sabotage their customers to further American policy? It sounds to me like he's arguing that the US government is forcing Microsoft and Google to harm their customers - perhaps through destroying foreign documents or secretly sending state-secrets to the United States government. Is this some part of SOPA that I'm not aware of?

Or this:

In the debate around the American Stop Online Piracy Act, American legislators have demonstrated a clear capability and willingness to interfere with the technical operations of American products, when doing so furthers American political interests regardless of the policy situation in the customer’s country.

In what way does SOPA interfere with the technical operations of American products?

These quotes reflect pretty much the tone of the entire article, and I can't figure out what he's talking about. Earlier he talks about how everyone runs software from Microsoft or Apple. In what way does "taking websites off the internet" interfere with the "technical operations of American products [such as the construction of software by Microsoft and Apple]"?

Quite frankly, when I read the article, I'm completely confused by what he's alleging is going on. It's all very vague and conspiratorial. I can't figure out if Falkvinge wrote the article half asleep, whether he's going off the deep end and falling prey to strange conspiracy theories, or if there's some aspect of SOPA that nobody's talked about (which seems unlikely, given the amount of press I've seen about SOPA).

Re:Can Anyone figure out what he's arguing here? (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38507912)

Falkvinge here.

I am referring to the fact that the SOPA debate has shown that US legislators won't hesitate for a moment to mutilate global technical resources if they can be used as leverage to project US trade interests, intensely disregarding the fact that severeign nations elsewhere have other sets of laws.

Specifically, the seizure of Internet domains is a precursory example.

Since the legislators have shown both a willingness and a capacity to regard anything happening on US soil as something that can be legislated into political leverage, at the expense of the customers and the US supplier, we must assume that cloud services and closed software can and will also be thus regarded.

This, in turn, means that any nation serious about its sovereignty can't let its critical administrative processes be governed by such code.

Re:Can Anyone figure out what he's arguing here? (2)

thej1nx (763573) | more than 2 years ago | (#38508270)

Let me see... I have a site that does not violate any of the laws of *my* country... but a company in USA can just cook up a case and get it shut down regardless, in an instant.

And all this because, the internet is controlled by USA. So does this law passes out of any US national security concerns? Does it take into account of juridictions etc? Nope. This is done at behest of some corporate suits, who want to buy yet another island somewhere.

Direct implication : USA based companies are writing the US laws, and if I use US based products, my competitor can simply disrupt my business, if someday, they manage to pass yet another law that gives such a power to them. Inference. Do NOT use USA based products, since US laws can now be simply purchased by your competitors, and can be completely in violation of international norms or even fairness.

Linux won't save you (4, Informative)

brainzach (2032950) | more than 2 years ago | (#38507690)

Those who will be affected most by SOPA are those who rely on American billing, search and advertising services.

It doesn't matter if you are running Linux, if you are hosting content that is flagged for violating copyright law, then you risks losing your advertising revenue.

The solution to the problem is to use services in other countries than the US. Whether you are running Linux or Windows is irrelevant.

Let's first get this right: (4, Insightful)

rickb928 (945187) | more than 2 years ago | (#38507756)

"Why American Corporate Software Can No Longer Be Trusted"

This should read:

"Why Corporatations Cannot Be Trusted"

And I'm not sure TFA answers that very well.

Today's global economic situation is not much different than that of 1932. After years if not decades of reckless investment, currency and market manipulation, leveraged investment, and rapacious profit-making, US corporations and banks conspired in a way that ultimately led to a economic meltdown.

In 1929 they didn't need computers and software to do this. They needed a willing and complicit Legislature, courts, and government agencies. The results then are well known, as they are today.

We started back down this path in 1999 with the repeal of the Glass-Steagell Act. Couple that with the continuous pressure to expand home ownership, a Federal Reserve inappropriately tasked with controlling inflation and economic growth, and lack of oversight into multiple industries (Accounting firms audting a corporation while their banking divisions floated the IPO, for instance) and you had the makings of a perfect storm. It came.

Corporations, by design, cannot be 'trusted' to act in the 'public interest'. They need to be at least minimally regulated, if for no other reason than to prevent the most egregious abuses.

What this has to do with software is beyond me. It's more than that, a lot more.

Re:Let's first get this right: (1)

thej1nx (763573) | more than 2 years ago | (#38508314)

If your law makers are already this insane and so blatantly for sale, who is to say that they may not pass a law enabling a built-in kill-switch for say whatever proprietary OS or telecommunications solution is being used heavily in some other country, just so that they can enforce their latest extortion scheme?

Any country with slightest amount of sense will dump US based proprietary software products immediately, and move to open-source to escape this.

This just in (1)

DaveV1.0 (203135) | more than 2 years ago | (#38507934)

Person who founded a party supporting the pirating of software doesn't like the corporate software business model. Film at 11!

Seriously, why does anyone give a fuck what this person thinks, especially when his stance pretty fucking well known? You call this shit news?

Not quite (1)

Ralph Spoilsport (673134) | more than 2 years ago | (#38508016)

"In the debate around the American Stop Online Piracy Act, American legislators have demonstrated a clear capability and willingness to interfere with the technical operations of American products, when doing so furthers American political interests regardless of the policy situation in the customer’s country."

Not quite. Should read:
"In the debate around the American Stop Online Piracy Act, American legislators have demonstrated a clear capability and willingness to interfere with the technical operations of American products, when doing so furthers American CORPORATE interests regardless of the policy situation in the customer’s country."

There. Fixed that for you.

No American corporations? (2)

jbeaupre (752124) | more than 2 years ago | (#38508092)

We can't trust any American corporations? Not even FSF?

Ah, the title doesn't match the article.

You insensiTive clod? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38508118)

NIGGER c0mmunity gains market share FreeBSD went out
Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?