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Snowden Praises Open Source for Protecting Privacy

Linked by Paul Ciano on May 12, 2017

Edward Snowden on open source and privacy, via Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols:

“For most people the internet is magic, but that’s not enough. We can’t let let people be mindless when they’re building clouds. You can use Amazon EC2 or Google Compute Engine, these are fine, but they’re fundamentally disempowering. You give them money, and they provide you with a service, but you are also providing them with more than money. You’re giving up control, influence,” he said.

Expanding on the subject, Snowden continued, “You’re sinking costs into an infrastructure that’s not yours. What OpenStack does is makes you get away from this silent vulnerability. With OpenStack, you build it layer by layer, we can envision a world where cloud infrastructure are private – not in the sense of private corporations, but private as a small business, as a community. Where everyone can build it.”

Another reason Snowden supports open source is when you’re running things on proprietary software or hardware, you can’t tell when it spies on you. “All systems should be designed to obey the users and they should not lie to the user,” he said. For example, Snowden pointed out the recent Intel chip vulnerability where “Intel’s monitoring engine, excuse me, Intel’s management engine has these blobs in them that we can’t inspect or fix ourselves.”

With open source, Snowden continued: “We don’t have to compromise. We want a better world so we’re going to build it.

Paul Ciano

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