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Proprietary Insecurity

Other examples of proprietary malware

Nonfree (proprietary) software is very often malware (designed to mistreat the user). Nonfree software is controlled by its developers, which puts them in a position of power over the users; that is the basic injustice. The developers often exercise that power to the detriment of the users they ought to serve.

It is incorrect to compare free software with a fictitious idea of proprietary software as perfect, but the press often implicitly does that whenever a security hole in a free program is discovered. The examples below show that proprietary software isn't perfect, and is often quite sloppy.

It would be equally incorrect to compare proprietary software with a fictitious idea of free software as perfect. Every nontrivial program has bugs, and any system, free or proprietary, may have security flaws. To err is human, and not culpable. But proprietary software developers frequently disregard gaping holes, or even introduce them deliberately. In any case, they keep users helpless to fix any security problems that arise. Keeping the users helpless is what's culpable about proprietary software.

This page lists clearly established cases of insecurity in proprietary software that has grave consequences or is otherwise noteworthy.

If you know of an example that ought to be in this page but isn't here, please write to <webmasters@gnu.org> to inform us. Please include the URL of a trustworthy reference or two to serve as specific substantiation.


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