17 Feb 2005 beto   » (Journeyer)

A Computer: A Freedom Machine or just another tool?

I just needed to point this out.

Several times I have seen on various forums and news sites (e.g. Slashdot), that people (generally proprietary and/or "Open Source" software supporters, all of them against RMS ideals) argues that a computer is not kind of a "Freedom Machine". That a computer is just another tool to get your job done.

I must say that yes, a computer is a tool indeed, but the most important one ever. This tool lets you communicate with the rest of the world, lets you make enormous amounts of calculation at incredible speeds, lets you storage large amounts of data, lets you express yourself on the Internet, etc. And that's a hell of a good reason for the need of fighting for software freedom. Because this tool is so powerful, so complex, that can be manipulated by corporations and governments (via proprietary software, DRM, several agencies spying your communicatiosn, etc) so it obbeys them and not you.

Our life is increasingly depending more and more on computers and software, and if we shall not have the freedom to use, study and manipulate them, a very important part of our personal freedom will be lost.

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