BBC TV: Click: Free=beer and facebook-flaming

Florian Weimer fw at
Sun May 18 10:42:46 UTC 2008

* Ben Finney:

> Florian Weimer <fw at> writes:
>> * MJ Ray:
>> > didn't mention how free (as in freedom) software allows any random
>> > end-user to check or have it checked.
>> How is this different from proprietary software?
> Either this is obvious, or I'm not understanding the question.
> Software that doesn't give the user freedom to inspect the source code
> and pass it on to others, doesn't allow the user to check the software
> themselves or have someone else check it and pass it along to them.
> This is distinct from free software, which allows all of this.

These days, there's hardly any widely used piece of proprietary software
for which you can't get the source code.  You can't make modifications,
and there might be restrictions with whom you can share your results,
but security reviews based on source code are definitely possible.

It's also not clear if source code availability is that helpful for
uncovering security bugs.

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