Subject: Re: the walls have ears
From: Jean Camp <Jean_Camp@harvard.edu>
Date: Fri, 28 May 1999 11:42:00 -0400


>
>But that's not good enough!  What about the freedom *not* to distribute
>source code?  Isn't that also freedom?  Freedom for people is about
>choices, right?
>
What about the freedom to have those who would disagree with you silenced?
Is "free speech" about freedom of speech or freedom of people? My children
don't have the freedom to own slaves, and you children don't have the
freedom to sell themselves into bonded labor.  Limiting the ability of one
party to manipulate can create greater freedoms for others. Like the
'freedom to associate' does not allow a company to select associates on the
basis of gender, race, national origin, etc. The managers and people in the
company are less free to associate.

Here is the news:
code is about deciding how things work
code is governance when our lives are lived on a network
free code is about open governance
code is speech as much as the USC is speech


>
>You mean one day Microsoft would ask a piece of code, "Where do you want
>to go today?"

This is a GREAT EXAMPLE. Apparently, given the arrest of the Melissa virus
creator, Microsoft keeps records of GUID for all its products. These GUID's
are kept along with the ID or institution which purchased or possibly
installed the item. First Microsoft denied keeping them. Now the company
has said it will stop. I don't recall an announcement of their methods.
While we were all silly and debating about the national health identifier
proposed by Donna Shalala Microcosft silently built a surviellance network
with no debate allowed.

Certainly free code as you define it would allow Microsoft or ANY provider
to install any surveillance function on our machines. That is the freedom
to make the rules, without any of the people who live BY the rules having a
voice or even knowing.

The Fourth Amendment limits the freedom of government, it's true, but we
rarely speak in such twisted syntax about "freedom" off-line, and the logic
fails as perfectly on-line.

-Jean