3 Mar 2012

'Facebook is a surveillance engine'

"You know about the two rules right for interviewing Richard?" a volunteer asks before leading us to meetRichard Stallman, the man who fights for free software day in and out. One, don't use the term Open Source to mean free software.
Two, don't say Linux but say GNU/Linux. Dr Stallman, who started the Free Software Foundation in 1985 to promote freedom to create, share and modify software, is extremely sensitive to whether the goals of his initiative are rightly communicated.
A computer engineer and self-proclaimed hacker, the 58-year-old Dr Stallman lives the life of an activist. He lives frugally, like a student, he has said once. The philosophy behind the support for free software reflects in other things too.
During this interview, he gave back a Kinley water bottle, because he doesn't consume Coca-Cola bottles for the way it handles labour. Ditto is his feeling about Walmart. He uses the low-profile Lemote Yeeloong computer, browses the Net only once or twice daily and doesn't own a cell phone, because he believes it creates privacy issues.
He's a Green Party supporter. And can cut down to size all the new age iconic business corporations, which he has done in this interview. In fact, in what raised a storm, he re-quoted the famous lines 'I'm not glad he's dead, but I'm glad he's gone,' after the death of Steve Jobs. 


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