Looking for Information About Software Co's Morals

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Looking for Information About Software Co's Morals

Postby LarryN » 2021-01-14 07:07

I would appreciate it if anyone has information on which Linux distros and business software could be deemed to be as 'socially neutral' as possible (i.e. Debian, office suite, text editors, etc.). As an example, the Debian website is beautiful because it is one of the only two known Linux websites that does not have tracking scripts (as a web designer and security systems tech I often look at sites' page code as a heads-up of how ethical the site's owners might be). The Debian OS is also beautiful because it permits and promotes a full installation without proprietary software. These are among the things that I give special attention to.

A few years ago some of my computer service customers voiced their being unhappy about a change in Microsoft's 'social values'. For some businesses it can cause legal problems and a loss of customers if the businesses use software that is not as 'socially neutral' as possible (read that as being 'socially mute'). I did the leg work to see what might could be done, but, of course, nothing could be done. In recent days a similar problem has again erupted with a popular browser.

Over the years I have installed Linux for numerous customers, but some of the most recent distro versions are leaning outside of being neutral. I do not care who does the coding, nor do I care what the coders' personal preferences might be, but when coders start forcing users to financially support special interest organizations, then I start hearing from customers, and that software immediately gets deleted.

Any recommendations are sincerely appreciated. Thanks!
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Re: Looking for Information About Software Co's Morals

Postby Head_on_a_Stick » 2021-01-14 11:52

LarryN wrote:the Debian website is beautiful because it is one of the only two known Linux websites that does not have tracking scripts

I'm curious: what is the other website? I don't think the Arch, Gentoo or Alpine Linux sites have tracking mechanisms so that's another three at least.

LarryN wrote:when coders start forcing users to financially support special interest organizations

Do you have any specific examples of this?
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Re: Looking for Information About Software Co's Morals

Postby LarryN » 2021-01-14 21:01

Head_on_a_Stick wrote:I'm curious: what is the other website? I don't think the Arch, Gentoo or Alpine Linux sites have tracking mechanisms so that's another three at least.


Thank you! Arch was the second one. I have no experience with Gentoo and Alpine, but I will now give the distros a try.

Head_on_a_Stick wrote:Do you have any specific examples of this?


Yes, but I quickly learned to not say anything because I was verbally attacked when I said "no" and withdrew my support of one organization. Too, I am confident that the Debian forum is much happier without knowing names. ;)
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Re: Looking for Information About Software Co's Morals

Postby golinux » 2021-01-15 04:05

The Devuan website has this at the bottom of every page :
This site is free of cookies and javascript
Check it out.
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Re: Looking for Information About Software Co's Morals

Postby Head_on_a_Stick » 2021-01-15 18:31

LarryN wrote:I am confident that the Debian forum is much happier without knowing names

Nah, we want the dirt. I have my popcorn ready and everything :mrgreen:
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Re: Looking for Information About Software Co's Morals

Postby LarryN » 2021-01-16 17:47

golinux wrote:The Devuan website has this at the bottom of every page :
This site is free of cookies and javascript
Check it out.


Thank you! Devuan is new to me so I downloaded an ISO to test.

Head_on_a_Stick wrote:Nah, we want the dirt. I have my popcorn ready and everything


The Forum Guidelines state "The following might get your post REMOVED - Obviously racist/ sexist/ hateful content - Obviously political/ religious content - Obvious pornographic content", so I will not openly speak of any related topic. One surprising item however is that the email address I used for registering here had not been used in about ten years and had not received any email whatsoever until today when I started getting spam at the email address. Maybe it is just a coincidence, but usually it suggests that the spam came from the software/organization where the email was used. Software morality includes security and not spamming the users.
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Re: Looking for Information About Software Co's Morals

Postby Head_on_a_Stick » 2021-01-16 18:46

LarryN wrote:Software morality includes security and not spamming the users.

Lol. You should ask for your money back then :mrgreen:
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Re: Looking for Information About Software Co's Morals

Postby golinux » 2021-01-16 20:20

LarryN wrote:
golinux wrote:The Devuan website has this at the bottom of every page :
This site is free of cookies and javascript
Check it out.
Thank you! Devuan is new to me so I downloaded an ISO to test.

Enjoy! You might also want to have a look at our forum's (almost) No Code of Conduct
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Re: Looking for Information About Software Co's Morals

Postby stevepusser » 2021-01-16 20:37

Could you check the MX Linux site, too? https://mxlinux.org/

If you find any tracking, I'll see if I can stir up things to get it removed.
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Re: Looking for Information About Software Co's Morals

Postby LarryN » 2021-01-16 23:06

golinux wrote:Enjoy! You might also want to have a look at our forum's (almost) No Code of Conduct


That looks good. I've been an electronics tech for over thirty years, doing security systems work for over fifteen years (personal and business PCs to city, county, and maximum security state complex, PC warranty service on confidential state agency computers for a big name brand, etc.), over ten-thousand customers, met hundreds of thousands of individuals of all walks of life, and the only thing that ever mattered was all of us being honest and polite to each other. Software security relies on similar: being honest and polite. When I test Devuan I hope to find that there also.
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Re: Looking for Information About Software Co's Morals

Postby LarryN » 2021-01-16 23:40

stevepusser wrote:Could you check the MX Linux site, too? https://mxlinux.org/

If you find any tracking, I'll see if I can stir up things to get it removed.


I gave MX live a test several weeks ago, but maybe it didn't like my test hardware; the taskbar and menu were backwards (start menu on the bottom right side). LOL! I had never seen anything like that before, so it was funny to me (I was busy so I didn't file a bug report: Biostar AM1MHP with AMD 5350). I may give it another test later on.

But the MX homepage, yes, a brief glance saw 22 immediate no-nos plus a few more that I would immediately nix if one of my customers had a similar setup. Depending on the intended audience, most often just plain ole' HTML 4.01 and CSS can do most anything wanted while not posing potential security threats to the user and the owner.

I had previously not considered testing MX simply because of the home page's code, but I really liked AntiX years back, so my curiosity won (downloaded MX with a partially secured PC).
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Re: Looking for Information About Software Co's Morals

Postby golinux » 2021-01-16 23:48

LarryN wrote:Depending on the intended audience, most often just plain ole' HTML 4.01 and CSS can do most anything wanted while not posing potential security threats to the user and the owner.
Indeed. KISS, "do one thing and do it well" and "if it works, don't fix it" is Devuan's approach to just about everything.
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Re: Looking for Information About Software Co's Morals

Postby LarryN » 2021-01-17 19:17

golinux wrote:Indeed. KISS, "do one thing and do it well" and "if it works, don't fix it" is Devuan's approach to just about everything.


I agree, and that's the big reason why my interest in Debian stays high. Humorously, a few years ago I was at a corporate office and saw a lady using Windows NT, and it was online also (it works, don't fix it). Many of the corporation's own customers still use NT and W2K, which was one reason why I had to build their website to be compatible with older HTML (i.e. use tables instead of divs). The idea there was for the corporation to cater to their clients, and not force the clients to have struggle to use the corporation's products. The advantages are many, and everyone is happy.

The main thing here is that in my own personal experience it has been common that if a distro has tracking scripts in their website code, then the distro itself will also have tracking/spyware. Quick example: I intercepted a packet that was about to be uploaded to the software maker (normal software 'feature'): in the packet file was a list of highly sensitive passwords plus things like full paragraphs of confidential text. Any software that calls home or otherwise makes use of 'online features' that the user does not want, is insecure and not moral. A quick fix though could simply be to keep the primary computer permanently offline, which is what I do. ;)
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