back to article Stallman backpedals on Mac OS backdoor claims

Free software activist Richard Stallman has withdrawn an accusation that Apple's Mac OS X contained a backdoor after admitting there was no evidence to substantiate his earlier claims. Stallman has repeatedly levelled charges that Apple could forcibly impose software changes in Mac OS X. He now admits his opinion was …


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  1. h 6
    Thumb Down


    Suck it, Stallman.

  2. Jonathan 17

    While it is deplorable...

    ... let us not forgot that in Vista 64, its impossible to use unsigned drivers. So if you want to use a third party driver for something, say an Xbox 360 arcade controller (like I wanted to), you are out of luck unless you select the option on boot to disable it, every single time you boot up.

    Why? Because otherwise naughty consumers would use naughty software to copy movies. So Microsoft, knowing which side its bread is buttered on, caved in to prevent such a thing from happening.

    My point is, while what Apple does is deplorable, its no worse than what Microsoft does in the name of DRM and phoning home.

  3. MacRat
    Thumb Down

    No Proof

    There's no proof that Stallman is sane.

  4. Dodgy Dave
    Black Helicopters

    Don't trust him!

    Just because we can't find evidence of a backdoor in GCC doesn't mean there isn't one.




  5. Anonymous Coward

    Stallman again?

    Richard Stallman is a complete and total moron. Why do people think he is or has ever been relevant? He is wrong more times than he is right - for the sanity and reputation of open source can someone please ban him from touching a computer ever again.

    - Anonymous Coward (i dont want him chasing me with that katana of his now do i?)

  6. gollux

    Richard Stallman...

    Likes the taste of his feet!!! Mmmm... Hoof in Mouth!

  7. Jeremy Chappell


    It's hard to take him seriously when he tells lies. RMS has damaged his own argument with this "Backdoor" nonsense. This is a shame, as the argument has plenty of merit. It doesn't have to be backed up with lies, hardly the way to persuade someone about the ethics of your beliefs.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Black Helicopters

    Nice big basket...

    ...of mixed nuts right there.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Black Helicopters


    I always thought it was impossible to prove something (which can logically exist) doesn't exist, you can always (eventually) prove something does exist, but how do you find proof that something doesn't? Just because you haven't found it to exist does not preclude the possibility that it does exist.

  10. Daniel 4

    Richard bloody Stallman

    This is just another example of why i can't stand Richard bloody Stallman. For all the good he could be doing, he ends up expending most of his goodwill coming across as a crank. For what it is worth, this opinion originally had nothing to do with Apple whatsoever - it was over the way he stood on street corners likes someone who had drank too much turpentine and ranted and raved that Linux should be called GNU/Linux, a clearly lost (and more than somewhat stupid) cause, when there were far more important causes worthy of the airtime.


  11. Robert Moore

    Let me be the first to say

    Shut up Richard.

    I appreciate all the wonderful things you have done in the past, but your time is over. Now just shut up and fade into revered memory.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Forum troll?

    Sorry, is this story about some random forum troll? Or is it somebody half famous who's caught random forum troll disease?

  13. Anonymous Coward

    Out-RMS RMS?

    In this case I would agree with him, but go one further: replace "Digital Restriction Management" with "Digital Restriction Mechanism", ie, a mechanism by which you are restricted from using digital media. I'm actually surprised he didn't think this one through fully enough.

  14. Antidisestablishmentarianist

    Righteous Indignant...


  15. The Fuzzy Wotnot

    I think Stallman is great...

    ...but in this case, just sod off!

    Like Windows, it's a proprietry O/S, there are quite a few OS O/S (!) out there now, unlike when Stallman started his lifelong crusade. Rather than hammering on other people's doors, especially as they very unlikely to answer, why not concentrate more on pushing the FOSS O/Ss, make people aware of the choices available these days.

    Blabbing FUD to all an sundry, THEN backpeddling just makes you look stupid! It does not endear you to people, and people are less likely to listen when you do have something interesting to say.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Black Helicopters

    Conspiracy nutter in the making.

    'Stallman's privacy concerns are such that he avoids using mobiles in general.'


    Much as I dislike mobiles in general and recognise the privacy implications, 'the man' already knows where you live and where you work so the only privacy concern I can see is them tracking you between cells which is easy to solve with a combination of an unregistered Pay Go phone and the simple tactic of removing the phone battery when you don't need it switched on.

    I suspect he's one black helicopter short of a surveillance state.

    Black helicopter, there, I fixed it for ya..

  17. Gulfie


    Whilst I don't entirely disagree with his specific points about (for example) DRM, whenever you select a platform you are accepting a degree of lock-in. All that varies is the degree of lock-in. Linux is probably the lowest because you can get the source to pretty much everything and build it for yourself, but you still need a compiler, or a compiler to compile your open source compiler...

    Even Java, which is as close as you can get to being platform independent, relies on a runtime, and yes there is an open source JRE, but it in turn depends on a compiler...

    Some balance is required in his point of view, there is a trade-off going on between convenience and independence.

  18. Bilgepipe
    Black Helicopters


    "Stallman's privacy concerns are such that he avoids using mobiles in general."

    Following on from that, he presumably doesn't shop at supermarkets, doesn't use a credit or debit card, doesn't take utilities such as water or electricity, doesn't pay taxes, doesn't have internet access, and a whole host of other privacy-busting activities.

    If he's that worried about an iTunes upgrade, perhaps he should be living in a cave, in case "They" come and get him.

  19. askvictor
    Paris Hilton


    ... so he made a mistake, realised, then retracted the statement and apologised for it. I really, really wish that more people and companies in the world acted like this.

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Umm, you have read his retraction haven't you? Do me a favour and go back and re read it again but this time mentally insert a wink and a quick tap on the side of the nose whenever RMS says something like "although there is no...." or "..presume....".

    Look at the sentence:

    "I apologize for repeating a criticism of Mac OS which I cannot substantiate <insert sly wink> and must presume <insert tapping of nose> is false."

    hardly an effective retraction is it? Even without my additions. "I cannot substantiate" implies someone else maybe can, "must presume" implies "only because I have no choice, but I don't want to" and that's just one sentence.

    Remember kiddies, RMS starts every day with a nice big bowl of crazy.

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Sure is a lot of hate for RS on here.

    If anyone thinks that major manufacturers such as Apple are not in collusion with 'security services', then they are sadly misguided.

  22. apexwm

    Everybody makes mistakes...

    Stallman has a lot of opposition because he is outspoken. But, I have to admit that usually when he makes a statement, he has good reason to. He's probably one of the more honest people out there. If he didn't speak up back in the 1980's, Open Source wouldn't be what it is today. If you use Open Source software, you should thank him for making it happen. He's the one that came up with the idea of sharing source code, nobody else did. In this case he made a statement without evidence, and went back and apologized. Case closed, let's move on and continue to promote the freedom of Open Source.

  23. Uwe Dippel
    Thumb Up

    I don't maind what you call him

    RMS is my hero. Over. Without him, I could not be sitting here, typing this comment in a GPL-ed browser, running on a Free kernel, chose among desktop environments, and so forth.

    I'd sit on a standard, expensive, vendor-locked-in terminal similar to the Tele-Tubbies. And so forth.

    And furthermore, I bet that deep down inside a bunch of you guys envy his confidence at being different; while openly declaring him crazy. This world actually and urgently needs more people who don't run in the rat race, and rather live a life of their own. On top with a social calling: Providing choice for you, offering a cheap notebook to the 3rd and 4th world. Sharing, helping. All words that you pretend to abhor. Fine. Welcome to the brave new world.

    I for one can do without the latter. Computing can produce a dark world, with a gray army of ants, marching in a golden cage. But it could as well mean freedom, liberty, sustainable progress. This world can do with another million of people who dream about, and work for the second scenario. RMS is marching at the top. Chapeau!

  24. OkKTY8KK5U

    Even when Stallman is right...

    ...he's still embarassing to me as a linux user. Why on earth does anybody pay any attention to this screeching, hystrionic lunatic? Why does an ageing hippie with no actual responsibilities matter in the slightest to anybody who actually works for a living? Is it because some folks insist on treating computers and operating systems as religions instead of tools?

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