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RE: [Fsfe-uk] OSS Pol. v2 and other stuff

From: Dinis Cruz
Subject: RE: [Fsfe-uk] OSS Pol. v2 and other stuff
Date: Fri, 10 Sep 2004 10:39:34 +0100

> Limiting the argument to financial considerations is Microsoft's prime
> goal in all their propaganda
> (conferences for international leaders etc). 
Agree (for example the "Get the facts campaign"

> This is a case where esr's
> argument that talking about
> freedom is useless for practical purposes  is absolutely wrong:  the
> only way to build a real case
> for government use of free software is by arguing for freedom and
> ethics. The financial side is
> the icing on the cake, and no more than that.

You do have a very valid point (I would say that taking about freedom is

That said, I would add that the inherent Security features of an Open Source
application (the fact that one can look at the source code and modify it if
required) is (in my view) a very good short term strategy to get
Governments, Organizations and Companies to pay attention and move to Open
Source products.

The current 'black box' software world that most of us live in (the
proprietary model where we don't know what is inside the software that we
install) is not sustainable in the medium-term (for example what do you
think would happen if WinZip was a Trojan? (i.e. it contained security
vulnerabilities that allowed malicious users to gain control over any
computer that had WinZip installed?))

I agree with Open Source's Freedom and Ethics and I'm very proud to be able
to participate in it, BUT until companies and governments are Free and
Ethic, the best approach (IMO) is to work on practical and focused

For example defending the Open Source's:

   - Quality
   - Innovation
   - Help to the local economy (by creating a local vibrant community of
developers and support/consulting companies)
   - Security (Note that I am not saying that ALL Open Source software is
Secure. I am saying that with at least open source it ITS security can be
independently checked and validated by independent 3rd parties, and that is
why most Open Source software tends to be quite secure)

Dinis Cruz
.Net Security Consultant

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