Why political liberty depends on software freedom more than ever

micu micuintus at gmx.de
Tue Mar 8 19:14:48 UTC 2011

Hi there,

> The right net brings freedom and the wrong net brings tyranny because
> it all depends on how the code works.

Just now, I finished watching an outstanding talk Eben Moglen gave at 
FOSDEM 2011. But instead of elaborating more on it, here are two more 
quotes from the speech:

> What has happened in Iran, in Egypt, in Tunisia—and what will happen
> in other societies over the next few years—demonstrates the enormous
> political and social importance of social networking. But everything
> we know about technology tells us that the current forms of social
> network communication, despite their enormous current value for
> politics, are also intensely dangerous to use.
> They are too centralized, they are too vulnerable to state
> retaliation and control. The design of their technology, like the
> design of almost all unfree software technology, is motivated more
> by business interests seeking profit than by technological interests
> seeking freedom.
> As a result of which, we are watching political movements of enormous
> value, capable of transforming the lives of hundreds of millions of
> people, resting on a fragile basis, like, for example, the courage
> of Mr. Zuckerberg, or the willingness of Google to resist the state,
> where the state is a powerful business partner and a party Google
> cannot afford frequently to insult.

> Software is what the 21st century is made of. What steel was to the
> economy of the 20th century, what steel was to the power of the 20th
> century, what steel was to the politics of the 20th century,
> software is now. It is the crucial building block, the component out
> of which everything else is made, and, when I speak of everything
> else, I mean of course freedom, as well as tyranny, as well as
> business as usual, as well as spying on everybody for free all the
> time.

Here is the talk: <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-BSLBvwyUEs>

You can get an OGG Theora version of the video here: 

A transcript of the talk can be found here

This whole post on my blog:

Kind regards,
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