[Top][All Lists]

[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

Re: Free licensing of surveillance software

From: Roberto Beltran
Subject: Re: Free licensing of surveillance software
Date: Wed, 15 Jan 2020 18:48:38 +0000

> I put a camera inside my house so that I can see who is in the house when my 
> family is not home. Kim robs the house, and the camera records him robbing 
> the house. Is there a software license that gives Kim the right to obtain the 
> source code to the camera software?

Okay I think I understand better now. If such a license were to exist I argue 
it would be proprietary for violating freedom 0 because, as Aaron Wolf aptly 
puts "the goal is to just limit the software anyone can use as part of 
surveillance software".

Also quoting the free software definition: "The freedom to run the program 
means the freedom for any kind of person or organization to use it on any kind 
of computer system, for any kind of overall job and purpose, without being 
required to communicate about it with the developer or any other specific 
entity." I think a victim of surveillance would count as another specific entity

The software is being used ON the surveilled. The surveilled are not users of 
the software. A surveilled person deserves agency over the surveillance 
software no more than one would deserve agency over their mechanic's tools or 
the software their accountant uses. To reduce this into further absurdity, if I 
use the surveillance software to watch over a plant, does the plant deserve the 
four freedoms?

Mass surveillance is a important issue to tackle, but I think it would be 
unwise to sacrifice software freedom to tackle it and legitimize a proprietary 
license for this purpose. This especially since it doesn't even really solve 
the problem.

I agree with Aaron that getting laws on the books may be the best way to fight 
mass surveillance.

Kind Regards,
Roberto Beltran

reply via email to

[Prev in Thread] Current Thread [Next in Thread]