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posted by Dopefish on Thursday February 20 2014, @07:30AM   Printer-friendly [Skip to comment(s)]
from the penguins-everywhere dept.

An anonymous coward writes "Former cypherpunk shares his conspiratorial view on Linux security:

Since then, more has happened to reveal the true story here, the depth of which surprised even me. The GTK development story and the systemd debate on Debian revealed much corporate pressure being brought to bear in Linux. [...] Some really startling facts about Red Hat came to light. For me the biggest was the fact that the US military is Red Hat's largest customer:

"When we rolled into Baghdad, we did it using open source," General Justice continued. "It may come as a surprise to many of you, but the U.S. Army is 'the' single largest install base for Red Hat Linux. I'm their largest customer." (2008)

This is pretty much what I had figured. I'm not exactly new to this, and I figured that in some way the military-industrial/corporate/intelligence complex was in control of Red Hat and Linux. [...] But I didn't expect it to be stated so plainly. Any fool should realize that "biggest customer" doesn't mean tallest or widest, it means the most money. In other words, most of Red Hat's money comes from the military and, as a result, they have significant pull in its development. In that respect, the connection between the military and spying agencies, etc. should be obvious.

Next, the FOSDEM: NSA Operation ORCHESTRA Annual Status Report is well worth watching in its entirety (including the Q&A at the end). To me, this turned out to be a road-map detailing how Red Hat is operating on Linux!"

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State of the Site: 02/23/2014 108 comments
Well, we've survived our first week as a functional website, and have yet to go belly up because of it. The speed and growth of our community is staggering to say the least, and we are working hard to get this site fully operational. I'm pleased to announce that a development VM is now available for public consumption, and if you're interested in site development, one should join us in #dev on irc.soylentnews.org. Beyond that though, I've got a few points to address on and updated statistics to share ...
Red Hat Courts Developers with Software Giveaways 33 comments

Red Hat, Inc. has announced that it is trialling a price reduction—to nothing—for its software, in an apparent effort to attract developers.

The Raleigh, North Carolina company is offering its Red Hat Enterprise Linux operating system, formerly priced at $99, to those who provide their details at http://developers.redhat.com/. It is also offering its JBoss Middleware and other software at no charge.

When the submitter visited the site, the company was promoting an upcoming video stream showing a "sneak peek of .NET on Red Hat Enterprise Linux."

The story was reported by The Register (via CloudFlare, archived copy here), SD Times , Network World , BetaNews and ZDNet.

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  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by maxwell demon on Thursday February 20 2014, @07:40AM

    by maxwell demon (1608) Subscriber Badge on Thursday February 20 2014, @07:40AM (#3250) Journal

    Since when does being the largest user/customer equate in having control over it?

    (And BTW, when posting directly to a story, it would be nice to have the story shown above the comment edit box)

    --
    The Tao of math: The numbers you can count are not the real numbers.
    • (Score: 1) by Kira on Thursday February 20 2014, @07:46AM

      by Kira (1868) on Thursday February 20 2014, @07:46AM (#3253)

      Agreed - it's one hell of a leap to go from "the military is (or was in 2003) the largest Red Hat customer" to "the intelligence community is secretly pulling the strings on Linux."

    • (Score: 1, Insightful) by crutchy on Thursday February 20 2014, @07:48AM

      by crutchy (179) on Thursday February 20 2014, @07:48AM (#3254) Homepage Journal

      since always

      money talks

    • (Score: 4, Insightful) by Eunuchswear on Thursday February 20 2014, @11:12AM

      by Eunuchswear (525) on Thursday February 20 2014, @11:12AM (#3343) Journal

      More to the point, if the US Army is going to run on Linux since when is it in their interest to have Linux be easily crackable by their enemies.

      Can we have some paranoia about TOR being written by US Naval Intelligence please.

      --
      Watch this Heartland Institute video [youtube.com]
      • (Score: 1) by pteros on Friday February 21 2014, @04:01PM

        by pteros (1900) on Friday February 21 2014, @04:01PM (#4388)

        More to the point, if the US Army is going to run on Linux since when is it in their interest to have Linux be easily crackable by their enemies.

        Because knowing the vulnerabilities beforehand gives you the competitive edge over adversaries and you might want to have it rather than having a level-playing field.

        For US, with by epic margin the largest military budget, this seems logical.

    • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Angry Jesus on Thursday February 20 2014, @02:54PM

      by Angry Jesus (182) on Thursday February 20 2014, @02:54PM (#3471)

      Since when does being the largest user/customer equate in having control over it?

      The missing number is how much of a percentage of RedHat's business is the DoD?

      They could be something like 5% and still be the single largest customer as long as none of the other customers are individually more than 4.99%.

    • (Score: 2, Informative) by SMI on Thursday February 20 2014, @03:30PM

      by SMI (333) on Thursday February 20 2014, @03:30PM (#3502)

      "Since when does being the largest user/customer equate in having control over it?"

      Not saying that this is the case here, but I've heard [nybooks.com] more than once [nea.org] that the state of Texas, for example, is the nations largest buyer of K-12 school textbooks. As such, they hold a lot of sway when it comes to determining what goes into those textbooks and what stays out, not just for the state of Texas, but for the entire nation.

      A quick search for Texas schoolbooks yields further examples.

  • (Score: 5, Informative) by Dopefish on Thursday February 20 2014, @07:53AM

    by Dopefish (12) on Thursday February 20 2014, @07:53AM (#3256)

    ... in regards to the Red Hat / US Army collaboration, I would refer to this PDF, which I found after some digging around on-line straight from the main redhat.com website.

    http://www.redhat.com/pdf/success/Army_PERMS.pdf [redhat.com]

    • (Score: 1) by SGT CAPSLOCK on Thursday February 20 2014, @08:04AM

      by SGT CAPSLOCK (118) on Thursday February 20 2014, @08:04AM (#3258) Journal

      Man, Dopefish. Ever thought about playing Minecraft? You're awfully good at digging up relevant info, maybe it works on diamonds too! :p

      • (Score: 1) by Dopefish on Thursday February 20 2014, @08:16AM

        by Dopefish (12) on Thursday February 20 2014, @08:16AM (#3260)

        Glad you asked. I have a Minecraft server if you want to join on it some time. Might even make it the official SoylentNews server too. :)

        • (Score: 4, Funny) by SGT CAPSLOCK on Thursday February 20 2014, @08:34AM

          by SGT CAPSLOCK (118) on Thursday February 20 2014, @08:34AM (#3266) Journal

          A Soylent community Minecraft server might be kind of interesting. I'm almost a little afraid to think about the things people might build... :p

          • (Score: 1) by Geotti on Friday February 21 2014, @03:44AM

            by Geotti (1146) on Friday February 21 2014, @03:44AM (#4050) Journal

            Why be afraid?

            We'd all be building beowulf clusters of laser sharks covered in hot grits.

      • (Score: 1) by quadrox on Thursday February 20 2014, @01:19PM

        by quadrox (315) on Thursday February 20 2014, @01:19PM (#3406)

        I don't mean to play down anyone or anything here, but the document doesn't really add anything new to the discussion, does it?

  • (Score: 2, Informative) by SGT CAPSLOCK on Thursday February 20 2014, @08:01AM

    by SGT CAPSLOCK (118) on Thursday February 20 2014, @08:01AM (#3257) Journal

    Whoa, Red Hat! So they're still around? Good for them, good for them...

    Anyway, I don't think that this is the huge revelation that the submitter wants it to be! It can be spun as something really malevolent, sure, but it all boils down to this: these guys needed an operating system which would best suit their needs, and they found one.

    As for systemd, etc; well, this is the first time I've heard of corporate influence being the reason for its widespread adaptation. And whether or not it's true is completely irrelevant, since I use openrc and you can too!

    • (Score: 1) by weilawei on Thursday February 20 2014, @05:18PM

      by weilawei (109) Subscriber Badge on Thursday February 20 2014, @05:18PM (#3575) Homepage

      Yes, they're still around, and by the numbers [ieee.org], they're paying the bills. They're also in control of the largest single chunk sign-offs for patches.

      If the military is the #1 paying customer for the #1 gatekeeper for patches to Linux, what does that say about their influence over Linux? Hrm...

  • (Score: 1) by frink on Thursday February 20 2014, @08:18AM

    by frink (461) on Thursday February 20 2014, @08:18AM (#3261)

    That article is far too long. Would somebody mind awfully writing a nice summary for me?

    Or was he just pointing out that, oh gee, as things develop they gain functionality and complexity?

    • (Score: 5, Funny) by SGT CAPSLOCK on Thursday February 20 2014, @08:32AM

      by SGT CAPSLOCK (118) on Thursday February 20 2014, @08:32AM (#3265) Journal

      SGT CAPSLOCK writes in with this new article summary: "Evil mega-corporation named Red Hat (possibly more evil than Haliburton and J.C. Penney combined) only had to be asked once before agreeing to take part in the US Military's secret plot to compromise ALL OF LINUX ..."

    • (Score: 4, Interesting) by evilviper on Thursday February 20 2014, @10:32AM

      by evilviper (1760) on Thursday February 20 2014, @10:32AM (#3315) Homepage Journal

      That article is far too long. Would somebody mind awfully writing a nice summary for me?

      Or was he just pointing out that, oh gee, as things develop they gain functionality and complexity?

      Not at all. His position is quite simple really... He is convinced that every time a Linux-related project (KDE, GNOME, udisks2, udev, etc.) makes changes he doesn't like (whether in principle or in practice--he maintains a file manager), it's always part of a massive corporate/government conspiracy. The conspiracy's goal is either to try and backdoor Linux directly, or it's an attempt to frustrate users into switching to Windows or one of Google's platforms, so they can be easily manipulated and exploited there.

      That's not a exaggeration.

      I gave a lengthier summary over here:
      http://soylentnews.org/comments.pl?sid=172&cid=330 4 [soylentnews.org]

      I know a few people with several different degrees of schizophrenia, and I can say with confidence that he is in-need of medication.

      --
      Hydrogen cyanide is a delicious and necessary part of the human diet.
    • (Score: 4, Interesting) by turonah on Thursday February 20 2014, @10:47AM

      by turonah (2317) on Thursday February 20 2014, @10:47AM (#3325)

      The author is outlining their past work with cryptography (giving their credentials, really), and what they perceive to be constant and repeated attacks on the security of the Linux core. With everything regarding NSA lately, and the fact that Red Hat's largest customer is the US military, the author is saying that the attempts to compromise the security could be a deliberate move from the government TLAs.

      With no proof to back them up, it's all conjecture of course, but then almost every government wants a back door into all secure connections. NSA especially has been connected to this kind of thing before (https://www.schneier.com/blog/archives/2013/09/th e_nsa_is_brea.html [schneier.com]). Unlikely? Maybe, but not as far-fetched perhaps as it seems at first glance, IMHO.

  • (Score: 2, Informative) by Lagg on Thursday February 20 2014, @09:03AM

    by Lagg (105) on Thursday February 20 2014, @09:03AM (#3274) Homepage Journal

    Guys, AC submitter included, slow the fuck down. The military buys a lot of support tickets for RHEL from red hat, therefore they are pulling strings in its development and systemd is really a conspiracy? Really? Really?!

    I don't understand why people are trying so hard to attribute systemd's success and adoption as a conspiracy or government scheme. Why is it so difficult to believe it's just technically superior? It's asynchronous, the service file syntax is simple .ini absent of boilerplate typical in sysvinit, the level of granularity in journal browsing and the associated metadata is awesome. Yes it can do with some improvement in the decoupling area but I don't doubt there are things going on to make that happen, it is an open project after all. As for the journal files being binary, who gives a damn? journalctl will happily spit out anything you ask for in plain text which can be easily piped to other tools. Just like you do piping to grep and such. And using a binary file format does NOT mean that it's suddenly "OH NOES WINDOWS EVENT VIEWER". Many, many unix tools use binary formats for many things (remember dbm, as just one example). These are the only potentially valid complaints I've seen, the rest are attempts at favoring politics over technical superiority. And that's just not cool when you're dealing with an init system.

    Seriously, this is getting pathetic. Almost to the point that I'm forming theories as to why the submitter was anonymous. The military using linux has been a known thing almost since shortly after linux became popular. It's such a huge insult to Red Hat to claim that they're bending over a barrel for the military with no proof beyond documents they themselves made available without issue.

    --
    http://lagg.me [lagg.me] 🗿
    • (Score: 2, Interesting) by Dopefish on Thursday February 20 2014, @09:11AM

      by Dopefish (12) on Thursday February 20 2014, @09:11AM (#3278)

      Hi Lagg! I very much appreciate your counterpoint to AC's submission. I don't see anything particularly nefarious with systemd's rise in use within Linux distributions, Red Hat or RHEL notwithstanding. With the open development process that the Linux kernel and most of the userland is subjected to, it can be rather difficult to quantify a government conspiracy. Still, I felt it was important to hear out what AC had in mind and I hope it didn't rustle too many jimmies in the process.

      • (Score: 2) by Lagg on Thursday February 20 2014, @09:18AM

        by Lagg (105) on Thursday February 20 2014, @09:18AM (#3282) Homepage Journal
        You probably rustled jimmies. But that's okay, sometimes opinions need to be brought forth. Especially if they're wrong so that they can be defeated thoroughly and proven demonstrably false to avoid such things in the future. You did good here, and stuff like this is arguably what will make SN better than slashdot. It reminds me of how slashdot used to be, with editors being the gatekeepers of facts and proofreading. Not judges.
        --
        http://lagg.me [lagg.me] 🗿
    • (Score: 1) by arachnist on Thursday February 20 2014, @10:35AM

      by arachnist (172) on Thursday February 20 2014, @10:35AM (#3316)

      There's one other issue with journald - it seems to miss some entries if you send messages to it fast enough.

    • (Score: 5, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 20 2014, @01:13PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 20 2014, @01:13PM (#3402)

      What success? How many people switched to systemd because they wanted systemd? I was there when Arch Linux decided to force people to switch to systemd - and I write "force", because that's what it was. The official announcement said that it was due to lack of volunteers to maintain initscripts, after which they proceeded to ban anyone from the forums who even hinted at volunteering to maintain initscripts.

      Who gives a damn about log files being binary? I'll tell you who - cat, vi, grep and all the others. You know, the whole range of unix tools. And no, journalctl will NOT happily spit out anything in plain text. Not when you need it the most, when some major system component like journalctl keeps crashing, and the kernel keeps spitting out log messages (that go to said binary log) telling wtf went wrong.

      No, many unix tools do not use binary files. A few do, and they all have one thing in common. They are not a necessary part of the system. Sendmail is one example of such a tool, but when the system is down, sendmail is not the first thing you care about. Find out why the system is down (check the log), get it back up and running, and then worry about sendmail when said binary tools are working again. Nobody ever suggested replacing syslogd with sendmail, because that would be stupid. It still is.

      When you say that using a binary format does not mean that it's suddenly Windows Event Viewer, you need to realise that the Windows Event Viewer comparison is not about the GUI or whatever you think it is. It's about a log that needs a special program to show it, a log that can't be read with notepad or vi or awk. And that is exactly what the systemd log format is, according to their own documentation. Saying that its not like Windows Event Viewer, IS saying that it's all plain text, and contradictory to the rest of your argument.

      Systemd is everything that for some of us were the reason we did not choose Windows or OSX. And if you want to argue that we are wrong for not wanting to use systemd for the same reasons, you are not just arguing for systemd. You are arguing for switching to OSX or Windows.

      • (Score: 3, Insightful) by DarkMorph on Thursday February 20 2014, @02:20PM

        by DarkMorph (674) on Thursday February 20 2014, @02:20PM (#3444)
        I'd like to leave this [ewontfix.com] here, since no one else has yet.

        I still run Gentoo where systemd is an option that isn't enabled by default. OpenRC and initscripts - I'm quite content with them. I also use Arch Linux at work which, of course, has systemd. So far what I've noticed that bugs me is that sometimes the journal daemon will just consume one CPU core to 100% for a short time and I don't see any distinct reason as to why that is.

        I also was a little frustrated when certain mechanisms I have with rc-update apparently don't exist with systemctl. And yes, I've done man systemctl to check.
      • (Score: 1) by minus9 on Thursday February 20 2014, @03:17PM

        by minus9 (1232) on Thursday February 20 2014, @03:17PM (#3485)

        Sendmail's config files aren't binary, they might look like they are...

        Some of the text files are converted to Berkley DB to speed things up.

      • (Score: 3, Interesting) by Lagg on Thursday February 20 2014, @04:36PM

        by Lagg (105) on Thursday February 20 2014, @04:36PM (#3559) Homepage Journal

        What success? How many people switched to systemd because they wanted systemd? I was there when Arch Linux decided to force people to switch to systemd - and I write "force", because that's what it was. The official announcement said that it was due to lack of volunteers to maintain initscripts, after which they proceeded to ban anyone from the forums who even hinted at volunteering to maintain initscripts.

        I've been using Arch since around 2005 and I consider systemd one of the best decisions ever made. My server downtime is reduced significantly and maintenance as a whole when adding/removing services is much safer feeling. No one is forcing you to do anything, there are probably no less than 8 init packages on AUR. As for "banning anyone" I'm guessing that you really mean "banning me" and by volunteering to maintain initscripts I'm guessing you mean "because I was being a flaming jackass". Granted, I will reconsider this position if you link to proof. I would sure as hell want to know if this is happening as I don't want to support such activity.

        Who gives a damn about log files being binary? I'll tell you who - cat, vi, grep and all the others. You know, the whole range of unix tools. And no, journalctl will NOT happily spit out anything in plain text. Not when you need it the most, when some major system component like journalctl keeps crashing, and the kernel keeps spitting out log messages (that go to said binary log) telling wtf went wrong.

        journalctl --boot | grep -i "session opened for user root" | vi -

        Could optimize that, but not the point. I've never had journalctl segfault on me on any install so far. Not that I'm dismissing the possibility. But that's hardly an argument against it. Things get bugs, and they'll be fixed.

        No, many unix tools do not use binary files. A few do, and they all have one thing in common. They are not a necessary part of the system. Sendmail is one example of such a tool, but when the system is down, sendmail is not the first thing you care about. Find out why the system is down (check the log), get it back up and running, and then worry about sendmail when said binary tools are working again. Nobody ever suggested replacing syslogd with sendmail, because that would be stupid. It still is.

        Try again, sendmail is not the only thing that used dbm by far and it only used it for caching. It was otherwise m4.

        When you say that using a binary format does not mean that it's suddenly Windows Event Viewer, you need to realise that the Windows Event Viewer comparison is not about the GUI or whatever you think it is. It's about a log that needs a special program to show it, a log that can't be read with notepad or vi or awk. And that is exactly what the systemd log format is, according to their own documentation. Saying that its not like Windows Event Viewer, IS saying that it's all plain text, and contradictory to the rest of your argument.

        When did I say it has anything to do with the GUI? I wouldn't glorify such comparisons to such an extent. What it really is is a knee-jerk reaction. The similarities to event viewer begin and end at the fact that log data isn't plain text. People such as yourself use that as ammo to say "but now I can't read it with vi or awk D:" which is entirely false. People have since forever piped log data, regardless of source, through multiple programs before getting output. That is still easily done with journalctl but with added filtering due to the record metadata.

        Systemd is everything that for some of us were the reason we did not choose Windows or OSX. And if you want to argue that we are wrong for not wanting to use systemd for the same reasons, you are not just arguing for systemd. You are arguing for switching to OSX or Windows.

        Huh... That is sure a leap of logic. Are you perhaps the submitter?

        --
        http://lagg.me [lagg.me] 🗿
      • (Score: 1) by Subsentient on Thursday February 20 2014, @07:12PM

        by Subsentient (1111) on Thursday February 20 2014, @07:12PM (#3642) Homepage Journal
        Here's my card [universe2.us], let me know when you're ready to talk.
        --
        Trying is the first step towards failure. -The Click
    • (Score: 2, Insightful) by knorthern knight on Friday February 21 2014, @12:58AM

      by knorthern knight (967) on Friday February 21 2014, @12:58AM (#3933)

      So systemd boots up 2 seconds faster... whoop dee do. Linux is not Windows 95, so the average user is not rebooting a dozen times a day. But Redhat doesn't give a flying f*** about the average user. They only care about themselves. Redhat does cloud computing http://www.redhat.com/solutions/open-hybrid-cloud/ [redhat.com] How do they handle spikes in demand? There are 2 options...
      1) Run extra VMs idling 24x7, just in case, which uses up electricity, and increases their power bill at the data centre
      2) Run with fewer extra VMs, but rewrite the init system entirely to shave a couple of seconds off the boot time

      They go with option 2. It may not sound like much, but when you're handling that many VMs at the data centre, it does make a difference. Rather than running idle VMs, they get by with fewer VMs and use systemd to allow new VMs to spin up a couple of seconds faster. And if it imposes difficulties on average home users, too effing bad.

      • (Score: 2) by Lagg on Friday February 21 2014, @03:32AM

        by Lagg (105) on Friday February 21 2014, @03:32AM (#4044) Homepage Journal

        anthony@frontline ~ % systemd-analyze blame
                  4.663s netctl@main.service
                  4.296s mysqld.service
                  3.456s systemd-fsck-root.service
                  2.703s systemd-logind.service
                  2.511s systemd-vconsole-setup.service
                  2.384s systemd-modules-load.service
                  1.768s systemd-fsck@dev-disk-by\x2duuid-8e71def0\x2dcd0f\ x2d4253\x2d8a57\x2d9f1b17704626.service
                  1.454s systemd-binfmt.service
                  1.390s dev-mqueue.mount
                  1.292s sys-kernel-debug.mount
                  1.267s dev-hugepages.mount
                  1.136s systemd-tmpfiles-setup-dev.service
                  1.002s proc-sys-fs-binfmt_misc.mount
                   764ms systemd-udev-trigger.service
                   603ms smbd.service
                   566ms nmbd.service
                   444ms systemd-sysctl.service
                   331ms systemd-journal-flush.service
                   244ms openntpd.service
                   188ms systemd-user-sessions.service
                   145ms systemd-remount-fs.service
                   116ms sshdgenkeys.service
                    91ms systemd-udevd.service
                    67ms systemd-tmpfiles-setup.service
                    64ms systemd-update-utmp.service
                    31ms dev-disk-by\x2duuid-6337734b\x2d7cb0\x2d48d0\x2d8c ac\x2d1f310de45052.swap
                    20ms home.mount
                    14ms winbindd.service
                     3ms systemd-tmpfiles-clean.service
                     1ms tmp.mount
                     1ms sys-kernel-config.mount

        and this is my fairly unoptimized setup, a friend of mine is reporting 7 seconds because he bypassed netctl. You must live in a universe where seconds are longer, because here in Earth A we don't exactly call a 75% improvement woopty-do material. Can we stop with the "It's all Red Hat's fault." stuff? Next you'll be telling me Red Hat is just pulling strings in Arch. Oh wait... That's what you and the AC already did implicitly! Nevermind.

        --
        http://lagg.me [lagg.me] 🗿
  • (Score: 4, Interesting) by janrinok on Thursday February 20 2014, @09:47AM

    by janrinok (52) Subscriber Badge on Thursday February 20 2014, @09:47AM (#3297) Journal

    We've long been complaining that the 'other' big OS has cornered the market in government contracts etc. This proves that, when it comes down to getting a job done at a fair price, Linux is every bit as good a contender. I wish more government departments, of many nations, would realise that they can save taxpayers' money by using Linux. France has already converted half of the Gendarmerie Nationale to Linux and will have finished the conversion, I believe, next year. They have saved millions of euros by doing so. The US military has made the same discovery, as has the UK military, and is converting to Linux where possible. There are similar stories in many European nations and around the world.

    This is a good force to have behind Linux. There will be support for Linux not only until at least the end of these current contracts but I suspect far into the future. But I've got some bad news for the doom and gloom merchants, though. Linux has been use by the nasty military for operations that have resulted in people being killed for quite some time. Get used to it. It is also being used in hospitals to help provide a better service to patients, it is being used in research to find new medicines, it is being used to solve difficult problems, to help forecast the weather, to improve the logistical distribution of a myriad of items, in CERN's research projects, and so the list goes on.

    No-one is worried about the health service, research laboratories, CERN or meteorological offices having an influence on how Linux is developed. The military is just another customer, although a very big one in this instance.

    I hope that I see a lot more stories on this theme!

    --
    It's always my fault...
  • (Score: 3, Insightful) by gallondr00nk on Thursday February 20 2014, @10:01AM

    by gallondr00nk (392) on Thursday February 20 2014, @10:01AM (#3302)

    It's a koan I always think of whenever I read something like this. Everyone spins their own perception, but with conspiratorial types they often seem to find evidence in *everything*, and they're always on the losing side of a deep oppressive narrative.

    Just think of David Icke and reptiles, Alex Jones and the Illuminati and so on.

    I havn't developed cryptography, so I can't automatically say he's full of shit or not. I've got no doubt that there is plenty of spookery involved in that field, but that doesn't automatically mean they have complete authority over every decision made. It doesn't mean they control everything. Likewise, the US military using RedHat doesn't mean they control it either.

    It always involves some logical leaping, for example:

    Let's be clear: This is not a new problem. Humans on earth have been enslaved for thousands of years. Governments and banks have always been corrupt and severe. Every form of communication, even something as simple as a typewriter or printing press, has come under constraints and control designed ultimately to control people. It's that simple.

    From mostly verifiable meddling in crypto standards to the complete enslavement of the human race for millenia.

    I try not to shit on peoples beliefs, since mine are as arbitrary as theirs. That said, I have to wonder about the value of creating a belief system where you are a constantly persecuted victim of a global conspiracy. Even if you're *right*, and it's impossible to properly verify that, what good does it do you?

    Kudos to him for developing SpaceFM, though. It's a wonderful file manager, and I'd recommend trying it.

  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by evilviper on Thursday February 20 2014, @10:11AM

    by evilviper (1760) on Thursday February 20 2014, @10:11AM (#3304) Homepage Journal

    I've seen plenty of paranoia in my time, but his is the paranoid rant to end all paranoid rants... And I do mean literal, textbook definition schizophrenia, requiring medical help, before he harms himself or someone else.

    He's making all kind of untenable connections all over the map, converging in an ultra-massive conspiracy between the US Army, the NSA, RedHat, PulseAudio developers, GNOME and GTK+ developers, and culminating in systemD being the satanic love-child of all of them... SystemD is designed by sinister kernel devs, and intended both to "turn Linux into Windows" (user-unfriendliness, lack of transparency, and unreliability) while giving the NSA (or is it the US Army? Or perhaps the evil RedHat corporation, who has "infiltrated the kernel"?) a purpose-built back-door into all Linux systems.

    A vast conspiracy to make Linux into "systems that create vulnerabilities and concentrate corruption (wealth) in their hands." A "closed, complex, dark system where they can hide and manipulate without being exposed for what they are." He knows it's real and not paranoia because of his past experiences: "I had received out-of-place business offers and other questionable things in the past. I got phone calls in the middle of the night, hang ups, just to let you know you were on someone’s list."

    His proof of these evil kernel developers consists of his observations of "disturbing patterns in how daemons were being used" in KDE, one instance of Linus publicly scolding one RedHat-employed kernel dev (for trying to save face and discounting/downplaying the 30-second boot-delay he caused). And users being frustrated by PulseAudio is somehow also further proof of a sinister conspiracy.

    His proof of the Army and NSA's control of Linux kernel development consists solely of the factoid that the US Army is RedHat's single biggest customer. And his proof that systemD is the software anti-Christ consists of a rant from a random Arch Linux *end user* who doesn't like systemD (for unspecified reasons), and found it difficult to use Arch without systemD.

    And... that's it. Some rants about the good-old days, and disappointment with kids these days. And that's the proof of an ultra-massive government/corporate conspiracy, centered around systemD...

    --
    Hydrogen cyanide is a delicious and necessary part of the human diet.
    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 20 2014, @10:31AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 20 2014, @10:31AM (#3313)

      Sounds about right to me.

    • (Score: 4, Funny) by pe1rxq on Thursday February 20 2014, @11:03AM

      by pe1rxq (844) on Thursday February 20 2014, @11:03AM (#3337) Homepage

      You probably just made his nemesis list.

    • (Score: 1, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 20 2014, @12:30PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 20 2014, @12:30PM (#3382)

      Since his conspiracy is not centered on harm to himself, it is not paranoia.

  • (Score: 4, Interesting) by cesarb on Thursday February 20 2014, @10:42AM

    by cesarb (1224) on Thursday February 20 2014, @10:42AM (#3322) Journal

    There is at least one place where RedHat (and indirectly Fedora) development is influenced by USA government policies: cryptography standards.

    One example is FIPS mode, which I have never seen anyone enable. When enabled, it restricts the allowed algorithms to those allowed by some USA government policies.

    Another example is their use of the NSS libraries as the main cryptography library, since they can be validated according to some USA government policy.

    Yet another example is they finally enabling at least some elliptic curve cryptography algorithms, which they had previously removed due to patent fears. Unsurprisingly, the ones they enabled are precisely the ones required by the latest version of some USA government policy.

  • (Score: 3, Insightful) by FrogBlast on Thursday February 20 2014, @01:37PM

    by FrogBlast (21) on Thursday February 20 2014, @01:37PM (#3417)

    "Any fool should realize that 'biggest customer' doesn't mean tallest or widest, it means the most money. In other words, most of Red Hat's money comes from the military..."

    That second sentence doesn't logically follow the first. If Red Hat has eight customers who give them 10% of their revenue each, and the military gives them 20% of their revenue, the military is their "biggest" customer. Connecting these two statements is the kind of excessive extrapolation that makes a person sound paranoid when, for all I know, hard numbers could give it actual, convincing support.

    • (Score: 0) by calmond on Thursday February 20 2014, @04:09PM

      by calmond (1826) on Thursday February 20 2014, @04:09PM (#3537)

      Exactly! The military may have a plurality, but I cannot imagine the military being a majority of their customer income.

      This guy is in his own little world, but it is okay, all the voices know him there!

  • (Score: 1) by cykros on Thursday February 20 2014, @03:28PM

    by cykros (989) on Thursday February 20 2014, @03:28PM (#3499)

    So let me get this straight... The US army is the largest user of Redhat Linux. And somehow that means they're pushing for more security vulnerabilities in it, despite security for what they are involved with being a matter of life and death often for large numbers of people?

    I'm not saying nobody's engaged in any funny business, but it would appear to me that if anything, the US Army making such heavy use of RHEL indicates that it's NOT intentionally weakened.

    In other news, "US Army != NSA".

    Now, if we see an article suggesting that "Al Qaeda" is primarily using Redhat Linux, I'll be a little more open to conspiracy musings on purposeful security holes being snuck in.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 21 2014, @04:14PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 21 2014, @04:14PM (#4394)

      Because knowing the vulnerabilities beforehand gives you the competitive edge over adversaries and you might want to have it rather than having a level-playing field.

      For US, with by epic margin the largest military budget, this seems logical.

      (Copied from my previous comment)

  • (Score: 2, Informative) by r00t on Thursday February 20 2014, @03:52PM

    by r00t (1349) on Thursday February 20 2014, @03:52PM (#3521)

    Guys this article is nearly 7 years old. What's more, is this blogger anyone influential or active/vocal in the Linux community even? Because it reads like a lot of hot air and arm waving without any real evidence of anything -- at least as far as I could bear reading it.

    • (Score: 1) by weilawei on Thursday February 20 2014, @05:27PM

      by weilawei (109) Subscriber Badge on Thursday February 20 2014, @05:27PM (#3580) Homepage
      It feels just like that other site we left! A touch of /home.
    • (Score: 1) by len_harms on Thursday February 20 2014, @06:16PM

      by len_harms (1904) on Thursday February 20 2014, @06:16PM (#3612) Journal

      It appears to be someone who does not like the military. Whatever...

      Here is a fact some people do not seem to connect with open source. *ANYONE* can use it. This may mean people you do not like may use it.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 22 2014, @08:49AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 22 2014, @08:49AM (#4743)

      > is this blogger anyone influential or active/vocal in the Linux community even?

      This blogger is the one responsible for getting signed packages to Arch Linux. He is also the developer of SpaceFM.