Richard Stallman: “Facebook is a Monstrous Surveillance Engine”

If you want to have the possibility of some privacy someday, you’d better join the fight now, because now a bunch of other people are joining the fight. Now is the moment when you can make a difference. If you wait until the day you wish you had some privacy and only then try to do something…well, that day you will be one of a few people doing it and that won’t be enough. You’ve got to help make a critical mass when other people are doing it – and that’s now.

We call Windows 8.1 ‘Windows PRISM Edition’ because it’s designed to require people to send data to Microsoft servers, and of course, Microsoft will hand over any of that data to the US government on request. It puts the users in PRISM.

– Richard Stallman in the interview embedded below

If you don’t know who Richard Stallman, aka RMS is, it’s time to to get up to speed. I can’t think of a better way to do that than by watching the video interview below. He starts off explaining why he doesn’t own a mobile phone (it can continue to listen to you even when it’s turned off), and then goes on to answer almost every technology question imaginable to a layperson. Definitely worth the time.



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  1. Richard Stallman added a middle finger to the NSA in his Emacs software:

  2. This is hilarious. I do possess a Facebook account, I posted this link to my ‘page’… and moments later, responding to a gold debate between friends, the ‘sponsored’ contractor Craft International showed up on my stream. Yea, I’ll be done with Facebook for a while… maybe forever.

  3. he is saying “prism” NOT “prison”. that woman is a TWIT.

  4. Stallman is a giant, and a heroic pioneer, in the history of open-source software. Nice to see him getting some press, here. Viva RMS!

  5. About 2 months ago, I decided I would download my Facebook data and possibly cancel my account. After watching this video, I went ahead and did it. Boy, it felt great giving the middle finger to FB and the corporate/govt Stasi. Although I am aware that G+/Skydrive etc are just as compromised, FB is the 800lb gorilla in the room that is king of krap on many levels… from conditioning us to not value privacy to assisting the NSA. Bye buy Zuckerjerk!

  6. Is it even possible to create a social site that can offer forms of communication between users without the unnecessary bloatware in this world. Since it all depends on the server locations and laws. I do believe that many people who hate fb for what it is would switch to that.

  7. I don’t think many people still intuitively understand what’s going on…. they have been conditioned to accept giving up privacy and to fear ‘terror’ etc. That said, 2013 has been a good year for encryption, and I think client side encryption is going to be a big part of the wired world starting now. Maybe the next big social network will be a fully encrypted version of something like Google+ where nothing is unencrypted on the server. That of course, kills their profit model which has the people-customer themselves as ‘product’. The service needs to be the product that means it can’t be free IMO. Micropayments with Bitcoin or similar are probably the way to do it. Everyone’s content can be monetized this way and real journalism, creativity, and talent can be immediately rewarded. I don’t expect ANY of these corps to willingly drop the advertising model for revenue, so we’ll have to leave them behind.

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