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Global Security: the Internet
Edited: Feb. 17 2024
A project proposal for class
date published: September 20, 2023
by Jonathan Matthew Gresham

I want to propose a project where I will investigate some international nongovernmental organizations that are online and show that the collective decision making that is heavily involved in them is actually part of a global security system that also provides collective decision making in itself in the whole global community; and these organizations contribute to the sustainability of peace through providing resources to areas of global poverty. The INGO's that I will mention might be predominantly internet-based, but they have meetings around the world such as in Switzerland, the United States and Brazil to discuss their frameworks and general ethical values; but I to want to point out that the global security system that involves the INGO's globalizes the world through global interconnection and interdependence of the world’s population; I am talking about the Internet. On global security, but about the question about whether that these organizations risen because the state has lost its salience, I will investigate that further in my project. NBC News, the Washington Post and CNN news in 2022 published articles which basically reported that Russia is nearly isolated online, and this provides an example of global poverty. Culturally, the critique of the dominance of Microsoft Windows in society implored by Richard Stallman and GNU is an ethical criticism because Microsoft is a competitive organization and GNU is an organization with a cooperative global ethical framework that harbors those who want to resist competition. Virtual private server providers like Vultr allow you to not only avoid installing Microsoft Windows on your internet server, but they allow you to pick what you want on it from a wide selection even with an option to upload your own operating system (ISO image file) for the server; Microsoft Windows might use up more resources than a Debian or OpenBSD server; a small web server would be about 500 megabytes of RAM and some hard drive space or 1 GB of RAM; the more memory you add to your server, the more the cost increases; but Microsoft Windows 11 requires 4 gigabytes of RAM and a 1 GHz processor. When it comes to international nongovernmental organizations like the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) and GNU (GNU's Not Unix!), they are concerned with the ethical wrongness and rightness of different patterns of distribution of material wealth and plenty of other goods. I will talk about those and I will cover, biographically, Linus Torvalds briefly.

Understanding the efficacy of people like Tim Berners-Lee who worked at CERN back in 1989 is important for understanding the origination of the first World Wide Web server and the first client that was a browser and an editor back in 1990 which means he had to write the first version of Hypertext Markup Language (HTML) to do so. In 1994, many companies increasingly invested resources and this led to the creation of the World Wide Web Consortium and Berners-Lee was leading the essential work. The W3C is an international stakeholders community where organizations of members, the public and full-time staff work cooperatively to provide open web standards. The W3C wants people to be able to access websites on any device globally; and they do this by defining an open web platform for application development; they believe in interactive experiences on the web for everyone because of their global ethical framework. They want people to keep crafting web technologies like XML because it may be the historical philosophy of that late 1980's and early 90's era where creating new innovative technologies was and continues to be part of the hacker way of life.

If you compare the W3C with GNU ('GNU's Not Unix!') that is the point I am getting at. Richard Stallman announced in 1983 he would be developing an operating system that worked similarly to Unix, but GNU was and is not Unix; it was and continues to not be an operating system that restricts the user and prevents them from seeing, sharing, reading, modifying, executing, running modified versions of the source code and publishing modified versions of it in any manner; because ethically it does not think that the Patent System is ethical; they also defend your right to sell your own copies or modified versions of free software! While Stallman publicly declared all software to be free (as in freedom not price) in 1984, in 1985 he made two things: the GNU Manifesto and the Free Software Foundation. He created the GNU General Public License in 1989; a license that is basically ‘copyleft’ meaning all of the user’s legal ability with the software program is whatever they wanted to do, but not in the case of distributing pieces of software with the GPL or ‘free software’ without the source code; the FSF actively defend these rights in court either directly or indirectly. These parties are not liable for misuse of software licensed under the GPL, but the user is free as in freedom not price when they use such software, just like the software. This is not ‘open source’ philosophy, that is a competing philosophy in the field; open source focuses on popularity and success not right and wrong.

Generally, the hierarchical power relations of open source in modern times have to include Linus Torvalds and the Linux Foundation. Linus Torvalds formed version 1.0 of the Linux kernel in 1994. However by 2003, the development of the kernel itself was backed by Open Source Development Labs (OSDL), a consortium formed by high-tech businesses that included Hewlett-Packard, IBM, Intel, Red Hat, AMD, Novell and several other organizations; and this is when he started working on it again after working for a start-up company starting in 1996 named “Transmeta” for a time. Transmeta was in the first stage of developing an energy saving Central Processing Unit (CPU). When it comes to OSDL, its purpose was to promote Linux development; and it merged with The Free Standards Group in 2007 and became the The Linux Foundation. Linus Torvalds remains the ultimate authority on what is incorporated into the Linux kernel, but he also invented Git in 2005 to manage workflow. Git is also called version control which records versions to file or sets of files over time so you can recall previously recorded versions later. Most free software projects and open source projects use Git. Several people work on Linux in the Linux Foundation because the Linux Foundation is a hierarchical organization with knowledge and power. The Linux Foundation says that they aim to ‘democratize code’ and ‘scale adoption for all projects’; and they are also into introducing new technological categories based on new trends; that they want to speed up the growth technologies; but also that they are a complete solution for developers, businesses and events etc.

Due to competition the Linux kernel and the GNU operating system (core utilities among others) are in competition with proprietary business software like Microsoft Windows where similar and related businesses have profited off of the innovations of an inventive technological culture; and in the context of virtual private servers, some use a distribution called “Ubuntu GNU/Linux” or use one called “Debian GNU/Linux”; it is more expensive to host a server that runs an operating system like Microsoft Windows because of hardware requirements; thanks to the W3C globally everyone can now make their own website if they look up how to do it, pay the right online organizations pocket change and read the manuals to set up their system or web server: on that point the global poor do not have access to the whole internet, and are denied human rights; but the open source software licenses impact the wage's of Microsoft’s employees and Microsoft's profit. I think that also through military alliances we can bring resources to the global poor; but for global distributive justice to even work we need the GNU Operating System with the Linux kernel being developed in the infrastructure of a global security system that must perform distributive justice through the aforementioned INGO's political contexts of hierarchical power relations.

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