Boston Linux & UNIX was originally founded in 1994 as part of The Boston Computer Society. We meet on the third Wednesday of each month at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, in Building E51.

Freedom in "the Cloud"? Dr. Richard Stallman (RMS) discusses SOPA, PIPA and more

Date and Time

Thursday, January 19, 2012 from 6:30 pm to 9:00 pm


Colonnade Boston Hotel
Map to Collonade Hotel


The Colonnade Hotel, 120 Huntington Avenue, Boston, Massachusetts


"The Cloud" is now advertising commonplace, but how does it affect you? Some hail it as the technological miracle to solve all your IT problems. Others decry it as the end of security and freedom. Many are just confused. Together, we'll cut through this confusion and separate the technical wheat from the marketing chaff, and learn how to use new technologies to your best advantage and avoid falling into the pitfall of "techno-feudalism". Richard Stallman, founder of the Free Software movement, discusses how we can ensure freedom in the network services we use, and the dangers of relying on proprietary promises. Stallman will talk about how phrases like "the cloud" can be meaningless and counter-productive, and how we need to be aware of the implications on our liberty that certain technical choices can have. We'll also discuss why the pending SOPA and PIPA legislation will destroy the stability and freedom of the Internet, why this is bad for your personal computing but also bad for your business and what action you can take to defeat these proposed laws. Richard Stallman launched the free software movement in 1983 and started the development of the GNU operating system (see in 1984. GNU is free software: everyone has the freedom to copy it and redistribute it, with or without changes. The GNU/Linux system, basically the GNU operating system with Linux added, is used on tensof millions of computers today. Stallman has received the ACM Grace Hopper Award, a MacArthur Foundation fellowship, the Electronic Frontier Foundation's Pioneer Award, and the the Takeda Award for Social/Economic Betterment, as well as several honorary doctorates. Nick Mailer is a veteran Free and Open Source software evangelist, co-founder of The Positive Internet Company, and the author in 1994 of one of the first books to outline the power of the web to transform society. Mailer will share his experience providing managed services for major organizations by giving tips and tricks to stay safe and secure in "the cloud", including how to cut through misleading hype. Nick will detail how the benefits of using Free and Open technologies are not simply ethical, but are essential for long-term commercial vitality, especially in "cloud"-based systems.


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