The Free Software Foundation (FSF), the leading organization working to protect the rights of Internet users and defend free software, posted a reminder for its members and supporters today about Google’s double standard when it comes to free software. Google may provide hosting for open source projects and contribute to the development of some free software, but the software that powers its own offerings is not free.
Because of the incredibly high percentage of Gmail-using free software supporters, we’re taking action to raise awareness about how to use Gmail without using proprietary software. We’ll also be working on longer term solutions, but the most immediate positive step to take is to stop running the proprietary programs.
Many people suggest that you shouldn’t use Gmail at all, because it means losing control over your data and privacy. We agree that this is a very important factor for you to consider when choosing how you will handle your email.
We are among those who suggest that Gmail shouldn’t be used at all due to privacy and security concerns. The fact that Gmail’s web interface is comprised of proprietary software is just another good reason not to do business with the Monster of Mountain View.