(this is a summary of some of the reasons why TFF Founder Rufo Guerreschi and others started the UVT project . For the record, the uselessness of GPL3 and AGPL in the sense explained below is one of the reasons why I liked this project when I was asked to do some work for TFF as a part time consultant)
A lot of great work has been done in promotion and branding of GNU GPLv3. However, I think GPLv3 cannot promise freedoms in digital communications to ordinary users, and adequately protect their constitutional communication rights while using telematics communications.
Even a very wide deployment of GPLv3 software and its adoption – through lots of very easy to use online services and apps – by many end users would still not provide those end users with effective means to verify the levels of security, privacy and authentication of those services, because they would have no means to verify that:
- the code they are using on some website is effectively the same code that, thanks to the GPLv3 license, they could download from that same website
- there is no other malicious software running on the same server
- in general, the hardware on which that software runs has not been compromised
- all that GPLv3 code is regularly tested, to maintain consistent levels of security, privacy and authentication
Of course, nothing of all this is a critique to the GPL or to the FSF (which has other goals than solve the general problems above): these are not problems that any license could solve. However, this doesn’t change the fact that, today, it has become extremely difficult for an ordinary person to enjoy the freedoms promote by FSF. It is not a problem of demand but of supply. There are no tools and practices that are accessible to the ordinary person who cares about his or her freedom, not even for the most sensitive parts of their computing or communications.
Continues at GPLv3 is great to promote open innovation, but not enough to protect our constitutional communication rights.