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[directory-discuss] Antifeatures: Why GNU Radio needs a "nonfree documen
[directory-discuss] Antifeatures: Why GNU Radio needs a "nonfree documentation" flag
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:
* GNU Radio
/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.
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:
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
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?
- [directory-discuss] Antifeatures: Why GNU Radio needs a "nonfree documentation" flag,