Hi this is going to be an official account for FOSDEM.org in the future #patience-please #Free #Libre #Open-source

@fosdem Hi there, welcome to the fediverse.

Who are your sponsors this year? Will you have the world’s #1 surveillance capitalist (Google) as your primary sponsor again?

What’s FOSDEM’s official stance on surveillance capitalism? Are you ethically/morally opposed to the business model of tracking/profiling people to manipulate their behaviour for profit or do you support it (being neutral in this, as in any situation of injustice, takes the side of the oppressor).

Look forward to your answer.

@aral We are a conference and platform for and about free and open source software. As such we welcome all free and open source developers from all over the world, regardless of their affiliation. We use donations to make this event possible. We aren't selective about sponsors and sources of donations, for sponsors have no influence on the selection of the contents for the event.

@fosdem That “free” word you keep using refers to “freedom”.

”We aren’t selective about about sponsors and sources of donations” is tone-deaf, reckless, & simply not acceptable in 2018 for any group that seeks legitimacy in the ethics of what they do.

Palantir develops open source (palantir.github.io) and also helps ICE find & deport asylum seekers. By your (lack of) ethical standards, they would be welcome as a sponsor.

Please see fundingmatters.tech and review your stance on this.

As long as @fosdem remains wilfully ignorant of the role they play in legitimising surveillance capitalism by ignoring the ethics of their sponsorship choices, I encourage any group who purports to care about human rights to boycott their event.

@indie and I will be boycotting it until such time as their policies forbid sponsorship by (and thus legitimisation of) surveillance capitalists like Google (their main sponsor last year), Facebook, and Palantir.


@aral @fosdem @indie You cannot be against surveillance capitalism, and then demand that surveillance and investigation happens. It is irrelevant that you want this to prevent the proliferation of surveillance capitalism. There is no way to prevent all financial transactions from the sponsors and donators without lowering yourself to their level.

@wodan @fosdem @indie What you just wrote is the largest pile of bullshit I read in quite a while. I am literally dumber for having read it. How do you equate not legitimising surveillance capitalism with surveillance capitalism itself. Truly amazing.

You can absolutely not take money from companies you are ethically opposed to and do not want to legitimise: it’s called having principles and a fucking backbone.



@aral @fosdem @indie It's perfectly fine to refuse to take money from companies you're ethically opposed to. But you seem to be unable to understand the concept of being neutral. Choosing is loosing.

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@wodan @fosdem @indie Yeah, man (goodness, how I know you’re a man), neither I nor Desmond Tutu understand the concept of neutrality, which is why we are so blessed to have you, dear anonymous elephant, to explain it to us – thank your adorable trunk.

“If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor. If an elephant has its foot on the tail of a mouse, and you say that you are neutral, the mouse will not appreciate your neutrality.” – Demond Tutu

@aral @fosdem @indie Nice quote. But the jury is still out on the 'injustice' and 'oppressor' part. You could be right. You could also be wrong. Maybe you're only seeing the top of the iceberg, and the conspiracy goes way deeper. If you feel up to being the judge, that's fine. Just don't expect others to put 100% faith in your abilities.

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