Re: Builder crowdsourcing banner on PGO

  > does 
  > anyone else here use IceCat or LibreJS and believe that donating to the 
  > Builder campaign via Indiegogo is unethical due to its use of 
  > obfuscated Javascipt?

That's not quite what I said.  The act of donating is not unethical.
Running that nonfree software hurts you, but no one else.

What is unethical is to urge others to run that nonfree software.
That has an effect on others.  In this case, probably thousands of

  > On a practical level, a campaign against 
  > obfuscated JS is completely doomed and can only hurt our efforts to 
  > attract users to free software. (How many people do you think would be 
  > using <your distro here> if it shipped IceCat instead of Firefox?)

The distro I use, Trisquel, does ship IceCat instead of Firefox.  I
feel much safer knowing that IceCat protects me from nonfree JS code.

  > why is the question of whether it's the user's computer 
  > or the service provider's computer that executes nonfree code very 
  > interesting?

The difference fundamental.  The server should be under its owner's
control; nonfree code there wrongs him.  Your computer should be under
your control; with nonfree code there, it's your freedom that's at

Running JS code controlled by others exposes you to spying.  Without
JS code, The server can only get whatever data you send it with your
browser.  (IceCat sends less in the way of identifying data than other
browsers do.)  JS code can get a lot more data about you and use it to
recognize you.  Many advertising companies use this "fingerprinting"
to track visitors from site to site.

If you let web sites run whatever they like on your machine, you will
find that much of your computing is done by nonfree JS code sent
by servers, and they control your computing.


Dr Richard Stallman
President, Free Software Foundation
51 Franklin St
Boston MA 02110
Skype: No way! That's nonfree (freedom-denying) software.
  Use Ekiga or an ordinary phone call.

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