Richard Stallman launched the free software movement in 1983 and started the development of the GNU operating system (see www.gnu.org) in 1984. GNU is free software: everyone has the freedom to copy it and redistribute it, with or without changes. The GNU/Linux system, basically the GNU operating system with Linux added, is used on tens of millions of computers today. Stallman has received the ACM Grace Hopper Award, a MacArthur Foundation fellowship, the Electronic Frontier Foundation's Pioneer Award, and the Takeda Award for Social/Economic Betterment, as well as several doctorates honoris causa, and has been inducted into the Internet Hall of Fame.
There are many threats to freedom in the digital society. They include massive surveillance, censorship, digital handcuffs, nonfree software that controls users, and the War on Sharing. Computers for voting make election results untrustworthy. Other threats come from use of web services. Finally, we have no assured right to make any particular use of the Internet; every activity is precarious, permitted only as long as companies are willing to cooperate with our doing it.