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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