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Audacity is now a Possible Spyware, Remove it ASAP

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The famous open source audio manipulation program was acquired by a company named Muse Group two months ago. The same company owns other projects in its portfolio such as Ultimate Guitar (Famous website for Guitar enthuisasts) and MuseScore (Open source music notation software).

Ever since, Audacity has been a heated topic.

The parent company is a multi-national company and it has been trying to start a data-collection mechanism in the software. While Audacity is nothing more than a desktop program, its developers want to make it phone home with various data taken from users’ machines.

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Audacity, the well-known open-source audio-editing software...

  • Audacity 3.0 called spyware over data collection changes by new owner

    Audacity, the well-known open-source audio-editing software, has been called spyware in a report, with privacy policy changes revealing the tool is collecting data on its users and sharing it with other firms, as well as sending the data to Russia.

    Audacity was acquired by Muse Group in May, a company that also controls Ultimate Guitar, MuseScore, and Tonebridge. Since the purchase of Audacity, changes have been discovered in online support documents indicating that it is being used to perform data collection on its users.

    The privacy policy page for Audacity was updated on June 2, reports Fosspost, with some additions relating to the collection of personal data. Specifically, that the app collects a variety of details relating to the users Mac.

    The list of data includes the operating system and version, the user's country based on their IP address, non-fatal error codes and messages, crash reports, and the processor in use. Under data collected "for legal enforcement," the software collects "data necessary for law enforcement, litigation, and authorities' requests (if any)," though no specifically what data is collected in such cases.

The best free Audacity Alternatives

  • The best free Audacity Alternatives

    All alternatives listed below lack at least one of the main characteristics of Audacity. They are either only available for one operating system, e.g. Windows, not open source, don't offer the same set of core features, or lack in other departments.

Audacity is SPYING on You! What the alternative!!

  • Audacity is SPYING on You! What the alternative!!

    For anyone looking to create videos for a website or a business, being able to record and edit audio, like a voiceover, is an important skill to have.

    As you might think and we will be using a free audio editor and recorder called Audacity.

    In my opinion, audacity is one of the best sound recording apps on windows before this news.

    This open-source sound recording project has a new owner that has now can sell your data to law enforcement and various other potential buyers such as the FBI, Adv, and more.

    That means they can selling anything from your diagnostic data to lateral access to your microphone.

    DarkAudacity is the best alternative. It is a customized version of Audacity.

Calls to Help Creating an Audacity Fork

  • Calls to Help Creating an Audacity Fork

    Ever since the last controversy about Audacity, people have been calling to fork the program under a new umbrella so that the community can finally end this discussion and move forward. The frustration is huge because Audacity has been an excellent audio editor since the 2000s, and it is sad to see it taken by corporate interest.

    However, forking a software like Audacity is no easy task.

    A fellow developer, “Cookie Engineer” took the effort of creating an initial fork of Audacity which is stripped of all tracking code and telemetry functionality.

Audacity open source audio editor has become spyware

  • Audacity open source audio editor has become spyware

    One of open source software’s biggest strengths is, naturally, its openness, which brings other benefits like freedom of use, security through scrutiny, flexibility, and more. That is mostly thanks to the open source-friendly licenses these programs use, but, from time to time, someone comes along and tries to make changes that infuriate the community of users and developers. Sometimes, those changes can even be illegal. Such seems to be the fate that has befallen Audacity, one of the open source world’s most popular pieces of software that now comes under a very invasive privacy policy.

  • Audacity is a poster child for what can be achieved with open-source software

    The quality of software the FOSS community has created is nothing short of amazing.

    Not only do we have a complete operating system capable of running on nearly any hardware money can buy, but we have some of the best document, photo, music, and video-editing software available on any platform.

    This embarrassment of riches didn't exist the first time I installed Yellow Dog Linux on an old PowerPC-based Mac. The amazing part is that, in an age when everyone is fighting over the cost of apps and app stores, the total cost of all these amazing tools we use is … nothing.

    I think that's remarkable. What's even more remarkable is that I seldom take the time to appreciate this everyday fact of open source. Most of the time I am focused on getting work done. But every now and then I open a piece of software like Darktable (its competitor ought to be embarrassed to charge the fees it does), or LibreOffice, or Kdenlive, and there's a moment where that "this is amazing" feeling comes through.

Popular Open Source Tool Audacity in News Again...

  • Popular Open Source Tool Audacity in News Again, for all the Wrong Reasons

    Audacity is a popular, free and open-source audio editor available cross-platform.

    Muse Group recently acquired Audacity. In case you didn’t know, they are popularly known for open-source music notation software, Musescore.

    While this was a good thing considering Audacity’s future growth with all the extended resources after the acquisition, it is turning out to be a nightmare. Why?

    After Muse Group bought Audacity, they have managed to spark multiple controversies.

Audacity's user data collection causing consternati\on

  • Audacity's user data collection causing consternation

    The Audacity audio editor has been a staple of many a user's multimedia toolkits for over 20 years and has had over 100 million downloads. It is described as a free, open source, cross-platform audio software package with availability across Windows, MacOS, GNU/Linux and more. That sounds like a great utility to have access to, and indeed over the years, on various PCs and laptops I have owned, I have downloaded and used Audacity for audio cutting, compressing, and conversion tasks.

3 more articles about this

  • Fans made an Audacity clone to skirt around data-collection policies

    Users were understandably upset by the sudden change of heart and policy — some went as far as to call it “possible spyware” — so they went ahead and created a new version of Audacity without the possibility of data-collection. At this point, Audacity has essentially undone the problematic privacy policy, but the damage is already done, as far as some are concerned.

  • Audacity Announced User Data Collection, So Coders Made Their Own Version

    But for some users, Muse Group’s explanation for the changes was not enough, and they decided to take matters into their own hands instead. A number of users have simply forked the open source code on Audacity’s GitHub repository, essentially just cloning the code and removing any unwanted changes.

    One of the more popular forks was created by a cybersecurity analyst who goes by "Cookie Engineer" online. They told Motherboard that they were concerned by how the new privacy notice allowed data to be handled on servers outside the European Union, “where the Wild-West of cyber espionage is legitimized.” He stripped all networking related code and update checks from the forked repository, he said.

    Cookie Engineer said he was overwhelmed by all the positive feedback he is receiving and pointed to the scenario as an example of the strengths of open-source development.

  • Audacity 3.0 Data Collection Raises Concerns About New Owner

    Muse Group acquired the free audio editing software in May. The company also controls Ultimate Guitar, MuseScore, and Tonebridge. Since the purchase of the free and open-source Audacity, changes have been made to support documents and the privacy policy that indicate data collection practices – where previously none existed.

    “All your personal data is stored on our servers in the European Economic Area (EEA). However, we are occasionally required to share your personal data with our main office in Russia and our external counsel in the USA,” the policy reads after being altered on June 2. The policy also states that the data may be shared with third-party advisors or ‘potential buyers.’

    Data collected includes the user’s country based on IP address, error codes and messages, crash reports, and the CPU in use. But the data collection also extends to use for ‘legal enforcement’, which the privacy policy does not disclose.

Mozilla Defends Spyware

  • Responsible Data Collection is Good, Actually (Ubisoft Data Summit 2021) [Ed: Free software community: Audacity spyware is bad. Google-funded Mozilla, citing DRM giant : NO, SPYWARE IS GOOD!]

    Learn how responsible data collection as practiced at Mozilla makes cataloguing easy, stops instrumentation mistakes before they ship, and allows you to build self-serve analysis tooling that gets everyone invested in data quality. Oh, and it’s cheaper, too.

In Mozilla site

  • Responsible Data Collection is Good, Actually (Ubisoft Data Summit 2021) [Ed: So using an application which does not need an Internet connection (audio editor), unlike a browser, to spy on the user for the US government is OK? Is that what Mozilla is trying to tell us? Either way, this merely reaffirms the idea that Firefox, funded by Google, is just a coat of "open" paint on malware. "Data @ Mozilla" = surveillance by Mozilla. Remember that the data masters of Audacity are also the masters of Firefox. Same tentacles.]

Audacity Privacy Policy Is A Privacy Nightmare

  • Audacity Privacy Policy Is A Privacy Nightmare!

    Every since MuseGroup acquired Audacity they have taken every step possible to make Audacity a believed free software project into a shell of it's former selve, with the introduction of telemetry, then a CLA and now a privacy policy that justifies collecting any information they wish.


  • Audio editor Audacity denies spyware accusation

    Audio-edit software Audacity has denied accusations its new privacy policy has transformed it into "possible spyware".

    The open-source free tool, with 100 million users worldwide, is popular with podcast and music editors.

    Its updated policy says data can be shared with its Russia-based infrastructure company, WSM, as well as regional law enforcement.

    Audacity says the only data it exchanges with its users is software updates and error reports.

    But since the updated policy was published last week, there have been angry calls from concerned users to uninstall the product or revert to an older version.

    And technology website Fosspost described the most recent version as "possible spyware".

    "One would not expect an offline desktop application to be collecting such data, phoning home and then handing that data to governments around the world whenever they see fit," it wrote.

Audacity users stick the knife – and fork – in to strip audio...

  • Audacity users stick the knife – and fork – in to strip audio editor of unwanted features

    Contributors disgruntled with the recent direction of cross-platform FOSS audio software Audacity are forking the sound editor to a version that does not have the features or requirements that have upset some in the community.

    One such project can be found on GitHub, with user "cookiengineer" proclaiming themselves "evil benevolent temporary dictator" in order to get the ball rolling.

What Does It Mean When Software Is Forked?

  • What Does It Mean When Software Is Forked?

    Software is forked when a rift occurs within its developing team, which could be due to differences of opinion regarding the project’s direction or personality clashes.

    A faction or member of the development team will then take the program’s source code and start independent development under a different name, approach, and direction. So, even though a fork is based on its parent software’s source code, it is a new and independent project in its own right.

    Because it's hard to legally secure the rights to a propriety software source code, forking occurs almost exclusively within the free software development world. This type of software’s “open source” nature also means that any user is within their rights to use, study, change, and distribute both it and its source code.

Audacity fork maintainer quits after alleged harassment by 4chan

  • Audacity fork maintainer quits after alleged harassment by 4chan losers who took issue with 'Tenacity' name

    Efforts to wrest control of the open-source Audacity audio editing project from corporate owner Muse Group have hit a stumbling block after the maintainer of one of the more popular forks stepped down over alleged physical harassment.

    The trouble began when the two-decade-old Audacity project was acquired by Muse Group in May, a freshly launched parent company holding commercial services Ultimate Guitar, MuseScore, and others. Audacity seemed like a natural enough fit, and new maintainer Martin "Tantacrul" Keary promised it would remain both free and open source.

No, open source Audacity audio editor is not “spyware”

[Older] Audacity 'Spyware' Claims...

  • [Older] Audacity 'Spyware' Claims Follow Privacy Policy Changes By New Owner

    Popular open-source audio editing software Audacity is facing "spyware" allegations from users for recent privacy policy changes that suggest the desktop app is collecting user data and sharing it with third parties, including state regulators where applicable.

    Two months ago, Audacity was acquired by Muse Group, which owns other audio-related projects including the Ultimate Guitar website and the MuseScore app. According to Fosspost, changes to the privacy policy section on the Audacity website indicate that several personal data collection mechanisms have since been added by the parent company.

    The type of data collected now includes the computer's processor, operating system and version, the user's IP address, and any crash reports, fatal error codes and messages generated by their machine. More concerning perhaps is the inclusion of a vague section listing data that must be collected "for legal enforcement, litigation, and authorities' requests (if any)."

The Audacity! How to wreck an open-source project and anger...

  • The Audacity! How to wreck an open-source project and anger a community

    Audacity. Surely, you've heard of it. It's one of the most widely used apps by podcasters everywhere. It's one open-source project that has managed to strike the perfect balance between feature list and usability. It has everything you could possibly need to record podcasts, music and just about any type of audio, and it does this while maintaining a level of user-friendliness that few software titles can touch. It's as easy to use as it is feature-rich.


    Here's what happened. A company acquired Audacity. Now, prior to this, you may or may not have heard that the Audacity developers were toying around with adding telemetry to collect data from users. After a public outcry, it seemed that idea was sent to /dev/null to die a timely death.


    Then they continue that they might share data with anyone they classify as a "third-party" or even "potential buyers." The actual verbiage of the new privacy policy describes those entities they might share your data with as such (taken directly from the official privacy notice that was posted July 2...

An automated mishmash

What’s The Deal with the New Audacity Privacy Policy?

  • What’s The Deal with the New Audacity Privacy Policy?

    The popular audio editing platform has come under fire for new privacy policies, so what’s the fuss all about?

    Audacity sparked controversy this week amid claims that its new privacy policy essentially turns the platform into ‘spyware’.

    The allegations, first published by tech site Fosspot, have raged on social media and prompted the company to revise the new privacy Ts & Cs.

    Audacity is among the most popular audio editing software tools available, boasting at least 100 million users globally.

Audacity clarifies privacy policy over spyware allegations

  • Audacity clarifies privacy policy over spyware allegations

    The first version of the privacy policy mentioned sharing data with potential buyers, governments and law enforcement
    Popular open-source audio-editing software Audacity has promised to revise its privacy policy, following allegations that it is being transformed into 'spyware'.

Korea Portal (English Edition)

  • Audio Recording And Editing Software ‘Audacity’ Is Not Spyware, Reports Said

    Early July, numerous reports from tech websites said that the popular audio recording and editing software Audacity is now considered spyware as it claims to collect sensitive data from the users that installed it in their PCs. Since this information was released, many users have already said that they are uninstalling their software and use other alternative software instead.

    However, it is said that this case has already been addressed two months ago.

    According to a recent report, although the software is free and open-source, its new owner Muse Group can create "pretty damaging changes" especially on its telemetry features and privacy policy which many people think is too vague and overarching.

    The new privacy policy released on July 2 mentioned the five bullet points that are not really broad. It's actually just similar to the collected data that was mentioned in FOSSPost's own privacy policy which is the following: browser cookies you may provide, browser user-gent, IP address, and your geographical location, cookies for other websites you visited or any other information your browser can give about you. The last row covers the "data necessary for law enforcement, litigation and authorities' requests (if any)" that is actually broad and not well-defined for its users. The other one is the fact that Audacity is not allowed to be used for users age 13 and below, requesting them to not use the app in order to avoid the expense of dealing with laws related to collecting personal data from children.

Muse Group Continues Tone Deaf Handling Of Audacity | Hackaday

  • Muse Group Continues Tone Deaf Handling Of Audacity | Hackaday

    When we last checked in on the Audacity community, privacy-minded users of the free and open source audio editor were concerned over proposed plans to add telemetry reporting to the decades old open source audio editing software. More than 1,000 comments were left on the GitHub pull request that would have implemented this “phone home” capability, with many individuals arguing that the best course of action was to create a new fork of Audacity that removed any current or future tracking code that was implemented upstream.

    For their part, the project’s new owners, Muse Group, argued that the ability for Audacity to report on the user’s software environment would allow them to track down some particularly tricky bugs. The tabulation of anonymous usage information, such as which audio filters are most commonly applied, would similarly be used to determine where development time and money would best be spent. New project leader Martin “Tantacrul” Keary personally stepped in to explain that the whole situation was simply a misunderstanding, and that Muse Group had no ill intent for the venerable program. They simply wanted to get a better idea of how the software was being used in the real-world, but after seeing how vocal the community was about the subject, the decision was made to hold off on any changes until a more broadly acceptable approach could be developed.

    Our last post on the subject ended on a high note, as it seemed like the situation was on the mend. While there was still a segment of the Audacity userbase that was skeptical about remote analytics being added into a program that never needed it before, representatives from the Muse Group seemed to be listening to the feedback they were receiving. Keary assured users that plans to implement telemetry had been dropped, and that should they be reintroduced in the future, it would be done with the appropriate transparency.

    Unfortunately, things have only gotten worse in the intervening months. Not only is telemetry back on the menu for a program that’s never needed an Internet connection since its initial release in 2000, but this time it has brought with it a troubling Privacy Policy that details who can access the collected data. Worse, Muse Group has made it clear they intend to move Audacity away from its current GPLv2 license, even if it means muscling out long-time contributors who won’t agree to the switch. The company argues this will give them more flexibility to list the software with a wider array of package repositories, a claim that’s been met with great skepticism by those well versed in open source licensing.

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