Software freedom—the freedom to run, share, and modify the software on computers you own—is critical for an ethical way to operate a computer and retain control over that computer. Today is Software Freedom Day, a day for celebrating software freedom and spreading the message that software freedom is a value for its own sake. We should value these freedoms and insist that all of our computers run exclusively free software. Most computers come preloaded with nonfree software, software that lets someone else control our computing. This directly enables spying and remote control over our computer. Three cheers for Edward Snowden, and all of the government and business leakers who bravely gave us the evidence that non-freedom is used against us all in mass surveillance!
Here’s Richard Stallman, founder of the free software movement, with a clear definition of free software and why it matters:
So run free software on a fully-free operating system (such as any of these GNU/Linux systems) and have a happy Software Freedom Day!
More about Software Freedom Day
- The Free Software Foundation
- One celebrant’s Software Freedom Day blog—note that the open source movement does not celebrate software freedom day and that movement was designed not to discuss the concept of software freedom, even though open source advocates hack on free software projects harmoniously with free software activists.