Should you trust an internet of proprietary software things? - "Richard Stallman, known for his instrumental role in the creation of Linux, has written an opinion piece arguing that nearly any operating system you might use today can be considered malware, and that goes for popular mobile platforms as well as desktop operating systems." (via; rms previously)
The GNU Manifesto Turns Thirty: Maria Bustillos profiles Richard Stallman, founder of the Free Software Movement and author of the GNU Manifesto, which was published 30 years ago this month: The GNU Manifesto is characteristic of its author—deceptively simple, lucid, explicitly left-leaning, and entirely uncompromising… Stallman was one of the first to grasp that, if commercial entities were going to own the methods and technologies that controlled computers, then computer users would inevitably become beholden to those entities. This has come to pass, and in spades… “With software,” Stallman still frequently observes, “either the users control the program, or the program controls the users.”
"You ended up losing your family over this?” “I did.” Genesis Associates was an Exton, PA-based counseling practice which crashed and burned in the late 90's, leaving a long, scorchingly-painful trail of destruction in their wake. Founded by Pat Mansmann and Pat Neuhausel, Genesis employed the then-controversial, now-largely-discredited recovered memory therapy. Genesis also urged patients to "detach" (cut off contact) from their alleged abusers, as well as any individuals to whom they had become "addicted" - including their own children. In a long, harshly critical article in the Philadelphia Inquirer, a former patient is quoted as saying, "They had me brainwashed ... they get you so worn out, so confused, you can't think straight." A patient estranged from her children wrote, “The Genesis therapists were not only out to implant memories - they were out to destroy families and lives.” (“Betrayed” by Carol Diament; 3/4 of the way down this page). The group's use of detachment and "rage therapy" were also prominently featured in the Frontline special "Divided Memories". Genesis was sued by dozens of former patients (1,2,3); at least nine cases were settled out of court. In 1999, Mansmann and Neuhausel surrendered their licenses to practice in Pennsylvania. Unlike their patients', Mansmann and Neuhausel's relationship has remained tight... they're partners in an entity named "WIC Enterprises", they co-own property in Key West (manual search here) and, as of 2008, they were both members of the "National Center for Crisis Management". Their attorney has since been disbarred. The book they co-authored is still available used on Amazon.
"Because we don't know how to make a wheel that is still generally useful for legitimate wheel applications but useless to bad guys."
Cory Doctorow's 28C3 talk The Coming War on General Purpose Computation (abstract, transcript) warns that "the coming century will be dominated by war against the general purpose computer, and the stakes are the freedom, fortune and privacy of the entire human race." [more inside]