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Scandal is not spying on governments, but on people – Stallman to RT

Published time: February 05, 2014 19:24
Edited time: February 06, 2014 15:07

US software freedom activist and computer programmer Richard Stallman (AFP Photo / Francois Guillot)

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Freedom and democracy are said to be guarantees of human rights, but as the NSA spying scandal recently showed, that isn't always the case. RT’s Oksana Boyko is joined by the founder of the Free Software Foundation, Richard Stallman, to discuss the issue.

The former NSA contractor Edward Snowden’s revelations about US global spying activities have caused widespread concern. The scandal has raised many questions concerning human rights.

“We’ve just found out that Spain was helping the US to spy on everybody in Spain. And of course there was a deal between the US and England, when the US spy agencies couldn’t spy on the people in the US, but British spy agencies could spy on people in the US. So the two governments said ‘All right, each of us will spy on each other’s citizens and then we’ll trade and that way we’ll be shriveling our own people’,” Richard Stallman told RT’s Oksana Boyko.

American software computer programmer and activist, Richard Stallman, pioneered the concept of copyleft, a general method for making a program (or other work) free, and requiring all modified and extended versions of the program to be free as well.

“The scandal is not spying on other governments and their activities, it’s spying on all the citizens, and, of course, the countries that work together to spy on the citizens of these countries,” Stallman said.

For more on digital freedom and oppression, politics and Arab spring, watch RT’s Worlds Apart with Oksana Boyko.

Comments (20)


Ivor O'Connor 06.02.2014 14:57

Stallman is the modern day embodiment of the child who cries out, "But he isn't wearing anything at all!"

We are all suppose to jump on Stallman for being unfit, stupid, or incompetent. And the fact he looks different and obviously does not participate in the latest fads makes it easy.

Reali ty though is his messages are normally right on and only those in the fad rat-race vying for positions in the emperor's empire don't see it or purposely avoid comment.


Bony 06.02.2014 12:30

I just watched the whole interview and i too think Stallman should stick to what he knows best, Free software, internet freedom, privacy etc.

His forays into foreign policy concerning Libya left him struggling i think.

Anyh ow, he's always been a notoriously difficult man to interview. He has his own ways and i dont think anyone can change his mind about anything. He exudes the type of freedom most people find hard to understand.

He's good in a fight against the NSA and we could do with more people like him and Snowden etc.

If he's tilting at windmills, i dont think he cares.


Iqbal Halani 06.02.2014 08:58

The question remains, there are hundreds of thousands involved, from splicing the underwater optical fibre cables to translating for the peeping Toms, NOBODY only Snowden with the outrage and courage?!! At least they can leak anonymously?

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