(Fwd) The GPL (was: Re: [Fsfe-ie] 1-page letter, faxes at the

David Golden david at oldr.net
Mon Sep 29 03:40:56 CEST 2003

On Sun 28 Sep 2003 21:32, you wrote:
> On Sun, Sep 28, 2003 at 03:36:00AM +0100, David Golden wrote:
> > (demand reciprocal transparency, not privacy, one of my bones of
> > contention with the FSF is their privacy stance.).
> Please explain this bone.  I might be able to clear it up, and others
> on the list might have similar bones.

Well, the main problem is that the FSF as a policy had stated at once stage 
they supported a right to privacy, I can't actually find a link to back that 
up right now, so for all I know they've toned down a lot, or I just imagined 
the whole thing... 

I note their front page now says merely "a right to use encryption software 
for private communication", but that still sounds to me like supporting the 
idea that some communications should be private, and they just link straight 
to the EFF, which as far as I can tell DOES support an actual legal right to 

I'm not actually opposed to  people using encrypted communications, note, just 
that if I intercept and record the communication and later decrypt it, I 
don't think I should be guilty of anything. 

I think I already mentioned I find the FSF too reasonable and moderate - I'm a 
TFIer - "Total Freedom of Information".

As discussed in a previous thread, asymmetry of information availability is a 
key to power.  As far as I'm concerned, a right to privacy for your average 
guy like me is pretty useless, because the guys actually seeking power over 
me will be operating outside or above such a law and "violate" my privacy 
anyway.  The only valid answer to "Who will watch the watchers" is "the 
watched must." (note the recursion - if the watched are watching the 
watchers, the watchers must also be able to watch the watched who are 
watching :-) )  

 An _expectation_ of privacy in certain situations is perhaps okay, but I 
don't believe anyone should have a _right_ to keep secrets, whether military, 
government, corporation, or citizen.   

> > I do hope one day the GPL will become unnecessary.
> Why? or how?

Why?  Because I hope one day people will do things because they're
the right thing to do, rather than needing laws.  No, that's not going to 
happen any time soon.

How?  By me making my own universe, that's how ;-)

> you trust all the worlds  governments to do this and not revert
> the law later?

No, but I don't trust governments or any entity that presumes dominion over 
me, full stop. I'm for the replacement of hierarchies by networks.


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