Monday, August 11, 2014

Bigoted Against China?

DistroWatch expressed their disdain of my rumour-mongering:

I can tell you that my reviews contain only my observations, facts I can gather and my opinions on the experiences I have. I see no reason to consider rumours about which products may or may not include malware without proof. Almost all governments use spy tools and find ways to introduce back doors into operating systems. Those which do not make their own software back doors purchase such tools from companies in other countries. People who point fingers solely at Chinese products and complain about intentional back doors are either ignorant of other governments' actions or simply bigoted. I think it is worth noting that China has been restricting sales of selected closed source products because their government is just as concerned about American technologies as American organizations are concerned about products made in China.

I'm biased against China, because it is a tyranny. Period.

Look, if China puts a backdoor in a Linux distro, and anyone in China talks about it, that blabbermouth is going to prison for a long time. If Distrowatch headquarters itself in China and starts talking trash about the government, then they can experience the tender mercies of Chinese tyranny first-hand. Funny how apologists for China like Distrowatch are careful to locate their offices and their families outside of tyrannical regions, while publishing an astonishingly all-positive review of a Chinese distro--the most positive review I've yet read in Distrowatch--for some as-yet undisclo$ed rea$on. I'm bluffing, of course--I don't actually know where the Distrowatchers are located. But if they call my bluff and declare themselves to be located in China, then that would be interesting.

Contrast China with the U.S. of A. If our NSA puts a backdoor in a Linux distro, and anyone in the U.S. talks about it, the blabbermouth is going to be featured in the media and earn a lot of money and recognition and career advancement for doing so. As for Eric Snowden, he signed a contract of non-disclosure, from what I understand, and so the Obama Administration is essentially pursuing him for violation of his contract. I don't approve of the Obama Administration's hunt for Eric Snowden. I believe that Eric Snowden did the right thing in principle, if not in execution. But in the U.S., we have people who do the right thing. A conscience is a very American trait.

So, yeah, I'm against tyranny, and for free speech. I am biased in the sense that I favor good over evil. And I do believe that such things exist--that there is a definite good and a definite evil that characterize the actions of human beings. And I think that choosing good matters. I have explained why many times in this space and will continue to do so.

Ignorant? I rather think DistroWatch pretends to be ignorant--of history, politics, current affairs--whether they are so or not. But perhaps they understand certain other matter$ well enough. I really doubt Distrowatch is as mind-numbingly naive as they pretend to be. Breezing by China's tyranny with the "all governments use spy tools" line just won't cut it with anyone that has any kind of education, but might deceive a certain percentage of geeks that only know computers and nothing else. Perhaps China calculates that even a tiny 1-5% penetration into the Linux market will help with its cyberattacks.

Distrowatch should go have a chat with some of the bloggers busting rocks in China's labor camps who dared post unfavorable reviews of the government. Then they can decide for themselves whether all nations really are the same. Trust China for your software? Why not trust them with all of your personal and private data, and see where that gets you? Because if China writes your software, then China gets your information. I refuse to believe that bonafide software engineers, developers, technicians, whatever they are, that have been in this business and writing about this business for years on end cannot understand this extremely simple and obvious concept. There has to be another motive lurking about in the shadows other than "all governments engage in spying, so hey, what's the biggie?"

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