Feeds

For PITY'S SAKE, DON'T BUY an iPHONE 5S, begs FSF

'Secret and untrustworthy' says Free Software Foundation

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

The Free Software Foundation has taken issue with fingerprint recognition in the iPhone 5S and has called on users to reject Apple’s closed system smartphones.

Executive director John Sullivan used the launch of the iPhone 5S and 5C on Tuesday to zero in on the iPhone 5S, the expensive iPhone variant that comes equipped with a fingerprint scanner.

Sullivan repeated the FSF’s earlier attacks on closed system and proprietary handsets, saying the new phones grant further power to software programs “whose operations are secret and untrustworthy".

“We can't imagine a more hostile reaction to the wave of privacy concerns sweeping the world right now than debuting a proprietary, network-accessible fingerprint scanner as your new 'feature',” he said.

Sullivan didn’t provide details, but he seemed to be referring to the Edward Snowden disclosure that spooks at the NSA and GCHQ had “broken” encryption on the web.

“Apple has given us new hardware with the same old restrictions, allowing only Apple-approved software, putting users – along with their data, their privacy, and their freedom of expression – at the mercy of programs whose operations are secret and demonstrably untrustworthy,” he added.

He used the iPhone launch to promote the FSF’s belief that only “free” software on phones can be trusted, saying:

The first step is rejecting Apple’s restrictions.

It was the FSF's president, Richard Stallman, who marked the 2011 passing of Apple chief Steve Jobs by saying he was glad Jobs was gone because the Apple boss had exerted a "malign influence" on computing with his closed systems.

The FSF’s exec director also encouraged users to investigate the free Android fork called Replicant and the F-Droid application repository. ®

New hybrid storage solutions

More from The Register

next story
Apple iPhone 6: Missing sapphire glass screen FAIL explained
They just cannae do it in time, says analyst
Half a BILLION in the making: Bungie's Destiny reviewed
It feels very familiar - but it's still good
Apple's big bang: iPhone 6, ANOTHER iPhone 6 Plus and WATCH OUT
Let's >sigh< see what Cupertino has been up to for the past year
Huawei ditches new Windows Phone mobe plans, blames poor sales
Giganto mobe firm slams door shut on Microsoft. OH DEAR
Phones 4u website DIES as wounded mobe retailer struggles to stay above water
Founder blames 'ruthless network partners' for implosion
Get your Indian Landfill Android One handsets - they're only SIXTY QUID
Cheap and deafening mobes for the subcontinental masses
Apple's SNEAKY plan: COPY ANDROID. Hello iPhone 6, Watch
Sizes, prices and all – but not for the wrist-o-puter
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.