July 24, 2014

An Interview with Karen Sandler (Model View Culture)

Over at Model View Culture, Adam Saunders interviews Karen Sandler, executive director of the Software Freedom Conservancy (SFC) and formerly the executive director of the GNOME Foundation. Sandler talks about SFC, the Outreach Program for Women, as well as being a cyborg: "I was diagnosed with a heart condition and needed a pacemaker/defibrillator, and none of the device manufacturers would let me see the source code that was to be literally sewn into my body and connected to my heart. My life relies on the proper functioning of software every day, and I have no confidence that it will. The FDA generally doesn't review the source code of medical devices nor can the public. But multiple researchers have shown that these devices can be maliciously hacked, with fatal consequences. Once you start considering medical devices, you quickly start to realize that it's all kinds of software that is life and society-critical - cars, voting machines, stock markets... It's essential that our software be safe, and the only way we can realistically expect that to be the case over time is by ensuring that our software is free and open. If there's catastrophic failure at Medtronic (the makers of my defibrillator), for example, I wouldn't be able to fix a bug in my own medical device."

Read more at LWN