Privacy and freedom of speech require Free Software

For a few weeks I have been working on a 3 fold leaflet about privacy and Free Software. The text and basic layout are pretty much done.

The main point of the leaflet is that in the internet age, Free Software is a necessary condition for us to have some basic rights (privacy and freedom of speech..) because of the collective control is grants to users. It also clearly states that Free Software is not sufficient.

The leaflet targets a non technical audience, people who already care about privacy but don’t get the link between it and technological choices.

I need you!
No matter how much I want this leaflet to be ready for print and distribution soon, I am facing my own limits: I don’t have the skills, time and knowledge to create attractive and meaningful graphics for the leaflet, nor to do the general design work.

You’re a designer, illustrator or graphic artist, care about privacy and want to contribute? Welcome! Join! Please use the Contact form on the right side of this page. I’ll send you the drafts and we can improve it.

If you don’t have anything to do with design but still care about privacy and Free Software, please contact me too. Several brains are worth much more than a single one.

Schneier on Risk

Bruce Schneier, security expert and EFF board member, wrote an article about our rejection of risk and the consequences it has on basic liberties. Interesting new piece of input about the link between freedom and security.

I graduated from a Masters called Risk, Science, Environment and Health and therefore love the link he makes between risk apprehension and freedom. Natural risks and risks coming from humans are different.

 

We’re afraid of risk. It’s a normal part of life, but we’re increasingly unwilling to accept it at any level. So we turn to technology to protect us. The problem is that technological security measures aren’t free. They cost money, of course, but they cost other things as well. They often don’t provide the security they advertise, and — paradoxically — they often increase risk somewhere else. This problem is particularly stark when the risk involves another person: crime, terrorism, and so on. While technology has made us much safer against natural risks like accidents and disease, it works less well against man-made risks.

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We need to relearn how to recognize the trade-offs that come from risk management, especially risk from our fellow human beings. We need to relearn how to accept risk, and even embrace it, as essential to human progress and our free society. The more we expect technology to protect us from people in the same way it protects us from nature, the more we will sacrifice the very values of our society in futile attempts to achieve this security.