The Dongle Ball and Chain - Modern Slavery
One definition of "fascism" is "oppressive, dictatorial control." The word has been greatly abused and has lost much of its meaning, but sometimes it is the right word for the job, and dongles are tools of commercial fascism, tools of modern electronic slavery.
The dongle is not a mere product accessory, as dishonest and fascistic developers and merchants pretend. Far from it. It is a method of oppressive and dictatorial tracking and control that maliciously and rabidly attacks the most fundamental and cherished concepts of freedom.
The dongle is the ball and chain of modern commercial slavery.
"PROOF OF OWNERSHIP"
The liars who promote this seditious and invasive method of dictatorial control claim that it is nothing more than a proof of ownership.
Oh, yes, it is a proof of ownership, all right--*not* ownership of the product by the individual, though, but ownership of the individual by the maker of the product.
Ownership is the right to control. The alleged "owner" of dongle-protected software does not actually control the allegedly "owned" product; the dongle does. The proof is simple: remove the dongle and attempt to control the software.
And who owns the dongle? The one who controls it, and the one who controls it is *solely* the company who sold it. No one else has any access, rights, or control over its operation or non-operation whatsoever. If it fails for any reason, or gets lost, or gets damaged, *only* the company who sold it can replace it or make it operational again--often at severe inconvenience and even cost to the slave-customer.
The alleged "owner" of the product, at all times, is completely at the mercy of, and a slave to, the dongle and its actual owner: the company who sold it.
The purported "owner" is, in fact, owned.
The fascistic companies and corporations who use this oppressive means of control on their "customers" also have sold the world a flood of snake-oil to "justify" their unjustifiable commercial slavery.
In one ploy, they have attempted to disguise the true seditious and obsessive-control nature of the device by renaming it a "key," trying to delude the gullible into believing that a dongle is simply analogous to a car key or a house key. Of course people who don't drool uncontrollably recognize immediately the risible idiocy inherent in such fraud, since any one of them can call on a key smith--or even a coat hanger in some cases--24 hours a day almost anywhere in the world to solve the problem of a lost or stolen or locked-up key.
Other market-fascists peddling their brand of dongle slavery peddle it with this swill: "it's like any other part of any device that needs to be replaced or repaired by the manufacturer." The only fools who fall for such vicious dissembling are those too ignorant to understand the fundamental, urgent, clamorous, and desperate issues that are being crushed under the jackboots of the commercial fascists, and so never notice that getting a replacement egg-whisk widget from Sears does not entail an automatic PRESUMPTION OF GUILT.
PRESUMPTION OF GUILT, PROOF OF INNOCENCE
The dongle is a full-on assault on one of the most precious rights and freedoms of the individual: presumption of innocence.
The dongle is the material icon of PRESUMPTION OF GUILT because it is *required* PROOF OF INNOCENCE. Proof of innocence cannot possibly be required without prior presumption of guilt. Presumption of guilt is, and always has been, a primary tool of oppressive and dictatorial control. Required proof of innocence is, and always has been, a primary tool of oppressive and dictatorial control. It is fascism. It is slavery. It is abhorrent. It is insupportable and indefensible on any grounds.
All other "arguments" and "explanations" and "justifications" crumble like mummy flesh before the pyramidal constancy of mankind's eternal quest for individual freedom, independence, dignity, privacy, rights, and sovereignty. At every moment, in every place in the world, there are always forces and factions working to find new ways to control, to enslave, to erode precious and hard-won freedoms. So it has always been, so it is now, so it will be.
The dongle is merely one modern manifestation of the age-old desire of the few to control the many. While the computer has brought many new freedoms, it also has put new tools for enslavement and control into the hands of those twisted enough to think they have a divine right to use them on others.
The dongle is particularly invidious and insidious because it promises "newfound freedom of computing power and creativity" in exchange for just this one leeeettle bit of slavery. Of course, that's always the promise of the fascist, that's always the bait for the trap: just slip on these chains and we'll make things better for you in some way.
This brand of new-age electronic fascism and slavery extends far beyond the dongle, and far beyond the scope of this article. But that "innocent" little bit of plastic and electronics that you might have been coaxed, cajoled, or defrauded into believing you needed for your own survival and happiness and creativity--no matter what "justification" you were given--is, baldly, an unspeakable invasion of *your* privacy, an indefensible presumption of *your* guilt, an infamous erosion of *your* rights, freedoms, and dignity.
The dongle is no less an enslavement than cold and rusted chains. And it is one small link in the growing network of chains that seek to bind us all.
BOYCOTT COMMERCIAL FASCISM
Every dime, drachma, centavo, yen, and euro paid to the purveyors of this form of electronic fascism is money paid in support of slavery and the negation of human rights.
Are you willing to trade that for some software? Maybe you already have. Maybe you are incensed by this article. Maybe it has stirred up a hornet's nest of conflicting emotions.
If so, good.
If not, maybe you're dead and just won't lie down.
Or, maybe you simply have fallen for the weepy sob stories that these companies peddle in order to get their shackles on you: that they *need* to put these leeetle tiny chains on *you* in order to survive themselves commercially. Of course, if you do swallow that sewage, it means you aren't quite bright enough to notice the 99.8% of software companies surviving perfectly well without requiring your enslavement and presumption of your guilt, so you probably wouldn't understand the concepts--or maybe even the words--in this article at all.
This dongle issue isn't about panting pimply-faced adolescent "warez" pirates threatening the very existence of life as we know it by ripping off giant software firms and becoming rich and famous as a result, nor has it ever been. The idiocy of that "argument" is beneath contempt. Of course that's not to say that there aren't software pirates, but all "solutions" that penalize, encumber, or obsessively control the innocent in order to attempt to restrain the guilty are the primary tools of fascism and enslavement: always have been, always will be.
No, what it's actually about is obsessive control, invasion of privacy, presumption of guilt, and sanctioned commercial slavery on a global scale. "Piracy control" is just one of its "justifications."
If your temporal gratification of being able to have some particular "gotta have it" software for your business or personal pleasure is worth the price of personal slavery and universal acquiescence to presumption of guilt as a way of life, then no one is going to dissuade you from supporting such global commercial fascism with your money. Just don't stop too long to ponder what kind of future you might be actively contributing to.
To the others, to those whose sense of ethics, and whose sense of moral obligation to the principles of freedom and human dignity and rights extends beyond their monitor screen: please boycott the electronic enslavers, and urge everyone you know to do so with a vengeance.
Or are you a good software slave?