IRCNow

Open Info

Our world is becoming more dependent upon information. Our communications, artificial intelligence, hardware, even currency and markets now depend upon information technology. But as time goes on, most of this information is becoming the private property of just a handful of corporations. We are losing our freedoms and being oppressed by these powerful monopolies.

We the people need to create an alternative, open economy that gives equal opportunities for people all over the world. To accomplish this goal, we need an economy where everyone is free to use, study, modify, and share the works produced.

What is Open Info?

Like the free and open source software movements, we define Open Info as any work where you have:

  1. The freedom to use the work
  2. The freedom to study the work
  3. The freedom to modify the work
  4. The freedom to share the work
  5. The freedom to reproduce the work

…for any purpose, without fee, without requiring permission.

These five essential freedoms are what defines Open Info. We want to bring these same principles into the 21st century because we now live in an interconnected era where most than just PCs are running software. We apply the principles of Open Info to any creative work, including software, hardware, artwork, data, and more.

Why Openness Matters

Freedom

Open information gives users freedom and control over their own software. With corporate censorship on the rise, there is a serious risk that legitimate speech will get banned. For example, Christian preaching and Bible teaching all over the world is getting censored on big networks like Google, Facebook, and YouTube. Without Open Info, the Christian community is at serious risk of losing access to the Bible.

As another example, corporations today often censor criticism of their company or brand, even when the complaint is truthful and valid. Many service providers ban you from writing negative reviews about their products or services from their business partners. If you are an activist for animal welfare, you may find criticism of animal cruelty censored. You could get service denied and posts deleted for revealing the wrongdoing of powerful corporations.

Open Info gives you your freedom and voice back. When you have open software, hardware, data, and content, you have control over your own platform and are not dependent upon a corporation's approval.

Equal Access

Closed, proprietary software is often very expensive. Buying a legal copy of Microsoft Windows, for example, can easily cost your monthly salary in a poorer country. Buying a legal Mac is something only the rich can afford. Basic tools that we need for work, like our operating system, photo editors, word processors, and movie editors often cost more than what average people in poor countries can afford. It forces them into poverty and often theft, and closed info puts them at a serious disadvantage.

Even when users can afford these services, they are denied access to study, modify, and share that information. As a result, any new work they produce will become part of the property of that company rather than helping the rest of society as a whole. All this does is reinforce their monopoly and control over the disadvantaged.

Open Info is the solution. When software can be freely shared and copied, it means that the price of software will be much, much cheaper – it will usually be free. And what is more important, it empowers the user by allowing him to study the work, make modifications, and share it with others.

Avoiding Vendor Lock-In

Closed info providers deliberately design their systems so it is difficult or impossible to leave. They do this to ensure you become dependent on their ecosystem. For example, if you shop with Apple, you become dependent on their expensive ecosystem of iPhones and Macs. You must regularly pay them taxes in the form of new hardware/software upgrades and iCloud fees. These are part of the taxes they force you to pay. Over time, you find yourself becoming part of their property. But if you try to leave, you find it is extremely difficult to get out, often requiring months of work. This is their deliberate design – closed info is designed to enforce economic feudalism.

When designs follow open protocols, open standards, and open designs, it has much greater interoperability. You become the owner of your own info. Your data, software, and hardware are free, so you can choose any provider from the marketplace. In fact, you could become your own provider. You are no longer forced to pay unreasonable prices, and you are no longer treated like chattel. No more abusive monopolies!

Privacy

Closed info services are full of spyware and malware. For example, Kape technologies used to package a piece of closed malware that posed as a flash installer. This installer would then inject ads into your browser without your permission. Google will track all your browsing habits and computer details, selling this data to advertisers.

Facebook's WhatsApp claims to protect your privacy with end to end encryption, but it is nothing but marketing whitewashing. Because we lack the source code, it is impossible for us to audit their claims about using secure encryption. In fact, we later discovered that they intercept your traffic and decrypt it in their client application. Moreover, WhatsApp requires a phone number connected to your real-world ID in order to register. So much for their claims of end-to-end privacy.

Now that our lives are becoming more dependent upon information technology, our credit cards, bank accounts, health records, telephone calls, business documents and more are at risk of being stolen or leaked because of the horrible privacy record of closed info services.

The only solution for this is software that allows you to audit the source code, and where the developers are transparent about what their software does. Having source code that anyone can audit helps keep developers honest. Open info services is the only real way to ensure your privacy.

Control and Customization

With Open Info software, it is possible to customize

Cultural

Cost-effective

Education

Transparency

Quality

Transparency

Community

Our team's contract to each other and to our users.