# Mike Gerwitz

## Activist for User Freedom

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background-color: #fff0f0 } /* Literal.String.Single */ .highlight .ss { color: #aa6600; background-color: #fff0f0 } /* Literal.String.Symbol */ .highlight .bp { color: #003388 } /* Name.Builtin.Pseudo */ .highlight .fm { color: #0066bb; font-weight: bold } /* Name.Function.Magic */ .highlight .vc { color: #336699 } /* Name.Variable.Class */ .highlight .vg { color: #dd7700 } /* Name.Variable.Global */ .highlight .vi { color: #3333bb } /* Name.Variable.Instance */ .highlight .vm { color: #336699 } /* Name.Variable.Magic */ .highlight .il { color: #0000DD; font-weight: bold } /* Literal.Number.Integer.Long */% Restore Online Freedom! % % Copyright (C) 2016 Mike Gerwitz % % This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike % 4.0 International License. % % You should have received a copy of the license along with this % work. If not, see . %% \documentclass[pdf,red]{beamer} \mode{} \usetheme{Boadilla} %% preamble \title{Restore Online Freedom!} \author{Mike Gerwitz} \date{20 March, LibrePlanet 2016} \usepackage{listings} % hide pesky navigation \setbeamertemplate{navigation symbols}{} \def\hangleft#1{% \settowidth{\dimen0}{#1}% \hspace*{-\dimen0}% #1% } \def\lecture#1{} \begin{document} %%%=== BEGIN TIMEBLOCK 6.5m ============================================== \begin{frame} \titlepage \lecture{So I'm here to talk to you about some problems. Too many problems for this talk---I had to gut this presentation for length countless times. A better term might be eviscerate''. Problems that are fundamental to the Web today, and don't have a trivial solution. My hope is to encourage discussion on these issues, since not enough people are talking about them.} \end{frame} \begin{frame}{Who am I?} \lecture{Well, I'm Mike Gerwitz.} \begin{itemize} \item Long-time free software hacker and activist \lecture{I'm a long-time free software hacker and activist} \item GNU volunteer, software evaluator, and part of maintainers team \lecture{and volunteer for the GNU project. I'm part of the small team of evaluators for GNU project submissions, and I'm what I'd called a trainee on the maintainers team.} \item Author of GNU ease.js \lecture{I'm also the author of GNU ease.js, a classical object-oriented framework for JavaScript licensed under the GNU GPLv3+.} \lecture{I've been involved in web development to at least some capacity} \item 10+ years of web development \lecture{for well over ten years. But possibly just as importantly, I've been a \emph{user} of the web for even longer. Now, I'm 26---I'm not part of the generation that was swiping at newspapers when they were babies, wondering why nothing was happening, but I did grow up with the Internet.} \begin{itemize} \item<2-> The Web has \only<2>{changed}\only<3->{{\bf worsened}} a lot \lecture{And as I'm sure all of you here can attest to---and I'm really stating the obvious here---the Internet has changed a \emph{lot} in the past ten, fifteen years. In fact, it's had a version change---the so-called Web 2.0''! Which, to clarify, is just jargon; there's not actually a version change.} \lecture{But I suppose I could phrase this in another way: the Web has also \emph{worsened} a lot in the past ten years. A version bump isn't always an upgrade.} \end{itemize} \end{itemize} \end{frame} \begin{frame}{But the Web is great!''} \lecture{But the web is great!'', you'll hear people say.} \begin{itemize} \item<2-> The Web has improved \emph{technically} \lecture{Yes, the web has improved \emph{technically}---} \begin{itemize} \item<2-> Modern software on the web rivals traditional desktop software \end{itemize} \lecture{you can do things on the web today that were \emph{unfathomable} ten years ago. I don't think any rational person who's seen the~transition over the past ten-plus years would argue that.} \lecture{But we're talking about \emph{freedom}.} \item<3-> The truth is: the Web has become alarmingly hostile and freedom-denying toward users \lecture{The sad truth is: the web has become increasing \emph{hostile} and freedom-denying toward its users. And that's not progress; technical advancements are great, but \emph{not when they deny users their freedoms}.} \item<4-> Freedom trumps all. \lecture{\emph{Freedom trumps all.} So we can say that, while Web~2.0 was a \emph{technical} upgrade, it has been an alarmingly progressive \emph{downgrade} for users' freedoms.} \end{itemize} \end{frame} \begin{frame}{Interoperability} \begin{itemize} \item<1-> Fundamental building blocks are standardized (W3C) \lecture{Normally when we talk about the Web'', as opposed to the Internet'' as a whole, we're referring to something that you would access using a web browser.} \lecture{Technically, you can include anything on the Web---certain formats will just invoke external programs or trigger a download. But as far as web pages go, they traditionally consist of HTML} \begin{itemize} \item<1-> HTML---Describes the document \lecture{which describes the~document, and CSS} \item<1-> CSS---Describes the document style (appearance) \lecture{which describes the~document \emph{style}---how it looks, what font to render in, the background color, et cetera.} \item<1-> HTTP---Communication protocol \lecture{Most of this communication is done using the HTTP protocol, which defines how the server and client communicate. All of this is standardized by the W3C---the World Wide Web Consortium.} \lecture{Back in the day, most every reaction to user input involved loading a new webpage. You're seeing less and less of that today---many web pages look and behave more like \emph{software} than documents. You might hear the term single-page'' programs.} \item<2-> JavaScript---Embed programs in web browser \lecture{The standard way to do this today is with a language called JavaScript.} \end{itemize} \item<3-> Any software can interact freely \lecture{Given these standards, you're free to use whatever software you choose! Everything is interoperable, on both the server and the client. And this is incredibly important for user freedom, and essential for free software.} \item<3-> Threatened in the past: Java applets, ActiveX, Flash, Silverlight, and other proprietary/non-standard software \lecture{Now that's been threatened in the past by other proprietary systems for embedding software in the browser. The most popular ones include Java applets, ActiveX, Flash, and Silverlight. Those were dark ages.} \item<3-> Threatened today: Encrypted Media Extensions (EME) Silverlight, and other proprietary/non-standard software \lecture{But we do in fact have another looming threat---the Encrypted Media Extensions proposal being considered by the W3C which would effectively introduce DRM as a \emph{standard} for the Web. A \emph{standarized} way to betray users. We must oppose it, and I encourage you to join us in protest just outside the conference tonight at 6:45.} \item<4-> Now the greatest threat is JavaScript \lecture{But an \emph{existing} standard is now our greatest threat. JavaScript.} \end{itemize} \end{frame} \begin{frame}{What is JavaScript?} \lecture{So what is \emph{JavaScript}?} \begin{itemize} \item<1-> ECMAScript (Standard: ECMA-262; ISO/IEC 16262) \lecture{Formally, it's ECMAScript, which is the standard defining the language. But browsers tend to incorporate their own features beyond the standard, which we include under the umbrella of JavaScript''.} \item<1-> Traditionally: Browser-based, client-side scripting language \lecture{JavaScript started out in the web browser, specifically Netscape in 1995. It was used on the server as well at the time, but that's not where it flourished.} \item<2-> Today: General-purpose programming language \lecture{But today is has evolved into a popular general-purpose scripting language, used on both the client and the server.} \begin{itemize} \item<2-> Heavily popularized by Node.js \lecture{But it wasn't until Node.js that it exploded in popularity, and is often times even \emph{preferable} by some to other languages on the server. I'm not getting into \emph{that} debate today.} \end{itemize} \item<3-> Assembly language'' of the web \lecture{It's often called the assembly language'' of the web, because there an ever-growing number of languages that compile into it---if you want code running in the browser, the standard way to do it is by using JavaScript.} \begin{itemize} \item<3-> Subset: asm.js \item<3-> Soon: WebAssembly (WebASM) \lecture{But there are properties of the language that don't make ideal for being the compiler target for all things on the web. One popular method is a subset of JavaScript called asm.js that is more effectively optimized. But now we have a low-level language on the horizon called WebAssembly, which is intended as a compiler target for C/C++ code. So expect these issues I'm about to describe to only propagate further in the future as it becomes more and more trivial to write software for the web.} \end{itemize} \end{itemize} \end{frame} %%%=== END TIMEBLOCK 6.5m ============================================== %%%=== BEGIN TIMEBLOCK 8m ============================================== \begin{frame}{The Illusion of Remote Execution} \lecture{Perhaps one of the greatest dangers of software on the Web is the illusion of remote execution---} \begin{itemize} \item<1-> Looks like the web page is manipulating itself \begin{itemize} \item<1-> Many consider the web page as a remote resource, not a local copy of that resource \end{itemize} \lecture{the illusion that, because the program is manipulating and appears to be a part of the web page, that it must be executing in a magical remote place.} \item<2-> JavaScript programs run \emph{on the client} \lecture{But it's not. JavaScript programs are executed \emph{on your computer, by your web browser}: the program is downloaded just like any other resource and interpreted by a JavaScript engine in your browser.} \item<3-> Illusion inhibits consideration of freedoms \lecture{This is an important distinction, because we can't begin to consider how to exercise our four freedoms if we can't even get around to the fact that the program is actually running on our computer.} \end{itemize} \end{frame} \begin{frame}[plain]{} \begin{center} \center\includegraphics[width=0.9\textwidth]{images/you-win.png} Would you run some random website's program on your computer? \end{center} \lecture{(Read slide)} \end{frame} \begin{frame}[plain,c]{} \lecture{Well, you do. Or at least many of you.} \begin{center} Well, you do. \end{center} \lecture{If only our web browser gave us a warning like that. But instead, it's silent. And this is more dangerous than a phishing attack---because at least when the user is presented with \emph{this} (return to previous slide), they have a \emph{chance} to be suspicious.} \end{frame} \begin{frame}{Covert Ephemeral Software} \begin{itemize} \item<1-> Browser downloads and executes arbitrary, often non-free software \begin{itemize} \item<1-> (Automatically clicks the download button for you!) \end{itemize} \lecture{But no---our web browsers are being stupid on our behalf!} \item<2-> Most users have no idea this is happening \lecture{And most users---even many technical ones---really don't have any idea that this is happening. Because they don't think about it like that.} \begin{itemize} \item<2-> How would they? \lecture{You can be taught to be suspicious of sites advertising awards and such, but when a site offers no indication at all, then what exactly do you teach? What do you tell them to be suspicious of? Instead, it's just a website.} \item<2-> Most who \emph{do} know don't care. \lecture{But then there are those who are well aware of what is going on. Many of those are web developers---the same people that \emph{write} this covert software. And surprisingly, at least from my experience, most of them don't care. Many instead take the stance that it would be silly to consider disabling it and quote-unquote break'' websites. They don't consider that they're already broken by robbing users of their freedoms and privacy.} \end{itemize} \item<3-> Ephemeral software \lecture{And then at the end, the software disappears, leaving no trace except for some persistent data storage. A browser doesn't list all the scripts that it executes as installed software'' like it would an addon. Users won't know that they were running software. The software is ephemeral.} \end{itemize} \end{frame} \begin{frame}[c]{Just Say Yes!''} \lecture{So if we adopt the philosophy of those who really don't care, then life becomes a hell of a lot easier. Just saying yes'' all the time is much less confrontational; especially when your web browser is doing it for you. And this makes a lot of people pretty excited! Like...} \begin{center} \only<2>{Advertisers} \lecture{Advertisers! You say yes!'' to their spyware that tracks and analyzes you.} \only<3>{Crackers \& Script Kiddies} \lecture{Crackers and script kiddies love you too. You happily say yes!'' to their payloads.} \only<4>{Governments (also Crackers \& Script Kiddies)} \lecture{Governments! Also crackers and script kiddies. They like to broadly distribute exploits in the hope of maybe catching a criminal. One such exploit was a 0-day used by the FBI to deanonymize Tor users, guilty or not.} \only<5>{ISPs (Like Comcast)} \lecture{And what about the entity you depend on the most for your communications online? In November of last year it was discovered that Comcast was MITM'ing customers to inject JavaScript into non-SSL webpages to inform customers of copyright violations. Oh yes.} \only<6>{People who want to show off their cool stuff} \lecture{There are certainly other malicious actors, but not everyone has bad intentions---you also have hackers that just want to show you their cool new programs. And I think a lot of people fall into this group---I don't think many of them are being intentionally malicious.} \end{center} \end{frame} \begin{frame}[c]{Just Say Yes!''...and Yes!'' and Yes!'' and Yes!''...} \begin{itemize} \item<1-> Everyone expects their code to run, always, or there's something wrong with your browser \lecture{So if your browser doesn't default to saying yes'' to untrusted, random, freedom-denying, possibly malicious programs, then your browser is broken. This is in fact a big deterrent for common-sense freedom and security practices: the Tor Browser Bundle, for example---although it comes with NoScript installed---does not block any websites by default, even though it would make its users safer.} \item<2-> But most browsers today give you a binary choice: \lecture{But let's say you are one of those people who might be a little uncomfortable with this situation, and want to do something about it. Well, with most browsers, what are your options?} \begin{enumerate}[<+->] \item<2-> No---disable JavaScript \lecture{You could disable JavaScript completely. But there might be \emph{some} things that you'd like to run.} \item<2-> Yes---run everything! \lecture{Or you could run everything! Good choices here. These are clearly not choices that taken into consideration these issues.} \end{enumerate} \lecture{Now, many people will simply say, Well, I trust the sites I visit.''} \item<3-> You aren't just running that site's JavaScript \lecture{But it's very important to understand that you aren't just running the programs for that website. That website might also include code from other servers---like CDNs. It might inject other code like the Google Analytics spyware. And what if the site is compromised, or susceptible to a XSS attack, and an attacker loads additional scripts?} \end{itemize} \end{frame} \begin{frame}{How Do We Install Software (Usually)?} \lecture{If all of this seems awkward to consider, that's because it is. Let's go back to the desktop for a bit; now that we're thinking in terms of programs running on our computer, how do we normally install software?} \begin{itemize} \item<2-> Explicitly. \lecture{Explicitly. You indicate that you want some program foo and you make it so. Unless you use a backdoored operating system like Windows, OSX, iOS, or others---they tend to install things for you.} \begin{itemize} \item<3-> GNU/Linux---Usually through a package manager \lecture{On a GNU/Linux operating system, you usually install software through that distro's package manager. GNU Guix is a pretty good one to try.} \item<3-> Source distribution (tarballs/etc) \lecture{You might compile from source. That's even more of an explicit process.} \item<3-> Binaries (especially on proprietary operating systems) \lecture{And, as is usually necessary on proprietary operating systems, there are binaries. They might be downloaded from a website or a walled weed garden,} \end{itemize} \item<4-> There is a conscious effort made by the user \lecture{but in any case, it's generally a conscious operation all the same. Even users of proprietary operating systems don't like when things appear on their computer without having been requested.} \end{itemize} \end{frame} \begin{frame}{Software Signing} \lecture{We also have certain other guarantees. Or attempts, at least.} \begin{itemize} \item<1-> Package manager (should!) verify signatures of package maintainers \lecture{Many package managers provide---with some caveats---assurances that the package you received is actually the package that the author or maintainer intended for you to receive by using cryptographic signatures. I'm not getting into those caveats here.} \item<1-> Many projects distribute detached signatures for manual verification \lecture{In the case of source distributions, detached signatures are often used. You'll see this with GNU programs, for example---if you download a program from ftp.gnu.org, you'll also find a corresponding signature file, and you should use GPG to verify that your download is what the author actually signed.} \item<2-> No such thing exists for the Web \lecture{...We don't have this type of thing for the web.} \item<3-> I wish I had time to discuss this \begin{itemize} \item<4-> What not to do: Firefox refuses to install/run addons that are not signed by Mozilla \item<4-> No walled gardens'' \end{itemize} \lecture{I really wish I had the time to discuss this on a more technical level, but I don't. Like I said---it's a presentation about problems, and there's a lot of them to get to in such a short talk!} \end{itemize} \lecture{So what does the absence of user control mean?} \end{frame} %%%=== END TIMEBLOCK 8m ============================================== %%%=== BEGIN TIMEBLOCK 4.5m ============================================== \begin{frame}[c] \begin{center} Everyone is flocking to the web \end{center} \lecture{Everyone is flocking to the web. And a major reason is because of the convenience that is provided by transferring even more control away from the user \emph{to} the authors and distributors.} \end{frame} \begin{frame}{Effortless Distribution} \lecture{This convenience provides a distribution model that is exploitative, and highly alluring to many. Two things that go great in the same sentence.} \begin{itemize} \item Software is downloaded \emph{automatically}---guaranteed! \lecture{So, when you visit a website---as we've already discussed---your browser just starts saying Yes!'' to software. So, for the majority of your users, it's essentially guaranteed that your software will be downloaded and executed, and it will be done so immediately. If not, their browser is broken, right? Right.} \item<1-> It's so easy for you---just click here! \lecture{Baiting the user into downloading that software is also a trivial task---there's no trying to trick the user into downloading and invoking an executable. Just provide the user with a link, and their freedoms are automatically robbed.} \item<2-> Cross-\{device,platform\}! \lecture{In the modern web, platform or operating system isn't a border---you can rob someone of their freedoms anywhere, any time, whether they're on a mobile device, their home computer, or their television.} \item<3-> Automatic updates! We know best! (Ephemeral software) \lecture{And let's not worry about those pesky users who decide to exercise their freedom to decide what software they want to run. Just overwrite their software for them, at any time. Updates are automatic, and the user has no choice.} \begin{itemize} \item<3-> Your browser is effectively a backdoor \lecture{You might hear from security experts that most computers have a backdoor---software updates. Well, in this case, the backdoor is the front door. You have no option. There \emph{is no} separate installation and update---they're one and the same. As I already mentioned, we can say that the software is ephemeral---it exists as long as you're on the website, and then disappears until you next load it again.} \end{itemize} \item<4-> We control your data and computing (SaaSS)! \lecture{But that's not enough. How can we take even greater advantage of the user? Ah, let's also hold their data hostage, and control what they can and cannot do with it!} \item<5-> So easy to spy on you! \lecture{And what's a magnificent consequence of all of this? We get to spy on you for free! It's part of the package! We know exactly what you are doing, when your are doing it, how you are doing it, and anything in-between.} \end{itemize} \end{frame} \begin{frame} \begin{center} We can finally get rid of that pesky little bit of control you had left over your physical computing! \lecture{Greedy, malicious software developers and distributors have been searching long and hard for ways to prevent users from even studying the binaries, letalone source code. They've pursued draconian technical and legal measures like DRM and the DMCA out of desperation.} \end{center} \end{frame} %%%=== END TIMEBLOCK 4.5m ============================================== %%%=== BEGIN TIMEBLOCK 4.5m ============================================== \begin{frame}{The Web Is Easy} \lecture{Let's explore another aspect of why the Web is so appealing for software developers.} \begin{itemize} \item Low Barrier To Entry \lecture{Most everyone has a web browser, and every very major browser comes with excellent debugging and inspection tools, which is great, because it encourages studying and tinkering. And when users start writing software, they can see it in the familiar environment that is their web browser.} \item Huge number of libraries and tools for web development \lecture{Because of that, the number of libraries focused on web development is crazy, and steadily growing. And most of these popular libraries are free software.} \item Even server/desktop software [substitutes] using web libraries \lecture{And then we have software like Node.js that allows running code written for the web directly, without a web browser. So it often makes sense to write software in JavaScript or a language that compiles into it, because then you can share code between the server and client. And then you have those that only really know web development, but are now able to take that knowledge and apply it directly to the server or the desktop.} \end{itemize} \end{frame} \begin{frame} \begin{center} \only<1>{This is great for software freedom.} \lecture{All of this is great for software freedom---you have all of these libraries that make it \emph{easy} to develop free software!} \only<2>{But we have a problem.} \lecture{...but we have a problem.} \end{center} \end{frame} \begin{frame}{Effortless \emph{Proprietary} Software} \lecture{While it's making software easy for the good guys, it's also making it easy for the bad guys! And there's an easy explanation for that.} \begin{itemize} \item<1-> We have a licensing problem. \lecture{What we have is a licensing problem! We have a \emph{lot} of free software,} \item<2-> Permissive licensing \emph{enables} proprietary software \lecture{but most of it is licensed under permissive licenses---one of the most popular being the MIT~Expat license, which allows for non-free derivatives. Writing software is expensive; any time that can be saved using free software libraries is money that they can divert toward adding attractive features, releasing early, and implementing ways to screw over the user.} \end{itemize} \lecture{How many of you saw Bradley Kuhn's presentation yesterday? I was originally going to talk a lot more on this topic, but it's one of the things I gutted, so I recommend watching his.} \end{frame} \begin{frame}{The Web Scene} \lecture{This philosophy is pervasive throughout the modern web development community.} \begin{itemize} \item<1-> Startups (e.g. YCombinator-funded) \lecture{There are a lot of startups, and they recognize the Web as an easy way to create lock-in---something that many misguided startups and funders will consider to be vital to their long-term success.} \item <1-> Large corporations \lecture{The Web is carried and advanced (tehcnologically) by large and influential corporations like Google, Facebook, Twitter, GitHub, and others. All of them contribute to the free software community. But all of them rob us of our freedoms.} \item<1-> New programmers, new culture \lecture{The web development community is home to many new or inexperienced programmers. Those programmers are immersed in a culture that talks about rockstar'' and 10x'' programmers; about brogrammers'' and hipster'' languages---these are very different terms than hackers are used to, and highlight very different concepts.} \begin{itemize} \item<2-> Open Source'' \lecture{Importantly, they focus on \emph{methodology}---performance, producing something that is cool and will be accepted by your peers. This is not a focus on freedom.} \item<2-> Copyleft'' is a dirty word \lecture{Copyleft'' is a dirty word: if you want to be accepted by your peers, you'd better license your libraries permissively.} \end{itemize} \item<3-> Peer pressure \lecture{And besides, all your friends are doing it, and they're all 10x rockstars!} \end{itemize} \end{frame} \begin{frame}[c] \begin{center} Partial freedom isn't freedom! \end{center} \lecture{So what you get is this dangerous open core'' concept, where you have a lot of free software, but you build all the goodies that people want on top of it, and make it proprietary. Partial freedom isn't freedom! It doesn't matter if \emph{part} of your software is free---if even a byte of it robs me of any of my four freedoms, then I can't ethically use it! I would have to concede that your website is worth surrendering my freedoms for. It's probably not.} \end{frame} \begin{frame}{No Such Thing As Neutral On Freedom} \begin{itemize} \item<1-> Permissive (pushover) licenses are sometimes used in an attempt to be neutral \lecture{Freedom can be an uncomfortable topic, because it's philosophical and heavily controversial. So they might try to remain neutral by using pushover licenses. And many people are neutral by default simply because they don't consider the issues, or aren't aware of them.} \item<2-> But there's no such thing as neutrality! \lecture{Remaining neutral on the topic of freedom is like walking down a sidewalk and seeing someone being bullied. And rather than step in, you just keep walking. Maybe peek back. Because if you were to step in to stop the bullying, then you'd piss off the bullies, and you'd be a target. But if you stepped in and bullied yourself, then you'd be called a bully! So what's the end result?} \item<2-> Neutral on freedom $\equiv$ allowing erosion of freedoms \lecture{You let the bullies take over---they already have the upper hand, and they'll continue to exert their power for as long as it benefits them. Neutrality might okay if freedom were the default. But that's not the case today. We are being bullied at every turn.} \item<3-> Copyleft is \emph{essential} for a free Web \lecture{Standing up to the bullies means \emph{fighting} for freedom, not just talking about it. If you are writing software, that means using copyleft by means of a license like the AGPL.} \begin{itemize} \item<3-> If you use pushover licenses, you're helping to push over everyone else (but perhaps not intentionally) \lecture{If you write software that uses a pushover license, then you're not just standing on the sidewalk---you're giving \emph{power} to the bullies, whether you realize it or not.} \end{itemize} \end{itemize} \end{frame} \begin{frame}[c] \begin{center} If you value freedom, \only<1>{talk about Free Software!}% \only<2>{choose copyleft!} \lecture{If you value freedom, \emph{talk about free software}! Many people simply don't know about these issues! Talk to your peers, talk to users, start that discussion.}% \lecture{If you value freedom, \emph{choose copyleft!} Fight for the freedoms that you deserve, and for the freedoms of those who can't fight. Lead by example!} \end{center} \end{frame} %%%=== END TIMEBLOCK 4.5m ============================================== %%%=== BEGIN TIMEBLOCK 4.5m ============================================== \begin{frame}[c] \begin{center} Freedom is only as good as your ability to exercise it \end{center} \lecture{All this focus on copyleft is good and all---if only it were the solution to all of our problems. Freedom is only as good as your ability to exercise it.} \end{frame} \begin{frame}{Maybe free...?} \begin{itemize} \item Almost always no license information or link to source code \lecture{One huge problem we have with software on the web is that it is almost always void of licensing information. So software might be free, but we can't be sure.} \item Might also load non-free code as a separate program (e.g. Google Analytics spyware) \lecture{The page might also load other programs in \emph{addition} to the free program, for example the Google Analytics spyware. This is like a free software package installing proprietary software alongside of it; SourceForge used to do that, for example.} \end{itemize} \end{frame} \begin{frame}{Corresponding Source Code} \begin{itemize} \item<1-> Where can I find the corresponding source? \lecture{The other requirement is the corresponding source code. We should be able to build it ourselves, host it ourselves, and expect to have the same functionality.} \item<2-> Minified code is not source code! \lecture{I have personally had people counter my argument in the past with a statement saying that all JavaScript code is quote-unquote open source'' because the source code is distributed to the browser. No!} \item<2-> The 'source code' for a work means the preferred form of the work for making modifications to it. 'Object code' means any non-source form of a work.'' \lecture{The GPL defines source code'' as (read above). So minified sources are object code. And let's see why:} \end{itemize} \end{frame} \begin{frame}[fragile,plain] \scriptsize \begin{verbatim} add:function(a,b,c,d,e){var f,g,h,i,j,k,l,m,o,p,q,r=N.get(a);if(r){c.handler&&(f=c,c=f.handler, e=f.selector),c.guid||(c.guid=n.guid++),(i=r.events)||(i=r.events={}), (g=r.handle)||(g=r.handle=function(b){return"undefined"!=typeof n&&n.event.triggered!==b.type?n.event.dispatch.apply(a,arguments):void 0}),b=(b||"").match(G)||[""],j=b.length;while(j--)h=fa.exec(b[j])||[], o=q=h[1],p=(h[2]||"").split(".").sort(),o&&(l=n.event.special[o]||{}, o=(e?l.delegateType:l.bindType)||o,l=n.event.special[o]||{},k=n.extend( {type:o,origType:q,data:d,handler:c,guid:c.guid,selector:e,needsContext: e&&n.expr.match.needsContext.test(e),namespace:p.join(".")},f),(m=i[o]) ||(m=i[o]=[],m.delegateCount=0,l.setup&&l.setup.call(a,d,p,g)!==!1|| a.addEventListener&&a.addEventListener(o,g)),l.add&&(l.add.call(a,k), k.handler.guid||(k.handler.guid=c.guid)),e?m.splice(m.delegateCount++,0,k) :m.push(k),n.event.global[o]=!0)}} \end{verbatim} {\scriptsize https://code.jquery.com/jquery-2.2.1.min.js} \lecture{This is an example of minified code---a snippet of jQuery's minified sources for an 'add' method. Real quick---what do each of those arguments mean? What does this function do? Minification is used even with free software for performance reasons---smaller file sizes, smaller load times.} \end{frame} \begin{frame} \begin{center} \includegraphics{images/librejs-logo.png} \end{center} \lecture{GNU has an addon for Firefox-based browsers like GNU IceCat that approaches this issue in a few different ways.} \end{frame} \begin{frame}{LibreJS} \begin{itemize} \item Blocks execution of non-free JavaScript \lecture{LibreJS blocks the execution of non-free JavaScript. But how does it determine what is non-free?} \item JavaScript should contain {\tt @license} tags \lecture{A couple ways. Ideally, the JavaScript should be wrapped in license tags. It can identify the license in a number of ways, including the full license header you'd see in source files, or a magnet link, which is much more ideal for minified sources.} \item Hashes of common libraries recognized as free \lecture{But the Web is full of \emph{existing} software like libraries that don't contain those labels. So LibreJS also maintains a list of file hashes for popular libraries. For example, the minified jQuery file containing the snippet I showed would be recognized as free, even though it doesn't contain licensing information.} \item Web Labels map scripts to corresponding source code \lecture{It then has a method called Web Labels---which is a simple HTML table---that is intended to be a machine-readable way to map scripts to their source code.} \end{itemize} \lecture{The LibreJS project needs help from JavaScript developers to develop and maintain the addon. If you're interested, please visit gnu.org/software/librejs}. \end{frame} \begin{frame}{Submit Patches To Projects!} \begin{itemize} \item Patch your own projects! \item Submit patches to add headers to projects \item Patches for minifiers (e.g. UglifyJS) \item Patches for programs that combine sources (e.g. Browserify) \item For Node.js programs: can pull license right out of {\tt package.json} \end{itemize} \lecture{You can help by adding licenses to your own projects and by submitting patches to other projects; this will not only help solve the licensing issue for that project, but also make others aware of the issue. And one great way to help is to submit patches to minifiers like UglifyJS to automatically add that license information to sources, or retain it if it exists. But that doesn't help when a minified file might contain code under various licenses, so it'd also be helpful to patch programs like Browserify---which packages Node.js modules for the client---to recognize licenses and add them as appropriate. For node.js pull the license right out of the package.json file.} \end{frame} %%%=== END TIMEBLOCK 4.5m ============================================== %%%=== BEGIN TIMEBLOCK 5m ============================================== \begin{frame}{Replacing Programs} \begin{itemize} \item<1-> How do you replace a program (free or non-) on your computer? \lecture{Alright. So back to your desktop for a moment. If you want to replace a non-free program with a free one, or modify a free program, how do you do it?} \begin{itemize} \item<2-> You just do. \lecture{Well...you just do.} \end{itemize} \item<3-> How do you replace a program (free or non-) on the Web? \lecture{But what about on the web?} \end{itemize} \end{frame} \begin{frame}[c] \begin{center} Is that a trick question? \end{center} \end{frame} \begin{frame}{Replacing Programs---The Best Case} \only<1->{ \begin{enumerate} \item The program is entirely packaged in its own JavaScript file(s) \item All dependencies are packaged with or alongside it \end{enumerate} } \lecture{The best situation we have for replacing programs is when the program is packaged entirely in its own JavaScript files, and so are its dependencies.} \only<2->{ Solution: \begin{enumerate} \item Block program scripts \item Block undesirable dependencies \item Inject replacement program \end{enumerate} } \lecture{The solution isn't all that complicated then. Block those undesirable scripts from loading and inject a replacement program. I'll get into how to do that shortly.} \end{frame} \begin{frame}{Replacing Programs---The Realistic Case} \lecture{But if only we were so lucky!} \begin{enumerate} \item<1-> The program is actually a number of independent programs (scripts) doing different things \lecture{But let's be realistic; a web page often contains what can be considered a bunch of independent programs doing distinct things, like validating forms, populating a real-time search, a shopping cart, animating part of the page, etc.} \item<1-> Some scripts are packaged in one or more JavaScript files \lecture{Some of those scripts might be packaged in one or more JavaScript files. Okay, that's good.} \item<1-> Some are inline {\tt