Because the government of EUA finances BSD communities in the development of imperative technologies for intelligence and the Department of Defense (DARPA)?

Polytropon freebsd at
Thu Jul 10 09:15:35 UTC 2014

On Wed, 9 Jul 2014 16:51:33 -0300, françai s wrote:
> 2014-07-09 16:24 GMT-03:00, Polytropon <freebsd at>:
> > On Wed, 9 Jul 2014 16:03:53 -0300, françai s wrote:
> >> Because 90% of open source projects created within Google are BSD
> >> license?
> >
> > Is this per number of projects, per LOC or where does this
> > value come from? Yes, Google is a big contributor, but assuming
> > that 90% of the (existing?) open source projects has been
> > created _by_ Google (or within Google) doesn't look right.
> > Can you provide a source for that number?
> This number comes from a subject posted on FUG-BR ( Group Brazilian of
> Users  FreeBSD) by a university teacher  that perhaps remains FreeBSD
> developer, but it is written in Portuguese from Brazil.

In my opinion, it doesn't seem to be true. Most BSDs are being
developed and maintained by projects that are not part of Google,
especially FreeBSD and OpenBSD share few relations to Google and
can hardly be called "parts of Google".

> >> Because the government of EUA finances BSD communities in the
> >> development of imperative technologies for intelligence and the
> >> Department of Defense (DARPA)?
> >
> > What's EUA? European Union of America? :-)
> U.S.A

Okay, this makes sense. :-)

The government and its defense projects don't usuually finance
BSD communities, or want to be in visible relation with those,
because those communities stand for freedom and governments,
well, typically don't. They can't justify expenses to those
communities without a certain "value", and especially when the
defense sector is involved. They prefer spending money to
service partners who develop technology and knowledge "on demand",
such as the creation of new surveillance technology, obtaining
backdoors in commercial software (operating systems, applications,
industry control, process communication and so on), or creating
partnership with foreign "hacker groups" in order to "outsource"
the policitally unpopular tasks. There are real contracts, real
numbers, real money. BSD communities don't receive any of those.

On the other hand, it's very possible that BSDs are part of
governmental activities, but they usually don't _pay_ for that.
BSDs are free, and they re-appear in closed-source products and
blackboxes, and nobody will find out. The payment goes to those
who repackage BSD in a switch (with hidden "splitter" backdoor
access), a NAS (with hidden "duplication" backdoor), or a WLAN
AP (with hidden "all access" backdoor). That a BSD is part of
this "solution" doesn't matter, and the government doesn't care
for the inner workings, they care about the results, and those
are documented in the advertising material which will never
state that the software that millions of tax dollars will be
spent for is based on something that can be obtained for free.

I can hardly imagine this "community financing" is significant.
It would be interesting to gather information from communities
and foundations to check for governmental donations, but as you
can imagine, governments won't write a $10,000 check with a
note saying "please include backdoor; XX your DoD" to a user
group or foundation. Additionally, they would have used covert
organisations to perform payments that are in no obvious
relation to the government. That's why it's very hard to make
a statement here at all.

> I posted this in freebsd questions mailing list  to read
> all other perspectives.

Regarding licenses, there are plenty perspectives. It's up to
the author to make a choice, and it's probably also up to the
user to agree to a license agreement or not ("EULA"). And it
gets even more complicated in countries where it's legally
debatable if such an agreement is an enforceable contract or
just irrelevant.

> This matter is complicated, I say this because there many 
> linuxers shiites.

In Linux communities, there is a very strong sense of ethics
and responsibility for created software. Licenses like the GPL
do not allow what the BSDL does: turning open source into closed
source. The idea is understandable: If you build upon the work
others did, you have to credit them, and you have to contribute
back when you want to make money with it. (I know, it's a bit
more complicated, but well.) They want to make sure Linux software
doesn't appear on "the market" for $$$ just under a different
name, without sources, but probably with backdoors or whatever
"unpleasant value-added" manufacturers might come up with. This
is what they state in their license.

The BSDL on the other hand says: Do what you want, we don't care,
as long as you properly credit us and don't remove us from the
source code, even when you don't publish it. This is why BSD is
such a popular OS without the world even noticing: Can you imagine
in how many devices there's a BSD running? Honestly, I can't.

And _here_ you can see the potential for abuse, and I said, where
there's potential, there will be abuse, but we will not be aware
of it. Until of course there's a "security breach" in a company
and sourcecode leaks (such as it happened to Adobe some time ago),
and then people could maybe discover that a proprietary product
uses BSD, they have stripped the copyright headers, but kept the
code itself unchanged... It's not impossible.

Please note:

Just because you're prefixing a statement with "Because", it
doesn't become true, even if the second part of a sentence that
usually follows the "Because <reason>, <conclusion>" manner is

Because I'm the ruler of the world, all people have to obey me.

Because I'm the ruler of the world.



Magdeburg, Germany
Happy FreeBSD user since 4.0
Andra moi ennepe, Mousa, ...

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