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Stallman joins the Internet, talks net neutrality, patents and more

NetworkWorld - According to Richard Stallman, godfather of the free software movement, Facebook is a “monstrous surveillance engine,” tech companies working for patent reform aren’t going nearly far enough, and parents must lobby their children’s schools to keep data private and provide free software alternatives.

The free software guru touched on a host of topics in his keynote Saturday at the LibrePlanet conference, a Free Software Foundation gathering at the Scala Center at MIT. Excoriating a “plutocratic” corporate culture and warning of severe threats to freedom and privacy around the world, he nevertheless said his own positions on the technology issues of the day had evolved.

....  On Net Neutrality

Stallman dismissed an assertion from the floor that recent changes to Title II rules represented a dangerous increase in government control over the Internet, similar to CISPA or SOPA.

“It’s a mistake to lump them all together, they’re totally different in what they do – that’s like saying ‘there was an unjust law, so don’t pass a law!’”

However, he was critical of the government for not going far enough to protect the ability of users to share.

“It falls short of true network neutrality in that it fails to tell the ISPs that they can’t examine the data to check for unauthorized copying. It fails to tell the ISPs that they can’t punish their customers based on what their customers are transmitting.”