Russia uses Microsoft to suppress dissent

David Gerard dgerard at
Fri Sep 17 18:58:23 UTC 2010

2010/9/17 Hugo Roy <hugo at>:

> how do we, Free software supporters and Free software NGOs, can
> cooperate more with other NGOs to explain them:
> - the values of freedom carried by Free Software
> - the inherent advantages in terms of control and security over their
> information
> - the collateral advantages in terms of hacktivism online, etc.
> What do you think is the answer? Are you also working with other NGOs
> not related to the software field?

Wikimedia may be a helpful example to use. It is not a
software-related charity, but an educational one. However, because
it's full of FOSS nerds, it has a strong free software policy [*].
This extends to a lot of the stuff a charity uses - e.g., WMF
contributes paid development effort to CiviCRM.

Wikileaks is a news organisation rather than a charity per se, but
Julian Assange's paranoia started well before he needed it - software
such as Rubberhose, specifically for NGO workers operating in
dangerous situations.

Suggestion: a page about software useful for charities, and email
wikitech-l when a first draft is up asking for other stuff WMF uses
and that WMF workers know about even if they don't use it.

- d.

[*] WMF used Java when it had not been entirely freed yet, and the
image servers were until recently on Solaris 10 for the sake of ZFS (I
believe this is changing).

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