Microsoft Windows and Apple's operating systems are malware because they “snoop and shackle” users, GNU creator Richard Stallman said in an opinion piece published in The Guardian.
Malware, he said, stretches beyond just viruses and, in fact, includes “any program designed to mistreat its users,” Stallman also pointed to apps for Kindle and flashlights that either report the data they've gathered and/or restrict the way users share information.
Noting that in 1983, when he “started the free software movement, malware was so rare that each case was shocking scandalous,” Stallman bemoaned the fact that is now normal. But, he said, users can fight back individually, collectively and democratically by nixing those apps that snoop, developing free replacement systems without tracking and driving legislation to criminalize malware practices.
CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story referred to Richard Stallman as a Linux creator.