Free software and public administrations?

João Miguel Neves joao at
Tue Nov 26 14:43:44 UTC 2002

On Tue, 2002-11-26 at 14:41, Anton Zinoviev wrote:
> 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.
What I would liek to know is what the state security services want and
why they want it. I don't really about what FS opponents think that
others want. If they really believe that obfuscation is security, they
are already in trouble...

> > 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.
So you've found a problem for advocacy that is mildly FS related. That
is really a security problem where the law is (probably) protecting the
incompetent while deceiving the population into making them feel safer.
						João Miguel Neves
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