A while ago, I was browsing through gopherspace, a forgotten corner of the internet. I stumbled across a text named “the right to read”. It can be found at gopher://zaphod.661.org/0/text/right-to-read.txt. If you don’t have a gopher capable client, you can use the floodgap gopher-to-http proxy. http://gopher.floodgap.com/gopher/gw?zaphod.661.org/0/text/right-to-read.txt.

When reading these articles about “Secure Boot” on onnews. http://www.osnews.com/story/26086/Fedora_secure_boot_and_an_insecure_future and http://www.osnews.com/story/26106/UEFI_Secure_Boot_and_Ubuntu and the comments to this article, it reminded me of this text, the right to read.

It was also possible to bypass the copyright monitors by installing a
modified system kernel. Dan would eventually find out about the free
kernels, even entire free operating systems, that had existed around the
turn of the century. But not only were they illegal, like debuggers–you
could not install one if you had one, without knowing your computer’s
root password. And neither the FBI nor Microsoft Support would tell you

The Microsoft certificate required to boot a kernel in a “Secure Boot” environment, and the idea sketched in this story that one would require the “root-password” of the computer to install an alternative OS, those concepts are more-or-less the same. One would require “permission” from Microsoft to use a non-Microsoft kernel/OS.

This, in combination with other forms of DRM, not only restricted to just texts to read, but, in today’s perspective, the right to listen to music, to watch a movie, or any other digital content. Looking at recent development, such as the blocking of the Piratebay, or, less recent, things like data retention, which by the way was again in the news recently. The UK government wishes to extent this data retention to a much larger extent. I am sorry, the article about this is in Dutch. http://tweakers.net/nieuws/82577/britse-regering-wil-vergaande-bewaarplicht.html.

I am concerned about the consequences of these and other recent developments. I am concerned, in a near future, there will be no such thing as freedom. Our freedom taken away by governments and big companies, so called, to protect us…. us? or them?

I wish to point out copyright was initially put in place as a way to control what was printed. It was a form of censorship, and it seems our leaders have not forgotten this fact, and with the means of modern technology, they wish to enforce this upon the people once again.