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Linux fanboys are at it again. This time over security.

Posted 11-06-2015 at 07:59 PM by Randicus Draco Albus

This thread has inspired another blog post.

A newspaper article that examines the Linux kernel from a security perspective with a cursory, but unbiased examination of the issue from both sides, Torvalds and those who advocate better security, is vilified by some Linux users as an attack on Linux and anti-Linux propaganda. Here is yet another instance where Linux fanboys attack anyone who dares to evaluate Linux critically.

It is not a secret that Torvalds has a complacent, I call it naive, attitude toward security. However, many Linux users ignore the issue. If their god Linus is not overly concerned with security, then it is not an issue. Linux is perfect and anyone that points out a flaw, or potential flaw, is a heretic that hates Linux and is probably an agent of Microsoft. In their view, laying out the attitudes and philosophies of the players on both sides, including a few basic facts for the general public reading the newspaper, and including quotes from people in both camps, is biased reporting and terrible journalism. Torvalds has a philosophy regarding security. Others have a different philosophy. Explaining those different philosophies and the different thinking behind them is not being biased against one side. In cases like this one, Linux fanboys cause more harm than good. Nothing is perfect. Linux has many good qualities, but it is not free of faults. Refusing to acknowledge faults is a recipe for disaster.

The people calling for better security at the kernel level make good arguments. Torvald's arguments against increasing security are not convincing to anyone with a concern for even basic security, but his ideas do make sense from a certain point of view. It is fine for people to agree with Torvald's idea that convenience should not be sacrificed for the benefit of increased security, but attacking anyone that criticises the wisdom of that philosophy is ridiculous. If one agrees with Torvalds, provide arguments that support the perceived merits of that approach. Labelling those who criticise Torvald's philosophy as anti-Linux propagandists simply exposes the complainers as fanboys that refuse to critically evaluate the operating system they use and the people who make it.
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  1. Old Comment
    I'd be more concerned were the security "experts" that the Post cited not for-profit security consultants.

    Linus may need to update his attitudes a bit, but I am skeptical of the neutrality of some of their "experts." I used to work in a field in which consultants were plentiful; I knew some that operated in good faith, but most were preoccupied with creating opportunities to sell their services.

    Yes, it's true that many Linux users grab hold of "Linux is more secure" as an excuse not use good security practices, but, really, that's on them.

    As someone who used to read the Washington Post regularly and subscribed to the print edition for many years, I must say that it is a shell of its former self. I no longer read it or its website because there is no ROI on my effort.

    This is not to say I am unquestioningly in Torvald's corner on this one. It is to say, consider the source.

    Just my two not-very-well-educated cents.
    Posted 11-06-2015 at 11:27 PM by frankbell frankbell is offline
  2. Old Comment
    I'd be more concerned were the security "experts" that the Post cited not for-profit security consultants.
    People definitely should be wary of many of the warnings from "security consultants." I did notice that one of the security proponents in the article was a former kernel maintainer who left after his concerns were dismissed and current maintainers are echoing his concerns. I would not urge people to blindly believe and trust any story in the news media. What drew my attention in the thread is how the article was dismissed as hate propaganda and terrible journalism, simply because they attempted to write a neutral article about Linux. That says more about Linux users than about the article.
    Posted 11-06-2015 at 11:55 PM by Randicus Draco Albus Randicus Draco Albus is offline
  3. Old Comment
    Posted 11-06-2015 at 11:58 PM by rocket357 rocket357 is offline
  4. Old Comment
    Interesting read.
    Posted 11-07-2015 at 01:10 AM by Randicus Draco Albus Randicus Draco Albus is offline


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