What does this server really serve?
by Richard Stallman
On the Internet, proprietary software isn't the only way to lose your freedom. Software as a Service is another way to let someone else have power over your computing.
Background: How Proprietary Software Takes Away Your Freedom
Digital technology can give you freedom; it can also take your freedom away. The first threat to our control over our computing came from proprietary software: software that the users cannot control because the owner (a company such as Apple or Microsoft) controls it. The owner often takes advantage of this unjust power by inserting malicious features such as spyware, back doors, and Digital Restrictions Management (DRM) (referred to as “Digital Rights Management” in their propaganda).
Cloud computing and SaaS
At Saturday March 22nd, 2010 on Libre Planet, Richard Stallman announced the publication of an essay on software as a service (SaaS). By my count, it is his first published piece on the subject since Stallman’s controversial comments on GMail a year and a half ago. Readers of this blog will all be interested in reading the new essay if they haven’t already already done so.
In his article, Stallman defines SaaS as, “a network server that does certain computing tasks … then invites users to do their computing on that server.” His basic message is simple: users should reject SaaS network services because SaaS users are inherently disempowered and out of control. Indeed, users should reject SaaS even if a service is implemented using free software!
Communication Rights: Trends to watch in 2010 & the Digital Due Process initiative
While there are trends to watch in terms of advancement in the computer industry and cloud computing, changing the way we interact with our technology, civil society needs to be vigilant about its communication rights. The Electronic Frontier Foundation identified 12 trends to watch in 2010 that are pretty disturbing and whose beginnings we are seeing everyday:
Marlyn Tadros, PhD
"It takes 1,752 kWh per year to maintain a Second Life avatar." Nikolas Karr [quoted in 7 things to know about Green IT]
Green IT simply means using IT in an energy efficient way that is environmentally friendly and sustainable and that is also socially responsible. It has been noted that "when you add up all of information and communication technology's energy footprint -- the increasing need for computational power, data storage and communications -- it amounts to about 2 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions, growing to 3 percent by 2020 [The State of Green Business report 2010].
|The 4th Edition of the Zermatt Summit
June 20-21, 2013: Business and NGOs: Building partnerships of winners Business and governments achieve sustainability in a fast changing global environment? What can social entrepreneurship bring t [ ... ]
|WSIS +10 - Paris
The first multistakeholder review meeting "Towards Knowledge Societies for Peace and Sustainable Development" will take place at UNESCO Headquarters, in Paris, France from 25 to 27 Februray 2013. Mar [ ... ]
|Silicon Valley Human Rights Conference|
Tuesday, Oct. 25, Access will convene the Silicon Valley Human Rights Conference (https://www.rightscon.org) in Silicon Valley. The conference is the first of its kind: a meeting of vital industry [ ... ]