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[directory-discuss] Antifeatures: Why GNU Radio needs a "nonfree documen

From: Anonymous
Subject: [directory-discuss] Antifeatures: Why GNU Radio needs a "nonfree documentation" flag
Date: Thu, 19 Jan 2017 22:52:57 +0000 (UTC)

This question was raised.  Currently there are four FSF directory
listed projects that distribute documentation in a manner that attack
user freedoms.  The projects are:

* Anki
* GNU Radio
* Tcl/Tk
* Wireshark

/What they do/

  The four above host all or some of their documentation through a
  CloudFlare ("CF") server.  CF forces Tor users to solve a graphical
  CAPTCHA before they can retrieve documentation from the website.

/Freedoms denied/

  Consequently, users are denied a number of freedoms that they would
  have otherwise.  Specifically, these freedoms are lost:

  1. Freedom to be secure.  Specifically to share a WAN-facing host,
     and by extension:
       * Privacy of identity
       * Freedom to apply anti-reconnaisance techniques (denying
         adversaries info about what tools the user uses)
       * Freedom from tracking (personal IP info disclosed)
       * Freedom from the disclosure of all traffic to the
         documentation server (e.g. even w/HTTPS, all traffic is
         shared with CF, including usernames and passwords if they are
         part of the traffic).
  2. Freedom to access the documentation using text-based free
     software tools (e.g. use of lynx, w3m, cURL, and wget is blocked
     by the graphical CAPTCHA).
  3. Freedom from involuntary servitude.
  4. Freedom from web centralization (CF has centralized over 10% of
     the web so far, alarmingly unnoticed).
  5. Freedom to protest effectively.  Forcing users to access
     CF-hosted documentation also forces them to surrender their right
     to participate in the boycott against CloudFlare Inc.  Users are
     in fact forced to support their oppressor.

  Involuntary servitude is further elaborated here:

/Traceability of above nonfree documentation cases to FSF material/

  The SaaSS principles lay the high-level foundation:

  That article conveys why putting a web interface between and the
  deliverable artifacts (e.g. software or documentation) is a recipe
  for disaster w.r.t user freedom.

  The "GNU Free Documentation License" is published here:

  which states:

    1. "a free program should come with manuals providing the same
        freedoms that the software does."

  Obviously jailing the documentation in a corporate walled-garden
  instead of including it with the software violates the above.  Also

    2. "suitable formats for Transparent copies include plain ASCII
        without markup, Texinfo input format, LaTeX input format, SGML
        or XML using a publicly available DTD, and standard-conforming
        simple HTML"

  Standard-conforming simple HTML naturally creates an expectation of
  being able to read it using a standard-conforming free software tool
  (e.g. lynx).  But putting a graphical CAPTCHA barrier in front of
  the documentation denies the user this option.  We must also presume
  that FSF actually intended for "standard-conforming simple HTML" to
  have some kind of benefit.  If someone wraps "standard-conforming
  simple HTML" documentation in some kind of corporate blob unusable
  to free software users, do we accept that as conformant?

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