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Re: [gNewSense-users] Non-Free Firmware

From: Quiliro Ordóñez
Subject: Re: [gNewSense-users] Non-Free Firmware
Date: Wed, 27 May 2009 15:39:27 -0500

2009/5/27 Sam Geeraerts <address@hidden>
Brian Kemp schreef:

I have realized  BCM 4312 uses non-free firmware. Is it a good idea to
install non-free firmware while I can get the owner a wireless card with a
fully libre driver?

(I am not the official gNewSense party line)

The firmware runs on the device, not the host CPU. Generally those
devices don't spy on you or do other nefarious things but know you are
not going to be in full control of it.

I can't think of any known situations where non-free *firmware*
running on a device's CPU caused a security problem or data
compromise. I *can* think of some where non-free *drivers* running on
the *host* CPU did. (nvidia drivers had a glyph rendering bug; remote
ownership was possible.)

Free software is not just a matter of security.

As a temporary measure until you can get a better piece of hardware?
Probably fine.
It's not a good permanent solution and you should replace the hardware.

The official gNewSense party line is that it is not a good idea to install non-free firmware [1]. We have gone through a lot of effort (and still are) to keep it out of the operating system. Suggesting non-free software is not a solution and belittles the work we are doing.

Also, temporary measures have a way of becoming permanent when the fulfillment of short term goals diminishes the need or the will to change.



Quiliro Ordóñez
593(02)340 1517 / 593(09)821 8696
"Sólo cuando el último árbol esté muerto, el último río envenenado, y el último pez atrapado, nos daremos cuenta que no se puede comer dinero"

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