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SFGate: The Spy Who Hacked Me: Will Open Source Be The Hero Of International Security?

Mar 15, 2001, 16:19 (21 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Neil McAllister)

[ Thanks to Kevin Collins for this link. ]

"...On the surface, it might seem to make sense that the "socialized" development process of open-source projects would appeal to a communist nation such as China."

"But that's not really the main reason for China's interest in Linux. True open-source software is often described as being "free, as in free speech" but China's never shown much of an interest in promoting free speech."

"Economic concerns aren't the motive, either. Sure, Linux is also "free, as in free beer." But in a country with almost zero recognition of intellectual property rights, so is just about everything else. Current estimates reckon that some 90 percent of the software in use in China today comes from pirated copies."

"So why the move toward Linux? Simple. It may be the only OS China can trust."

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