Stallman: Facebook is a form of "mass surveillance"

Richard Stallman isn't a man known to mince words. One of the biggest public figures of the open source movement, Stallman has gained a reputation as a strong advocate of free software and open source computing. In a recent interview, Stallman outlined his thoughts on the state of computing in the world today.

Speaking to RT, Stallman declared Facebook as "mass surveillance". "If there is a ‘like’ button in a page, Facebook knows who visited that page. And it can get IP address of the computer visiting the page even if the person is not a Facebook user. So you visit several pages that have ‘like’ button and Facebook knows that you visited all of those, even if it doesn’t really know who you are," he said.

But Stallman argued that the public are becoming aware. The Anonymous group, known for its DDoS attacks, is basically a form of online protesting, Stallman claimed. "And when people object to this, let’s look at who they are and what they do. Usually they are people who are doing much worse things," he said.

Are political groups like the pirate parties an effective movement? "I more-or-less agree with their positions and I’m glad to see that these issues are becoming election issues," Stallman said. However, piracy in itself is wrong and should not be encouraged. "Why is it bad to use an unauthorized copy of a proprietary program? Because it’s proprietary! So an unauthorized copy is almost as nasty as an authorized copy of the same program," he said.

On Stallman's official website, he suggests adding the following image to your website "to express your rejection of Facebook":

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34 Comments

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What about neowin. i think they should be removing anything related to Facebook (like button). sure have a fan page, but if Facebook can track people even if they are not a member then neowin should not be having such things on there site.

I love how everything Ive been saying for years comes out as if it's "news".... Facebook used as a spying tool=not news. Google used as a spying tool=not news. And that's not a shot at the OP, I just think it's funny that portions of society are totally CLUELESS about what's going on around them, what they're participating in.

It has long been said that the One World Govt, wants to implant "chips" into people so that they can follow your every movement. They acheived that a long time ago. It's call a cell phone, and an IP address and in my case, my blog posts! If you don't want to be "chipped" stay off the net, and throw out your cell phone, because if you don't think they are tracking you, think again.

At the moment I kind of like my information hiway. But I'll know what to do if I need to do it. I think I'll wait a while.

Richard Stallman said,
Why is it bad to use an unauthorized copy of a proprietary program? Because it's proprietary! So an unauthorized copy is almost as nasty as an authorized copy of the same program

So true. Stallman's a legend

tiagosilva29 said,
No, he is correct.

Sorry but no...Stallman's view is simple. No one should make money on any software for any reason. He does not believe in free as in free speech, he believes in free as in free beer, plain and simple.

tiagosilva29 said,
Clearly you don't understand free software.

I understand it just fine, you don't understand Stallman. I have heard many of his "lectures", they are really rants. He expects every piece of software to be 100% free as in no cost, and as in not proprietary. Simply open source is not acceptable to the man, plain and simple.

Like every page on the internet. They all have tracking and many at the same time. I suppose Facebook, Google and others can make a more personal profile but so many other companies do it. If he was going to complain, might as well complain about the internet and also stop using it. Your tracked and profiled outside of the internet. What can you do, money to be made profiling.

As soon as I saw the name I started laughing, but still read the article. Afterward I had to get up off the floor, and for a person of my age that is somewhat of a task.

It's not the stuff/items you should give up to have your privacy but change people/minds of who control them to the righteous ones.

And why single out Facebook from this? Every single site can do that.

Where's Twitter and Google+?

Shouldn't it be, "Not f'd. You won't find me on Internet."

He's also against owning phones! Says government monitors you with it.
But when he needs it, to talk to someone.... he borrows it from someone on the street!


He seems like pretty backward and nonsensical to me. His ideas can't live in today's world... or even the previous ones.

Most governments aren't working for Nazis. They're only looking for the bad guys.

FMH said,
He's also against owning phones! Says government monitors you with it.
But when he needs it, to talk to someone.... he borrows it from someone on the street!


He seems like pretty backward and nonsensical to me. His ideas can't live in today's world... or even the previous ones.

Most governments aren't working for Nazis. They're only looking for the bad guys.

You make him sound like he is Pauli

FMH said,
He's also against owning phones! Says government monitors you with it.
But when he needs it, to talk to someone.... he borrows it from someone on the street!


He seems like pretty backward and nonsensical to me. His ideas can't live in today's world... or even the previous ones.

Most governments aren't working for Nazis. They're only looking for the bad guys.

Carrier IQ on phones?