A devilish argument for open source

Summary:Please note. I don't believe the following. I am making a devil's advocate argument in order to stimulate discussion.

Please note. I don't believe the following. I am making a devil's advocate argument in order to stimulate discussion. Maybe this can get us through the weekend.


The Devils Advocate

It occurred to me, seeing how Brazil and other developing nations are warming to open source, often with the blessing of U.S. universities, that open source might be a good idea for devilish regimes.

Any software a regime did not like, say a BitTorrent spreading forbidden concepts like democracy, or an Anonymizer keeping the regime's chosen victims hidden from it, would have to be shared with the regime.

The source code, which identified how it was made and (since programmers do have their own signatures) perhaps who made it, would be in the regime's hands. They could modify it,turn it against the friends of freedom, and legally grab any modifications as well.

What could Brazil's military regime of 1964-85 have done with an open source 'sharing' requirement, and how would open source advocates feel about that?

When the GPL becomes an enemy of freedom is it null and void? I'm just asking.

Give us your answer in TalkBack.

Topics: Open Source

About

Dana Blankenhorn has been a business journalist since 1978, and has covered technology since 1982. He launched the Interactive Age Daily, the first daily coverage of the Internet to launch with a magazine, in September 1994.

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