Free software and public administrations?

Anton Zinoviev anton at
Tue Nov 26 14:41:39 UTC 2002

On 26.XI.2002 at 14:11 Joгo Miguel Neves wrote:
> > I'd like to mention one argument against GPL which can be heard from
> > time to time here.  If the government decides to use the existing GPL
> > software for security related works, then they will have to publish
> > all algorithms which are state secrets now.
> That's a lie. Free Software gives you the freedom to publish the
> software. If you do it or not is up to the Free Software user.

The opponents of the free software say that the state security
services want to distribute their algorithms but only in a binary and
without permition for redistribution.

> If they are good algorithms you don't have problems in publishing
> them and the community would gladly accept them. If they're not, you
> can keep them secret anyway, as they would be useless.

True, but anyway there are laws that make such algoriths secret.
Nobody is allowed to publish them and nor even talk about them.  The
situation is similar to the problem with patents.  GPL says that you
are not allowed to distribute patented algorithm under GPL if you
don't give the same rights to the whole community.  And here the law
says that you are not allowed to distribute the source of particular
algorithm, hence it can not be implemented in GPL program.

Anton Zinoviev

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