"So, thirty years ago, if you wanted to get a new computer and use
it, you had to surrender your freedom, by installing a
user-subjugating proprietary operating system, so I decided to fix
that by developing another operating system and making it
free. And, it's called GNU, but most of the time you'll hear people
erroneously calling it 'Linux.' Uh, [audience laughs] please,
please, give us equal mention: 'Linux' is the name of one
component, the kernel of this system; if you call it 'GNU plus Linux,'
you'll give the principal developers equal mention.
"However, of course, we also, with our computers, nowadays, talk to
the Internet, which is another way that our freedom can be
"The Internet was originally designed with the idea that
your computer could talk with my computer, if we wanted
to do something together---the end-to-end principle. But this
has been trashed by a bunch of companies, like ISPs that don't
allow people---subscribers---to receive connections,
computers designed to be so weak that the only thing you can do with
them is use them as front-end [sic] for centralized services. And of
course the companies that set up these centralized services to try to
surveil people as much as possible and hand over all the information
they collect to the NSA---which turns the whole thing into something
monstrous. So if we want the Internet to be something good for
human freedom---instead of the final curtain call for human
freedom---we need to fight hard.
"And, above all, we've got to beware of anyone
proposing 'smart' this or that that's going to talk to the
Internet---or, the 'Internet of things.' Their idea, I guess,
is that every appliance in your house will be yet another
surveillance opportunity for the NSA to---and also, if it's running
nonfree software, another way for companies--to control you---and
probably have bad security---so that they can mist- ---so that
lots of others can mistreat---you.
"I won't let any of the things in my domicile be part of
the 'Internet of things,' unless it's [sic] running free software and
set up by people I know I can trust not to turn it [sic] into a
tentacle of surveillance.
"And, one of the things we need to prevent this is proper
laws, that is, not the laws businesses want. For
instance, if we switch from using landline telephones to voice over
IP, for that to be a step forward, rather than a step back, we've got
to make sure that common-carrier laws that apply to landline
telephones---except where they've succeeded and [pause] companies have
succeeded [pause] in purchasing the abolition of these good
regulations---we've got to make sure it's the same for any
replacement system that we might use. Which translates, basically,
into network neutrality. We've got to have the [sic] totally
clear and firm network neutrality, just as firm as for
"So, if you agree with any of this stuff, you might want to join
the Free Software Foundation, at fsf.org." [audience laughs,
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