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Re: Why the "social contract" should not be endorsed

From: Federico Leva (Nemo)
Subject: Re: Why the "social contract" should not be endorsed
Date: Sun, 23 Feb 2020 10:52:44 +0200
User-agent: Mozilla/5.0 (X11; Linux x86_64; rv:68.0) Gecko/20100101 Thunderbird/68.4.1

Jean Louis, 22/02/20 23:52:
Now imagine the freedom for North Korean leaders to run the GNU
software to launch nuclear rockets towards Boston, USA. Would you be
in agreement on it?

Let's use a more concrete example (because it's actionable, unlike fictional lawsuits in North Korea): are General Atomics or Lockheed Martin free to use GNU software within their weapons? Are we in agreement with it, even if they're used to conduct extrajudicial killings abroad or to kill civilians?

And the answer is: yes of course I agree they can use GNU software, especially if they publish all the software used on their drones and war planes under GPL. Is this an embarrassing ethical conclusion? Not at all: if the software were under GPL, it would be more transparent about what kind of ethical decisions it makes. That would empower democratic processes to decide whether such weapons should be used or not. (It's not democratic for the GNU hackers to decide whether a state should wage war on another, even if it's tempting.)


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