[pp.int.general] OTR Chatting en mass?

Antonio Garcia ningunotro at hotmail.com
Sat Jul 13 01:35:17 CEST 2013

As you have mentioned, the problem is they need security through obscurity.

Whether the client side applications are free software or not does not really matter if they have decided that the server side is going to be a business secret and a service only they are going to be able to provide.

That is about as far as it can go being locked in.

By a guy that takes a 10% cut on every amount that is transferred through his Flattr service and wonders why it does not take off stratospherically.

Liberal business that does not care about ethics does not marry well with real activism and trying to change the world for the better.

Liberty is nothing without justice.


Date: Fri, 12 Jul 2013 12:18:49 +0100
From: j.allnutt at pirateparty.org.uk
To: rms at gnu.org
CC: pp.international.general at lists.pirateweb.net
Subject: Re: [pp.int.general] OTR Chatting en mass?



    Hash: SHA1 


    On 11/07/2013 21:04, Richard Stallman wrote:

    >     It also looks like the
      client will be open source but not free software.


      > What specific facts is that conclusion based on?


    Their FAQ. They use the term "open source":


    *Will it be Open Source?*

    We have all intentions of opening up the source as much as possible
    for scrutiny and help! What we really want people to understand
    however, is that Open Source in itself does not guarantee any
    privacy or safety. It sure helps with transparency, but technology
    by itself is not enough. The fundamental benefits of Heml.is will be
    the app together with our infrastructure, which is what really makes
    the system interesting and secure.


    But further down they state:


    *Your server only?*

    Yes! The way to make the system secure is that we can control the
    infrastructure. Distributing to other servers makes it impossible to
    give any guarantees about the security. We?ll have audits from
    trusted third parties on our platforms regularily[sic], in
    cooperation with our community.


    This in combination with another answer:


    *Will you provide an API and/or allow third party clients?*

    At this point we don?t see how that would be possible without
    compromising the security, so for now the answer is no.



    leads me to conclude that it wouldn't allow the end-user to exercise
    her 4 freedoms, specifically #1. Of course they could just be
    talking about their back-end, but I struggle to see how they would
    exclude forked versions effectively if the client was completely


    > It is possible for a

      > program to be open source but not free software, but it is

      > unusual in an application.


    Is there that much of a difference between a program and an
    application, other than the packaging?


    >   A priori, a misunderstanding
      is more

      > likely.  Could this be a misunderstanding?


    Perhaps, but I am sceptical.


    - -- Jack


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