The tool isn't the problem

Doghouse – Software Freedom

Article from Issue 268/2023

Restricting uses for FOSS may seem appealing, but it also might not be the solution some imagine.

Recently the question of whether free software (or even open source) should have some clause put into the license to keep the software from being used for "bad" purposes came up again. I believe that most of this was inspired by the war between Ukraine and Russia, and people not wanting their software used for purposes of war. Some of this is probably also inspired by various governments using computer vision software to spy on their citizens or open AI software to establish surveillance. One person even brought up the concept of using "his" free software in nuclear weapons.

I am a pacifist. I do not believe in war as a solution. However, this does not mean that I would just throw up my hands if a warmongering power attacked my country and started harming people. Therefore I can understand the feelings of these people.

However, there are many other things that some people do not like, and such people would object to others using "their" software for doing these things.


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