Free Cell Phones from Surveillance Tyranny

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If there is one person who is unimpressed with modern cell phones, particularly “smart-phones”, it’s Free Software movement founder, Richard Stallman.  Stallman, who also created the GNU operating system, believes smart-phones are a threat to the freedom of users and has no intention of getting one himself.  “I don’t have a cell phone, I won’t carry a cell phone,” Stallman says. “It’s Stalin’s dream. Cell phones are tools of Big Brother.  I’m not going to carry a tracking device that records where I go all the time, and I’m not going to carry a surveillance device that can be turned on to eavesdrop.”

Stallman is a believer in free technology, and he does not mean free as in not having to pay for it, but being able to use, alter and distribute it however one wishes to do so.  Stallman began the Free Software movement back in the 1980s, and he remains the president of the organization too.  Smart-phones are not the only commonplace pieces of technology that Stallman wants nothing to do with either Windows is another.  He admits that few are willing to be inconvenienced as much as him for what they believe.  “The decisions anyone makes are based on values,” he notes. “And most people are taught to think about software purely as a matter of price and performance, not whether it respects your freedom.”  However, Stallman’s views are clear.  “A non-free program is a system of unjust power and should not exist,” he says firmly.  “The existence and use of non-free software is a social problem.  It’s evil.”