Letters

Readers sound off.
Open vs. Free

A note in the UpFront section of the May 2002 issue describes the Fórum Internacional do Software Livre as an “open-source event” and says that the state of Rio Grande do Sul promotes and leads in use of “open source”. Actually the event is about free software (software livre, in Portuguese), and the state's policy is to promote free software.

I launched the Free Software movement in 1984 to campaign for computer users' freedom to have a community. To make freedom and community possible, we began developing the free software GNU operating system, which is the basis of the GNU/Linux system that your magazine is dedicated to. Our idealism made our community possible.

The Open Source movement has contributed to our community, and its supporters have a right to promote its views, but we are not part of them. The Porto Alegre event's organizers and the government of Rio Grande do Sul know the difference between the two movements, and they chose the Portuguese term for “free software” to say where they stand. I ask that you not label Free Software movement supporters, our work, our events or the community we built, with the term of the other movement. For more explanation of the difference, see www.gnu.org/philosophy/free-software-for-freedom.html.

One other correction is that I will not be speaking at this event. It was originally planned that I would, but I visited Porto Alegre for the Fórum Social Mundial in January 2002, so we decided it would be more interesting for Bob Chassell, cofounder of the Free Software Foundation in 1985, to go this May instead of me.

—Richard StallmanPresident, Free Software FoundationChief GNUisance of the GNU Project

Porn Correction

In his article “Intrusion Detection Systems”, Pedro Bueno proposes a sample Snort rule that is supposed to alert us of “any porn web access attempt” from the private network. Unfortunately, in its current form, the rule will trigger only when a user is posting data containing the string “free porn” since it only filters outgoing traffic. In order to detect actual access attempts, the rule should filter the incoming traffic:

alert tcp $EXTERNAL_NET  80 -> $INTERNAL_NET any
  (msg: "Web Porn Access Attempt";
   content:"Free porn";
   nocase; flags:A+);

An excellent article, though.

—Florin Malita

Errata

On page 14 of the May 2002 issue, in the “It's Trivial” section, question seven, the title of William Gibson's novel should read Neuromancer rather than Necromancer. Sincere thanks to the many Gibson fans for pointing out this unfortunate typo.

Due to a printer error, page 20 of the June 2002 issue appears twice, leaving out page 21. Please see the full article on our web site: www.linuxjournal.com/article/5839.

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