Feeds

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

'Secret and untrustworthy' says Free Software Foundation

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

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. ®

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

More from The Register

next story
Ex-US Navy fighter pilot MIT prof: Drones beat humans - I should know
'Missy' Cummings on UAVs, smartcars and dying from boredom
Don't wait for that big iPad, order a NEXUS 9 instead, industry little bird says
Google said to debut next big slab, Android L ahead of Apple event
Xperia Z3: Crikey, Sony – ANOTHER flagship phondleslab?
The Fourth Amendment... and it IS better
Microsoft to enter the STRUGGLE of the HUMAN WRIST
It's not just a thumb war, it's total digit war
Netscape Navigator - the browser that started it all - turns 20
It was 20 years ago today, Marc Andreeesen taught the band to play
A drone of one's own: Reg buyers' guide for UAV fanciers
Hardware: Check. Software: Huh? Licence: Licence...?
The Apple launch AS IT HAPPENED: Totally SERIOUS coverage, not for haters
Fandroids, Windows Phone fringe-oids – you wouldn't understand
Apple SILENCES Bose, YANKS headphones from stores
The, er, Beats go on after noise-cancelling spat
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.