RMS on Radio NZ - October 2009
Saturday 3 October 2009 / approx. 9.05 am NZST
Radio New Zealand National / Saturdays with Kim Hill
Interview between Kim Hill (presenter) and Richard M Stallman
Transcript by Jim
with permission from Radio New Zealand.
- [00:00] Introduction
- [00:40] Surveillance
- [00:19] Terrorism and 9/11
- [04:30] Barack Obama
- [06:23] Airline Security
- [08:02] Digital Surveillance
- [10:26] Systematic Surveillance
- [12:20] Taxi surveillance
- [14:25] Matters of Principle — cellphones
- [15:33] Free Software and Freedom
- [17:24] Free Trade treaties
- [20:08] Cars, microwaves and planes
- [21:05] Copying books
- [25:31] E-books & supporting artists
- [28:42] Micropayments
- [30:47] A simplistic political philosophy?
- [32:51] Income
- [33:48] Digital handcuffs — Amazon Kindle
- [36:13] Buying books
- [37:16] Social networking
- [38:08] The
- We spoke to Richard Stallman a while ago last year about his
campaign for Free Software. He's a hero, of course, of the movement;
launched the Free Software Foundation, campaigns against software
patents and extensions of copyright laws. His battle is, as he told
us last year, against what he calls extreme capitalism. His GNU
operating system with Linux was the first Free operating system that
could run on a PC. Richard Stallman says “it's all about
freedom”, a cause which goes beyond software; and we could talk
about the others he's identified, surveillance and censorship, because
he joins me now, hello.
- Let us talk about surveillance and censorship. I've been looking
at your personal website and you're talking about fingerprinting of
air travelers, for example, which is something you're very hot
- Yes, I urge people to refuse to go to the US where they would be
mistreated that way.
- Why is that mistreatment, do you think?
- Because it's too much information to collect about people who
aren't criminals. And by the way for the same reason I will not ever
go to Japan again unless they changed that policy, which makes me sad,
but one must …
- It's not justifiable in order to make sure that terrorists aren't
getting on the plane?
- There's no need. Basically terrorism, and by the way we don't
really know who was behind the September 11th attacks in the US, we
don't know whether it was a bunch of Muslim fanatics, or it was a
bunch of Christian fanatics and the White House. We do know that Bush
corrupted and sabotaged the investigation when he was unable to
prevent it from happening.
- So, are you an advocate of the conspiracy theories surrounding
- I can't say … first of all I think it's unfair — we
know that the attack was a conspiracy. All the theories are
- Well, all right, the conspiracy theory for example, that has the
Bush administration staging the 9/11 attack in order to justify
- I don't know. The only way there could ever be proof of that is
with a real investigation, but when you have a government not allowing
a real investigation of a horrible crime then you've got to suspect
that they're hiding something. Now I can't know for certain what
they're hiding, but I want a real investigation to be carried out with
the power to subpoena anyone possibly concerned, including Bush, and
make those people testify under oath and show them no deference that
everyone else wouldn't get.
- Putting 9/11 aside then because we haven't got time here to go
into the various theories about what could possibly have caused 9/11,
there is undoubtedly a thing called terrorism.
- Yes, but it's a minor problem. More people died in the US in
September 2001 from car accidents than from a terrorist attack, and
that continues month after month, but we don't have a Global War on
Accidents, so basically politicians used a real danger, but not the
world's biggest danger, as an excuse for what they want to do, which
is … and remember that these governments are much more
dangerous, it's quite clear that Bush's invasion of Iraq was far more
destructive than anything non state-sponsored terrorists have been
able to do — that's assuming that those terrorists in September
2001 were not state-sponsored, which we don't know — but the
point is, what Bush did by invading Iraq, using those attacks as an
excuse, was tremendously worse and we must remember than governments
gone amok can do far more damage than anybody not state-sponsored.
After all, governments have a lot more men under arms and they don't
have to hide the fact that they have men under arms, so they're in a
much bigger position to do damage, so we must be concerned about
letting them have too much power. A world in which the police can
easily do whatever they'd like to do is a world in which the police
are a threat.
- Last time we spoke, and we were talking about the issue of Free
Software, but specifically in relation to that you doubted that
President Bush's successor, who we now know is Barack Obama, would be
pretty much any different from Bush.
- He's a little different, but I have to say he's small change. On
human rights issues he's not very different. He's still in favor of
keeping people in prison, without charges, indefinitely, and you can't
get much worse than that in terms of human rights.
- Well except he's addressing Guantanamo Bay.
- Well that's just one of the places where it's done, it's done also
in Bagram in Afghanistan, and I really don't see why it would be
better to move those people to Bagram. What has to be done is charge
them or release them. They're entitled to that.
- Yeah, they may be entitled to that but he's also democratically
elected President who …
- That doesn't mean he's entitled to violate human rights.
- No, but would the American people be in favor of the release of
- I don't know.
- … that's got to be a consideration.
- No it's not, if they're not that just makes them responsible.
- I know you're …
- I don't think I can excuse massive violations of human rights by
saying that the public is maddened and supports it. Especially, why
are they so maddened? Because of a constant propaganda campaign
telling you “Be terrified of terrorists”, “throw
away your human rights and everyone else's because you're so scared of
these terrorists”. It's disproportionate, we have to keep these
dangers in their proportion, there isn't a campaign saying “be
terrified of getting in a car” but maybe there ought to be.
- Most airline security, getting back to the fingerprinting issue,
you've said is just for show.
- A lot of it is, not all of it is, I'm very glad that they have
reinforced the cabin doors so that hijackers can't get at the pilots,
OK, that's a sensible measure.
- But are you? I would have thought that you would have said
“why would they spend money reinforcing the cabin doors because
hijackers are a minor issue”.
- I'm not against spending a little bit of money.
- You're saying that that issue isn't an infringement of human
- OK, and I don't mind spending some money for safety, I even make
some compromises you know on issues of rights, I'm not saying police
shouldn't be able to get a search warrant, but they should have to go
to a Judge, to present probable cause, to keep them in check because
police are very dangerous when they run amok, as people discovered a
few months ago in London, when the police did run amok, and they
killed somebody who was trying to walk home past a protest, and he
couldn't get home because the police were just deliberately blocking
the streets, and then they hit him. And then they lied about it too,
which they typically do. Whenever the police attack someone they lie
about him, they lie about what they did, and they lie about what he
was doing, to make it sound that they were justified in mistreating
him in the first place, it's standard practice, they're like an armed
- If you don't agree with surveillance, is there any way that you
would accept that it might be quite a handy thing, CCTV …
- Wait a second, your view of surveillance is oversimplifying
things, what I see happening with computers is they make possible a
form of total surveillance which wasn't feasible in the past, even
governments like Romania under Ceaușescu, or East Germany with
the Stasi, they did a lot of surveillance but it took a lot of people
working on it and even then it was limited what they could actually
watch and record because it was so hard. Now, we're entering a kind
of surveillance society that has never been seen before …
- You're talking about digital surveillance.
- Yes, but as people do more things using digital technology it
becomes easy to keep a record of everything everyone has done, things
that weren't done in the past and still aren't done with other media,
there's no record of who sends a letter to who for all letters, it
just isn't done. But there are records in many countries of who sends
an email to whom and those records can be saved for years and we don't
know that they'll ever be disposed of.
- If you think that governments are not to be trusted, which is a
legitimate position of course, and if you think that the police are
not to be trusted, again a legitimate position, why can't you feel
happier about digital surveillance and CCTV surveillance given that it
may well give the people more protection.
- Oh, I'm all in favor of the right to make and record videos, such
as when you're on the street or when you're watching a protest or
whatever, I'm concerned about systematic surveillance.
- What is that, systematic surveillance?
- Well suppose the police set up a camera that always watches the
street, and connects it to a face recognition program and make a
database of everyone who passes, that's systematic surveillance. Now
if you walk down the street and maybe you see somebody you know and
you recognize him, that's not systematic surveillance, that's a whole
bunch of people knowing something, there's nothing wrong with that,
that's just what life is.
- What makes systematic surveillance more sinister to you?
- Because we know that there's a tendency for many different
governments to treat dissenters as terrorists, and investigate them
using laws that were set up supposedly to help them prevent terrorism.
We know also that they tend to sabotage political activities, and this
- What's wrong with being investigated?
- Well, it depends if the government's investigating you because
you're a political dissident, there are a lot of things they could do
to harass you. One thing I remember was in England, a busload of
protesters, they were on they way to a protest, the police stopped
their bus and drove them away from the protest, and they cited a law
that had been passed to supposedly prevent terrorism. Well this is
sabotaging political activity. And then another thing that happens I
know in England, is people have been prosecuted for copies of texts
that they have, you know reading is sometimes illegal, it's really
dangerous. What we see is a global tendency for governments to bring
out the worst side of themselves with terrorism as the excuse, so we
must be on guard against that, that's potentially a much bigger danger
than the terrorists it's supposed to protect us from. I don't have to
say that they don't exist, or that they're no danger at all.
- No, the difficulty is being on guard against the danger that
you've cited, without giving quarter to …
- Ah, no I don't see it's any problem at all. Police have lots of
things they can do to investigate people and it's more all the time
and whenever there's a specific reason to suspect particular people
they can basically get permission to search whatever. So OK, that's
necessary, but beyond that we've got to be careful not to go, and the
digital surveillance society goes far beyond that, there's a tendency
to keep records of everything, check everything. In New York City for
instance a taxi driver told me he had been required to install a
camera which transmits by radio people's faces to the police where
they run face recognition over it.
I don't think that should be
allowed. I don't mind if they have a system that records people's
faces and keeps it for a week in case somebody attacks the taxi
driver, that's not going to do anything to us if we don't attack taxi
drivers. We can make use of surveillance technology in ways that
don't threaten people's rights but we've got to make sure we use them
in those ways.
- How come you can justify people being treated as if they're going
to attack taxi drivers …
- But you see there the point is, those are not looked at unless
there's a crime to investigate and then they get erased if it's done
right, but the way it's actually being done in New York City is
they're sent to the police, and the police keep track of who goes
where, and that's what scares me. Having all the information about
what you do available to the police for years in the past whenever
they want to look. Well part of what I do about this is I don't buy
things with credit cards unless it's something where they demand to
know who I am anyway, I don't use a credit card or any digital method,
I use cash, and that way Big Brother's not making a database of every
place I've been, that I bought anything in, what I bought.
- As a matter of principle, rather than …
- As a matter of principle. It's not an issue of convenience.
- You don't do quite a lot of things actually.
- Yeah, I don't carry a cellphone because I really don't want to be
telling Big Brother where I am all the time, every place I go.
- Is that why?
- Yes, that's why. Well now there's another reason. Today,
cellphones are powerful computers and there's no way to run one
without proprietary software.
- I thought that would be your main reason.
- Actually there is one you can get, although they're not producing
it anymore, it didn't work all that well, it's Mark One. So that's
another issue, but that didn't exist, that issue wasn't there when
cellphones first came out, people didn't install programs in them,
they were just fixed appliances, but they have always raised the issue
that they're constantly saying where you are, and I just don't want to
participate in a system like that, I think people shouldn't. It would
be very convenient for me to have a cellphone, I'm not one of those
people who would, who says “I resent the fact that people can
call me”, it's convenient when people can call me, but I'm not
going to do it that way.
- It's interesting that your battle for Free Software and the issues
of freedom that you identify intersect. They didn't start out being
the same — or did they?
- Well they didn't start out being the same. Pervasive digital
surveillance wasn't a big problem twenty-seven years ago.
- But the people who were in charge were still the people who were
in charge, the people who you identified as the people you didn't want
to see …
- Well actually they're not the same people. Proprietary software's
mostly controlled by various private entities that are developers,
maybe Apple, Microsoft, Adobe, Google, Amazon, they're all
distributing proprietary software.
- I would have thought you'd identify them all as forces of extreme
- Well I'm sorry, when I say extreme capitalism I'm talking about a
philosophy, and that philosophy says “the market should control
everything, everything should be for sale, and business should be
allowed to dominate politics and get the laws it wants”, which
is very different from mere capitalism, which says “within a
society which we set up to protect peoples rights and so on, there are
lots of things that people should be free to do, and make businesses
to do them, as they wish”. That difference is why today's form
of capitalism is running wild and why we see free exploitation
treaties which basically undermine democracy and turn it in to a
- What are you talking about there?
- Well, the so-called Free Trade treaties, which I don't like to
call that, they're designed to transfer power from our governments to
companies. They all do this in one way, which is they let companies
threaten to move to another country, or move their operations; and so
any time the people are demanding that a government protect the
environment, or the public health, or the general standard of living,
or anything else that's more important than just who's going to buy
and sell what, companies can say “we're against this, and if you
do this we'll just move our operations elsewhere” and the
politicians now have a wonderful excuse for why they're not going to
Of course it was they who decided to adopt that treaty in the
first place which they shouldn't have done. But then a lot of these
treaties go beyond that, and they explicitly deny democracy. Now the
US had a law that said it wouldn't sell tuna — you weren't
allowed to sell tuna in the US if it had been caught in a way that
endangered dolphins. Well that law had to be scrapped because of the
World Trade Organization, that's just one example.
- Because it was regarded as a trade barrier.
- Exactly. Then NAFTA, which is between the US, Canada and Mexico,
allows companies to sue the government if they believe some law
reduces their profits; effectively saying the highest value in society
is how much money a company can make, and anything that gets in the
way of that, we owe them.
- Of course, we're in favor of Free Trade here, Richard, because we
rely on it …
- Well I'm not in favor of free trade beyond a certain point. The
people who are in favor of Free Trade say that it can make everyone
more prosperous and that's true up to a point, and that point is where
it starts subverting democracy. But the point of these treaties is
precisely to stretch free trade to the point where it does subvert
democracy. And you can see business think-tanks reporting how they
expect in a few decades governments will have much less control over
what goes on in the world and business will have more control. What
they're predicting is essentially that these treaties will march
- One of the other things you don't do, is you don't drive a car, is
- No, that's not true, I don't own a car. I do have a driver's
- OK, one of the other things you don't do is you don't own a
- Yeah, well that's to save money. I live in a city.
- No philosophy.
- No, I don't think it's wrong to own a car, it's good if we all
drove somewhat less.
- I thought that it was because of the proprietary software in
- Now that's an interesting issue. I have appliances, I have a
microwave oven which might have some proprietary software in it.
- And you fly in planes.
- Yeah. Well I don't own a plane though. I don't boycott everybody
who uses proprietary software. If a company uses proprietary software
I say that's too bad for them, but I'm not going to punish them by
boycotting them, what I will try to do is explain to them why they
deserve to have control over their computing rather than letting
somebody else control their computing.
- What are you going to tell the Library and Information Association
Conference with regard to copyright and community?
- Well, I'm going to explain why copyright law today is an
injustice, because it forbids sharing, and sharing is absolutely
essential. People must be free to share, so the New Zealand Copyright
Law that was adopted about a year ago, and only one of several unjust
things in it was temporarily withdrawn, that went in the wrong
direction, but it was already too restrictive, people must be free to
non-commercially share exact copies of any published work.
- So just let me … how would this work, for a moment? I
write a book, I spend, you know, five years of my life writing a
- Well who knows, maybe you do it in a month.
- Maybe I don't do it in a month.
- The point is, you do it by choice. People wrote books before
there was copyright. I think you're going about this backwards. It's
your choice whether to spend time writing, and the main reason most
writers spend their time writing is because they have something they
say they want to write and they hope people will appreciate it. It's
only a few who get enough money that it starts to corrupt their
- Don't most societies want to, and they don't do it fantastically
efficiently, but to some extent they try to encourage people to
- Oh, I'm all in favor of encouraging people to write.
- Now how would you encourage people to write?
- Well first of all remember that I'm not talking about abolishing
copyright on artistic works, I'm saying that people must be free to
non-commercially share them. Commercial use would still be covered by
copyright as it is now.
- If I can print off a whole book and pass it on, and they pass it
on, pass it on, pass it on, pass it on, as an author I'm not going to
- Well that may be so, or may not be. I've seen people claim that
it's only works that are bestsellers that are likely to sell less,
because remember if you're not a big hit and people pass along copies
what they're doing is getting you more fans. If you're not a
bestseller then what you mainly want commercially is exposure, and
this is a way you'll get more exposure, and without having to pay for
it either, and without having to give control to a company that would
take most of the profits anyway.
- So hang on, the only reason an author would want exposure would be
to increase the sales of their next book.
- Oh no, no no no no no. Only the ones who've been morally
corrupted and are no longer yearning to be read and appreciated,
that's what they start out wanting, and a few, only a few get rich,
and then those few who get rich, when people are paid to do something
that they originally did from pleasure or a yearning, they tend to
start wanting the money more, and the thing that they used to yearn to
do, they want less.
- So if being read and appreciated is what authors want
- Well they start out wanting. Those who have got rich, some of
them want to be rich.
- Well we'll forget about those because you're implying they write
bad books as a consequence.
- No I'm not saying that they're all bad, I'm not making a simple
generalization like that, I say that their feelings have been
corrupted, that doesn't necessarily mean their books are bad, I enjoy
some of them. The point is that that's not a typical author.
- But a typical author you seem to be condemning to even more
- Oh no I'm not, you're mistaken.
- If they cannot sell the book …
- You're mistaken, you're making a projection which people who know
more about this disagree. Cory Doctorow who has been a bestselling
author puts all his works on the net and he doesn't even think he
- So people still go out and buy the hard copy from the shop?
- Yes they do.
- Even though people can pass his book from hand to hand
- They can do that anyway you know with printed books, that's the
motive for e-books. E-books are designed to stop you from doing
things like lending the book to your friend or selling it to a used
bookstore and borrowing it from a public library. They're designed to
turn public libraries into retail outlets. And the reason they do
this is they want to establish a pay-per-read universe. They're
following the twisted logic that says the most important thing is how
much money people pay and everybody who reads had a debt, now owes
money and he has to be made to pay. I think this is entirely twisted
and I'm against it, because the freedom to share must be respected.
But I have other proposals for ways to support artists. And remember
the current system mostly supports corporations, so I don't think it
works very well. And it makes a few authors quite rich, and those get
treated with great deference by the corporations, and the rest
basically get ground into the dust. My proposals — I have two,
and another that combines them — one proposal is support artists
using taxes, it could either be a specific tax on Internet
connectivity or general funds, it wouldn't be a tremendous amount of
money by comparison with other government expenditures, and then you
divide this among artists by measuring their popularity, but you don't
divide it in linear proportion, 'cos if you did that a large portion
of this money would go to making superstars richer and it's not
needed, what I propose is take the cube root of the popularity.
- How do you assess their popularity?
- You could do it with polling.
- How polling? Internet polling?
- All sorts of polling, there's public opinion polling and anything,
use a sample, the point is you don't ask everybody, nobody's required
to participate. But you use a sample, and you use that to measure
- I'm just holding that thought, popularity. You're equating
popularity with merit?
- No I'm not, but I'm saying you don't want bureaucrats to be
deciding who gets these funds. So this is one way, you could do it by
polling, after all the current system bases it on popularity to some
extent. Take the cube root, so if A is a thousand times as popular as
B, A will get ten times as much money as B, so this way it's the
counterpart to a progressive income tax. So this way, yes if you're
tremendously successful you do get more, but you don't get
tremendously more, and most of the money goes to support a large
number of artists of mid-range popularity.
- And tell me again, where does the money come from?
- It comes from taxes. It comes from all of us.
- General taxes.
- Could be general taxes, or a specific special tax. Either way is
- Why don't you just ask people, if you're basing it on popularity,
why don't you just ask people just to send in the money?
- Well that's my other proposal. If every player had a button to
send a dollar I think people would do it often, after all the main
reason we don't do it is how much trouble it is. It's not that you or
I would miss a dollar, I often would be glad to send a dollar to some
artists, but how am I going to do it? I need to use a credit card and
identify myself and I need to find where to send it to them and that's
a lot of work. Well, this button, which I hope would be implemented
in an anonymous way, would take away all the work, it would be totally
painless to send a dollar, and then I think a lot of people would do
- What about getting rid of taxes entirely, and giving us all the
power to direct …
- I'm not against taxes.
- I'm not suggesting you are, but I'm asking you why not?
- Because we need to make sure that rich people pay their fair
share, which is a bigger share than what poor people have to pay, to
keep society going. We need a welfare state, at least at our current
level of technology and the way society works, we need a welfare
state, and the rich shouldn't be exempt from funding it.
- Does it not matter that your popularity contest for artists may
let the rich completely off the hook?
- Well, I'm not sure it matters. Supporting artists is desirable
but it's not a matter of life and death in the same way that giving
poor people food and shelter and medical care is, whether they're
artists or not.
- I don't know, I think that if you look at society it's made up of
all sorts of things that are contingent on one another for the health
of the society.
- Yes, but I don't want to have one answer for every question in
society. I'm not a proponent of a very simplistic political
philosophy, and I hope that that's visible. There are such
- Yes, I'm sure there are. No, God no, I would never ever accuse
you of being an advocate of a simplistic political philosophy :-)
There are people who are totally opposed to copyright and
criticize me for not going far enough, but what I say is that works
whose use is to do practical jobs, these works must be Free in the
sense of the Four Freedoms that define Free Software. You've got to
be free to republish them, to modify them, publish your modified
versions, because this is what the users of the works need in their
lives. But of course there are lots of works that don't, that
contribute to society in other ways, they're not functional practical
Art for instance, the contribution of an artistic work is in the
impact it makes on your mind, not in whatever practical job you might
figure out how to do with it sometime. And then there are works that
state people's opinions and thoughts and what they've seen, which is a
different way that works can contribute to society, and I have
different recommendations for these. But the freedom to
non-commercially share, that must be respected, and that's why the new
New Zealand Copyright Law and the old one were both unjust, and the
purpose of the new one is, specifically the punishing people by
disconnecting them from the Internet, the purpose of that is to stop
people from sharing, and it's wrong to stop people from sharing, so
even if they work out a different way of achieving this unjust goal,
the goal is what's wrong, not only the nasty methods that are, because
only draconian methods can stop people from sharing.
- How do you make your income, if you don't mind me asking?
- From speeches; not all my speeches, a lot of them I give unpaid,
and a lot of them I get paid.
- And that's how you make your income?
- Yes. I don't spend a lot of money.
- And you wouldn't consider that being paid for something you should
share happily? It's a donation.
- I'd generally try to avoid having any admission charges. Once in
a while I do agree to give a speech at a conference where they're
charged people to register but often I will ask them to let the public
in to my speech. So, in general I try to have it open to the public
without charge because I want as many people as possible to come
because I'm working for a cause, after all, and I want to do as much
good as I can for this cause.
- Do you think that you're winning?
- You know, gradually we are. But of course we still have a lot of
opposition, we still have a lot to fight. You know, there's something
else in the New Zealand Copyright Law that was adopted a year ago,
which is unjust, and it prohibits in some cases the distribution of
Free Software that can break digital handcuffs. More and more
products are designed with digital handcuffs, that is features to stop
the user from doing things. So nowadays when I hear about a new
product or a new service my first thought is “what's malicious
in that?”, “how is it designed to restrict what you can
do?”. And these products are very malicious, for instance there
is the Amazon Kindle, it's an e-book reader, and they call it the
Kindle to express what it's designed to do to our books.
- That's not true :-)
- But it does express what it will do with our books. The point is
this product does surveillance, it forces the user to identify herself
to buy a book, and Amazon has a list, knows exactly what everybody has
bought. Then it is also designed to restrict the user, to stop people
from sharing, from lending books to their friends, from selling them
to a used bookstore, and various things that with printed books we can
lawfully do. Even worse, it has a back door, that is Amazon can send
commands remotely and do things to you, we found out about this a few
- Do what to you?
- Well Amazon sent a command to all the Kindles, ordering them to
erase all copies of a particular book, namely 1984 by
George Orwell. Somebody said that they had burned up the year's
supply of irony by choosing that book. So now we know Amazon can
remotely erase your books. Now Amazon, after doing this, promised it
would never do that again, but our freedom to keep a book for as long
as we want, and read it as many times as we want, should not be
dependent on any company's goodwill.
- Where do you get your books from?
- I buy books from bookstores, yes I go to a store and I say
“I want that one”.
- And you hand money over for it? Even though you think that that's
not particularly a good system?
- Well I didn't say that's a bad system.
- Well aren't you handing money over to the corporates rather than
- To a large extent yes, but I'm not going to refuse to buy just
because of that, with books actually typically some of the authors do
get some money. With academic textbooks they generally don't.
- As a matter of interest we've been talking about freedoms,
surveillance and digital monitoring, does the extraordinary rise of
social networking …
- I buy CDs of music as well even though in that case I know the
musicians are not going to get paid, so I'd rather send them some
- OK. And do you?
- I wish I could, I don't have a way, so I try to convince people to
set up the system to make it easy.
- I'm sure they're sending us their addresses as you speak. Very
briefly, the rise of social networking, is that a concern in terms of
privacy for you?
- It is, and I don't use those sites, it's more because I don't have
time, I'm busy doing other things. I don't think social network sites
are necessarily bad but they lead people into foolish activities. So
I think an ethical social network site should warn people, and every
time you connect to it it should warn you, “anything you post
here might get known to the public no matter how you set up settings
about supposed privacy. So if you don't want it published, you
shouldn't say it here.”
- That's a nice warning. Thank you, it's very nice to talk to you
- We didn't even mention ACTA, the secret treaty that New Zealand is
negotiating to restrict its citizens, and they won't; they tell
publishers what's in the text that they're working on, but they won't
tell the public. So the point is that the; many governments,
including of course the US are conspiring in secret to impose new
restrictions on us relating to copyright and part of their latest
propaganda is they call sharing “counterfeiting”.
point is that this treaty will have provisions to restrict the public,
we think, but they won't tell us. This is called Policy Laundering,
this general practice; instead of democratically considering a law,
which means the public gets to know what's being considered, gets to
talk to the legislators, sees how they voted and so on, in secret they
negotiate a treaty and then they come back and they say “we
can't change the treaty and we obviously can't refuse it, so we're all
now, we've just arranged for our country to be stuck with this
- And we may well look at that law in a couple or three weeks