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Cloud computing is a trap, warns GNU founder Richard Stallman

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The concept of using web-based programs like Google's Gmail is "worse than stupidity", according to a leading advocate of free software.

Cloud computing – where IT power is delivered over the internet as you need it, rather than drawn from a desktop computer – has gained currency in recent years. Large internet and technology companies including Google, Microsoft and Amazon are pushing forward their plans to deliver information and software over the net.

But Richard Stallman, founder of the Free Software Foundation and creator of the computer operating system GNU, said that cloud computing was simply a trap aimed at forcing more people to buy into locked, proprietary systems that would cost them more and more over time.

"It's stupidity. It's worse than stupidity: it's a marketing hype campaign," he told The Guardian.

"Somebody is saying this is inevitable – and whenever you hear somebody saying that, it's very likely to be a set of businesses campaigning to make it true."

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Why Stallman is wrong when he calls cloud computing stupid Free Software Foundation founder Richard Stallman spent yesterday condemning cloud computing and is calling for users to reject popular web applications. He insists that reliance on web-based software poses a serious risk to freedom and privacy. Cloud computing is just a "hype campaign" perpetrated by software vendors who want to control users, he says, and the only way to fight the problem is to stop using the software.

Cloud computing is one of the most significant emerging trends in the technology industry. Users are becoming increasingly reliant on web applications and remote data storage solutions. The popularity of cloud computing is climbing in both enterprise and consumer markets, and the trend is widely regarded as a game-changing advancement in software deployment and consumption. In light of the growing importance of cloud computing, Stallman's call for its rejection warrants both scrutiny and skepticism.

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