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Re: Free licensing of surveillance software


From: Caleb Herbert
Subject: Re: Free licensing of surveillance software
Date: Wed, 15 Jan 2020 12:57:23 -0600
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Free software means even ISIS can use GCC.

On 1/15/20 12:48 PM, Roberto Beltran via libreplanet-discuss wrote:
>> 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
> https://libremiami.org/
> 
> 
> 
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