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05/05/2006 Archived Entry: "Who owns your computer"

You bought it, you paid for it, and supposedly it is your property. But in this excellent essay by genuine security guru Bruce Schneier, you'll confront the reality of an ever-growing array of thugs, crooks, liars, thieves, cheats, snitches, con men, flim-flam artists, and bullies that want to take control of your computer away from you. I don't always agree with Dr. Schneier, but on this issue he is right on: The way to fight corporate fascism is to boycott the offending enterprises. Schneier concludes:

You can fight back against this trend by only using software that respects your boundaries. Boycott companies that don't honestly serve their customers, that don't disclose their alliances, that treat users like marketing assets. Use open-source software -- software created and owned by users, with no hidden agendas, no secret alliances and no back-room marketing deals.

Just because computers were a liberating force in the past doesn't mean they will be in the future. There is enormous political and economic power behind the idea that you shouldn't truly own your computer or your software, despite having paid for it.

Silver sez: What we need next are freedom fighters who will create and maintain a list of bullycorps and free market alternatives to their odious products. Perhaps these lists already exist but need more visibility. Volunteers?

Posted by Silver @ 08:57 AM CST

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