[Assist] Fwd: Re: Telegram & Non-Free SaaSS

Brett Gilio brettg at posteo.net
Sun Jul 15 21:13:29 BST 2018

bill-auger writes:

> an email message from RMS regarding his opinion on the 
> 'telegram-desktop' program was forwarded recently to the 
> parabola mailing list[1] - i would like to ask dr stallman a 
> follow-up question
> firstly, let me say that the telegram service could easily be
> considered to be a SaaSS because GNU-ring (and many others) can
> accomplish every task that telegram can (and more) without any
> proprietary mediator - indeed, this requires all peers to 
> operate as a
> server; but at least that server is free software and is running 
> on
> your machine; and the remote servers that you interact with are
> presumably operated by semi-trusted personal acquaintances who 
> are
> presumably running that same free software server on their 
> machines -
> so perhaps, by its nature of being a service, it is not 
> precisely a
> substitute for passive software; but it is clearly a proprietary
> remote substitute service for a free software service that could 
> be
> running on your own machine - perhaps a new acronym should be 
> coined:
> PSaaFSS - Proprietary Service as a Free Service Substitute

Not only ring, but also older technologies like XMPP.

> that aside, the important concern that i would like to address 
> is this: even if the telegram service is not a substitute for 
> your own computing, and therefore the free client should not be 
> judged on the merits of the proprietary server; still, the 
> service itself should be judged by the same sort of "ethical" 
> criteria as code forges such as github and media hosts such as 
> youtube - this has been discussed on IRC and i was told that the 
> telegram server routinely sends minified javascript to the 
> client to be executed - i have not verified this, but i would 
> like to ask dr stallman: if that could be shown to be indeed how 
> it operates, wouldn't that cross the line you have drawn here? - 
> would it make a difference if those minified scripts were 
> intrinsic to it's core functionality; or something optional that 
> could theoretically be removed from the free client without 
> breaking it, but is yet to be removed? - even if that were 
> acceptable, and the obvious privacy concerns aside, the service 
> would not be considered to be very "ethical" by the same 
> standards being applied to code forges; so users should be 
> discouraged from using such a service just as any others setting 
> "the javascript trap" - yes?
> i ask because this scenario is not peculiar to this one program 
> - it
> has graced the door of parabola before and surely will again in 
> the
> form of some "integrated" webby things of tomorrow - that the 
> new
> buzz-word euphemism as i hear it for putting javascript on the
> desktop: its "integrated"

I'll put together a response message to RMS to follow up, and i'll 
it to you on the list before sending it to him. I will also Cc the 
in my message to him. Does that sound okay?

Brett M. Gilio
Free Software Foundation, Member
https://parabola.nu | https://emacs.org

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