[Freedom-misc] Is golang fully free

J.B. Nicholson jbn at forestfield.org
Sat Mar 14 21:48:52 CET 2020

andyprough at protonmail.com wrote:
> Everything looks legit to my non-expert eyes.
> Of course, it's Google, so there's always the chance that we'll find out in 5 years 
> from Edward Snowden that it's got some nefarious PRISM-style booby traps on behalf of 
> the NSA or the Chinese government (or both). Burn me once, shame on you google, burn 
> me twice, shame on me.

That's part of the benefit of free software -- we're all free to thoroughly inspect 
the complete source code, get others we trust to do that inspection on our behalf 
(even commercially), and end up running code we can trust. The limits of how much one 
can trust free software speaks to how much effort one puts into investigating that 
trustworthiness (in other words, the limits are on you not the developer or distributor).

With free software we never need to fall back on vague identity-based claims of 
wrongdoing ("it's Google, so...") which are often all we have to go on with non-free 
(proprietary) software. There's no magic which Google or any other developer could 
employ which would somehow render vetted and trustworthy source code to be 
untrustworthy. We can do so much better with free software: Some developers put 
effort into vetting the entire compilation chain and bootstrapping their computers 
with free vetted code as well.

Proprietary software is never trustworthy and free software can earn one's trust.

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