Why we can’t regulate Google, etc:
Because of useful idiots like @conservancy legitimising them by being sponsored by them.
Me: Google is a surveillance capitalist that makes billions tracking and profiling you. They are a threat to our human rights and democracy. We just regulate them.
Policymaker: you must be mistaken, they’re the good guys. Look, here they are allowed to sponsor CopyLeft Conf with the FSF logo displayed proudly next to theirs.
@stevenroose I still feel a bit lost here, especially seeing companies like Google pop up as re-occurring sponsors for FSF(E) or GNOME Foundation as well. Is it *all* just whitewashing then? Is it a sign that even large entities with pretty much disputable business approaches might support "ethical" things as well? Or is it a sign that most of #SoftwareLibre and #FLOSS, despite all idealism, still has a great funding issue?
@stevenroose @conservancy Yes, it’s a strange assumption that money is influence. So strange that a strange man called Lawrence Lessig coined the term “institutional corruption” to describe it and then, strangely, went on to briefly run for president in the US on this single issue to raise awareness about it.
Honestly, I’m baffled that otherwise intelligent people in our industry have such a hard time understanding corruption and legitimisation.
Whether it should or should not, the fact is that the sponsor and the sponsored both lend each other a bit of their credibility, and accepting money from someone gives the sponsor just a little control over you... the more money, the more control. Because what if you lose that funding in the future?
Just because something is funded by something else doesn't inherently mean it shares the same problems, but it justifies criticism and closer inspection.
@twome @aral @conservancy It's not about me. A policymaker write the law. If they write a law that implies that a company sponsoring free-speech movements is free from suspicion of practices that constrain free speech, the policymaker writes bad policy.
Policy decisions should be based on what a company does, not what events it sponsors.
@0xD @conservancy For the same reason I wouldn’t trust Greenpeace on the environment if it was sponsored by Exxon Mobil or, for that reason, why I don’t trust Mozilla on privacy and human rights when they get hundreds of millions of dollars from Google and other surveillance capitalists.
Integrity isn’t something you assume about an organisation, it’s something they demonstrate by not engaging in bullshit like this.
Some of the foundations not only take Google's money, but also let Google dictate what to do. GNOME has this rule for the Board of Directors:
"Keep confidential discussions private. This includes legal discussions or conversations with the Advisory Board." Google is in the "Advisory" Board.
I don't think Google uses GNOME in any of their products.
But GNOME Desktop has an option to integrate Google services into the desktop environment. For example automatic syncing user's GNOME calendar to their Google calendar. Also it can sync email, contacts, documents, photos and even printers.
Also, GNOME Desktop has native Google Drive integration.
@aral @brainblasted @neoncipher @bob so, keep in mind that Geary was started pretty much as a GMail client **for** GNOME, maintained outside of it (by the now dead Yorba). Its generic IMAP/SMTP support is indeed a bit of an afterthought.
Geary was later adopted by GNOME, and since then Michael has been working hard on making it better.
The issue you link to even states the plan for dropping that Google special preference.
Particularly hilarious when you consider that Yorba's *primary goal* of writing Geary in the first place was to wean people off web mail services by providing a better user experience.
Aral, you know where I stand on this and you know that Geary lists GMail first has nothing to do with some deep corporate conspiracy. So I'd appreciate it if you'd stop shitting on the work that I and other contributors put into the app in our spare time. Thanks.
@mjog @mathieu @brainblasted @neoncipher @bob Yes, Michael, I’m the problem here by criticising legitimisation of surveillance capitalists. I’m not shitting on your work (it’s great work, you’re an amazing developer, I’m in awe), I’m criticising your ethics.
I’ll leave it here. If I had to explain to every person in the mainstream individually why I oppose surveillance capitalists, I would get nothing else done.
@mjog @mathieu @brainblasted @neoncipher @bob It’s clear that GNOME considers Google and other surveillance capitalists to be entirely acceptable. They’re on your advisory board and they have first class support.
It is what it is.
If GNOME opposed surveillance capitalism, there would be privacy warnings and it would try to lead people towards ethical alternatives.
Anyway, like I said, I’m done here.
@bob @aral historically, companies on the advisory board have had very few impact on the direction of the project, as the Foundation only helps with logistics, it doesn't set the direction, takes technical decisions, etc…
This might change now that the Foundation has a developer employee, we will see.
At the same time, companies have much more power by just hiring developers, so the Foundation having its own employee also helps against that.
@aral @mathieu @bob @neoncipher @brainblasted @laura you got go for a regular donation subscription and get your friends to do it. Just like in politics if there are a lot of donors the project gets money. But just like the advisory members, you don't get a say in the technical direction of the project just to be clear.
This is my personal Mastodon.