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24/12/2022 21:56:15  

For the last thirteen years the Free Software Foundation has published its Ethical Tech Giving Guide. But what's interesting is this year's guide also tags companies and products with negative recommendations to "stay away from." Stay away from: iPhones It's not just Siri that's creepy: all Apple devices contain software that's hostile to users. Although they claim to be concerned about user privacy, they don't hesitate to put their users under surveillance. Apple prevents you from installing third-party free software on your own phone, and they use this control to censor apps that compete with or subvert Apple's profits. Apple has a history of exploiting their absolute control over their users to silence political activists and help governments spy on millions of users. Stay away from: M1 MacBook and MacBook Pro macOS is proprietary software that restricts its users' freedoms. In November 2020, macOS was caught alerting Apple each time a user opens an app. Even though Apple is making changes to the service, it just goes to show how bad they try to be until there is an outcry. Comes crawling with spyware that rats you out to advertisers. Stay away from: Amazon Amazon is one of the most notorious DRM offenders. They use this Orwellian control over their devices and services to spy on users and keep them trapped in their walled garden. Be aware that Amazon isn't the peddler of ebook DRM. Disturbingly, it's enthusiastically supported by most of the big publishing houses. Read more about the dangers of DRM through our Defective by Design campaign. Stay away from: Spotify, Apple Music, and all other major streaming services In addition to streaming music encumbered by DRM, people who want to use Spotify are required to install additional proprietary software. Even Spotify's client for GNU/Linux relies on proprietary software. Apple Music is no better, and places heavy restrictions on the music streamed through the platform. Stay away from: Netflix Netflix is continuing its disturbing trend of making onerous DRM the norm for streaming media. That's why they were a target for last year's International Day Against DRM (IDAD). They're also leveraging their place in the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) to advocate for tighter restrictions on users, and drove the effort to embed DRM into the fabric of the Web. "In your gift giving this year, put freedom first," their guide begins. And for a freedom-respecting last-minute gift idea, they suggest giving the gift of a FSF membership (which comes with a code and a printable page "so that you can present your gift as a physical object, if you like.") The membership is valid for one year, and includes the many benefits that come with an FSF associate membership, including a USB member card, email forwarding, access to our Jitsi Meet videoconferencing server and member forum, discounts in the FSF shop and on ThinkPenguin hardware, and more. If you are in the United States, your gift would also be fully tax-deductible in the USA.

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