Swedish Pirate Party founder Rick Falkvinge has already criticized the Stop Online Piracy Act. This week, the cyber rights advocate updated his stance to include all software produced by Microsoft and Apple. They can’t be trusted, he said.
Writing at his IT blog, Falkvinge chalked up his newfound distrust to the U.S. legislature, which he accused of wanting to sabotage both local and global software infrastructure in the interest of the country’s political and economic interests.
“In the debate around the American Stop Online Piracy Act, American legislators have demonstrated a clear capability and willingness to interfere with the technical operations of American products, when doing so furthers American political interests regardless of the policy situation in the customer’s country,” he said. “Worded differently, the American legislature has taken itself the right to sabotage American products, boobytrapping them to enforce American laws and economic interests outside of its borders by directly sabotaging the administration of other countries.”
Falkvinge argued that because Microsoft and Apple design and provide the software used to maintain vital institutions around the world, both are an unfortunate target for political manipulation – though neither are strictly to blame.
“American legislators rule over American companies,” he said. “Since American legislators have demonstrated this capability and willingness, American corporate software can no longer be trusted, through no fault of the corporations concerned.”
Whether or not SOPA, which he called an “abomination of a mail-order law,” passes is no longer the main issue. The seed has already been planted for future attempts to circumvent global policies that don’t line up with American interests, Falkvinge warned.
“Shifting from [Microsoft and Apple software] takes years, and American legislators can decide to enforce American trade interests in much shorter time than that,” he said.
Falkvinge’s solution to the doom and gloom? Free software.
“If there was ever a compelling overriding reason of national security and sovereignty to switch to free software, this is it,” he said.