Security decisions and free software

One of the reasons I only use free software is that it gives me more security.

Of course not all libre programs are secure but software freedom gives you more security as you can study the source code and edit/publish it the way you want. So if there’s a security vulnerability, you won’t be forced to wait for the original author to find and fix it.

You may be a programmer or security researcher and fix it yourself or pay someone to do it for you, based on your needs. Anyhow, it’s a perk of using free software.

But, another advantage I get from free software is that I can edit it so it won’t force me to be secure!

For example, I don’t like to change my password on a program running locally. If it wants to force me to do so, then I can modify the program to avoid it. It’s what I’m able to do because I get the four essential freedoms regarding that program.

As much as I appreciate the author of that program wanting to keep people secure, I believe people should also have a say in it. If I want to keep stuff less secure, intentionally, I should be able to.

There are some things to do and some precautions to take to make sure you have base minimum security and the rest is how you choose your actions based on your threat model. I appreciate programs reminding this to people and even taking the first steps in their own hands. It’s so useful for people with less understanding of how cybersecurity works.

Yet I believe there should be hints about threats but the users should be able to take everything, absolutely everything, in their hands if they want to.

Security should be implemented in programs by default. It shouldn’t be a luxury and it shouldn’t take technical skills for one to be secure digitally. Yet it shouldn’t be something that the user has no say in.

I believe free software fixes this problem by giving us the four essential freedoms we deserve. Our rights to use, study, modify, and share the program are there to make sure we own what we have and will be able to make it work the way we want it to work.