Trump wants to dismantle the OTF: Trump wants to dismantle the US Open Technology Fund, a nonprofit that funds development of open source communications tools used to counter oppression throughout the world.

Cory Doctorow:

The Trump admin wants to nuke the OTF and give all its money to a bunch of grifty, closed-source privacy and firewall-circumvention tools. These tools are NOT auditable, and the companied that make them stand to make BANK from the move.

I have no idea whether these companies are CIA fronts, but I tell you what, if i was a Uyghur in Xinjiang or a dissident in Tehran, I would NOT trust my life to these tools. No goddamned way.

Even if these companies _aren’t_ fronts for spooks, they _could_ be in the future. Because if the companies that made these tools – companies that had been dealt a huge favor by the US government – were suborned for surveillance later, it would be very hard to catch them.

OTF’s ironclad rule of funding open, free code isn’t just a way to allay suspicions about the tools’ true purpose – it’s also a preventative against corruption, because the projects OTF funds _can’t_ insert spy code without being caught right away….

This money built the tools that Black Lives Matter protesters use, to say nothing of the Hong Kong protests and many other movements around the world.

It will be a genuine, deep, widespread tragedy if this move isn’t stopped.

Mitch Wagner @MitchWagner