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A problem with PSI Browser - critical ideological error

Today it was the third time I tried to (unsuccessfully) take JSNAD exam. The exam itself doesn’t matter, it could have been LFCS, LFCE, CKA… whatever. I won’t go into technical details - to shortly resume - due to different technical issues I just couldn’t take the exam since December. I do not want to express my frustration of not being able to take the exam three times in a row either. I understand that technical issues can occur, anytime, anywhere. I’ve already opened yet another ticket with LF Customer Support team which has been very understanding and helpful so far.
I’ve still decided to post this on all the forums I participate in since I think this issue is more than just a simple technical issue and it concerns all of us. I apologize in advance if this is inappropriate and off-topic, but it is on my heart and I want to share it with all of you.

I love Linux. Since I started taking courses on Linux Foundation I got kind of addicted to learning everything I can about it and it brought me a lot of joy and (hopefully) some knowledge. I’ve already passed LFCS and LFCE exams last year. I have been granted a Linux Foundation scholarship and this year I was planning to take CKA and CKS exams. In the meantime I’ve also bought JSNAD exam and some other courses.
But my love for Linux is much older than my technical interest in it. I’ve started using it some 16 years ago out of revolt towards Microsoft’s monopoly. I was a teenager becoming aware of reality, social injustice, centers of power and rotten monetary system and all the other problems we, as society, are facing. Not to go too off-topic, I just want to say that for me Linux (and open source philosophy in general) is the living proof that people are not profit hungry animals and that another world is possible – the one where we do not compete but collaborate - and all that now, at the present moment, not in the future. It is a supreme ideology.

That brings me back to the reason why I am posting this today. I find it unacceptable that Linux foundation forces its candidates to install proprietary software (PSI Secure browser, which BTW doesn’t even work) on their systems, or even worse, to take their exams on Windows or MAC machines. Linux Foundation, the symbol of open source! We’re being trained to work on open source systems and solutions, in the open source community BUT we cannot take our exams without proprietary software! Am I the only one who finds this absurd, disturbing… even disgusting? Is it possible that there is no other way? This is a disgrace for Linux Foundation and everything it represents. Am I the only one who is bothered by all this?

Today it was the first time after 16 years that I’ve installed a piece of proprietary software (PSI Browser). Seeing their spooky disclaimer -

PSI browser will only collect data and monitor you during the exam and won’t share this data with anyone EXCEPT…

made me nauseous. Has Linux Foundation verified the source code of this software? What are we installing on our systems? And it doesn't even work. The solution technical support (of PSI) has is to use Windows or Mac. Maybe that was the drop that spilled the glass today and made me write all this.

Just to be clear, I’m not saying PSI Browser is dangerous or that people shouldn’t use Windows or Mac to take their exams. I’m saying that Linux Foundation should care more about its ideology and provide means for us to stay aligned with that ideology to the end.

I wrote to Customer support team today, saying that I have no intention of installing proprietary software on my system anymore and asking to be refunded for all the exams I have yet to take. Refunded or not, with heavy heart I decided not to take any more exams on Linux Foundation until there is a way to do so that goes in line with my principles and principles of free software.


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