November 3rd & 4th, 2023
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When does a service take away your software freedom?

SeaGL 2020

A lesser known tenet of the free software movement: “You can have control over a program someone else wrote (if it’s free), but you can never have control over a service someone else runs, so never use a service where in principle a program would do.” -

But when exactly would a program do? I will dig into the details and examine popular services so that you can gain confidence in evaluating services you encounter.

Finally, I will dip into other dimensions of judging services, such as how they treat your data.


Ian Kelling

Ian Kelling, Free Software Foundation

I’m a Free Software activist. I’ve been a sysadmin at the Free Software Foundation since 2017. Before that, I developed software for several years.