Free Software Evangelist. GNU speaker. Recipient of FSF's 2016 Award for the Advancement of Free Software. FSF Latin America board member. LibrePlanet São Paulo activist. Maintainer of GNU Linux-libre, and co-maintainer of the GNU Compiler Collection, GNU binutils and GNU libc. GNU tools engineer at Red Hat Brasil and AdaCore.
Architectural bugs Spectre and Meltdown have caused major panic and still worry many. Oddly, some proposed mitigations that require installing proprietary blobs have not caused similar worries, despite growing awareness about prevalent data collection, built-in backdoors and the risks of placing too much trust in software and hardware designers with interests not aligned with those of users. Whom can we trust, then? What lessons are there for the Free Software community? Being suspicious of Web blobs and foggy computing, and not victimizing anyone through them, do we have anything to fear but fear itself?
So-called smartphones have long been recognized as a surveillance problem by the Free Software community, and it feels like, even at the speed of light, no personal data can escape them any more. Still, they offer useful features that many people find valuable enough to make up for their perceived privacy loss, to everyone’s detriment. What if we could get the useful features without sacrificing our privacy? We have enough Free Software and Hardware, and we could have surveillance-Free OLPC-like networking with Tor, using onion-like services for incoming calls. Time seems ripe. Who wants one? Who wants to make them? How can we make them viable?