Google Chrome is freeware, not free softfware. It can be used for free, but it does not respect your freedom and is NOT open source, either.

Chrome is mostly based on a project called "Chromium". Chromium is libre software, but Chrome is not.

SRWare Iron is a browser based on Chromium, claiming to fix the privacy and security issues. In reality, however, SRWare Iron is non-libre software. That means it can't be trusted, AND, in my personal opinion, it is also suspicious.
(If you take a free and open code and remove privacy-violating parts of it, why would you keep the code from public?)

Finally, it doesn't really matter what the software is based on. What matters is if it's libre (free as in freedom) and if you trust it.

Oh and by the way, "open source" does not mean anyone can download and modify the code (legally). Here's an article on the difference between "free" and "open source".
posted by Tirifto 3 years and 9 months ago Link

you are correct re Chromium- i shouldnt type responses when i am rushed

SRWare used to post their source and still have the links on their web site but they seem to be incorrectly linked - hard to know if that is intentional or not

The source that you provided re: open source is a biased source and their opinion is not the final word and in general open source is a program in which the source code is available for download for use and/or modification from its original design

Also its impossible to completely use free software by whatever definition you choose - i do agree that it is important to trust the software that you use but that does not mean that it has to be free
posted by buckeye 3 years and 9 months ago Link
I also remember Iron being open source, but now Wikipedia and others list is as "Proprietary". If it's not intentional, then I hope they fix it soon. Feature-wise, Chromium is a decent browser :)

About the "free vs open-source" thing, that was a bad definition from me. You are right that the terms are not standardized and people interpret them differently. It's true that "open source" is usually used for software that respects your freedom.

For people, they usually have the same meaning and you can use whichever you wish. But it's also true that "open source" stresses the fact that the code is open, while "free" stresses the fact that the program respects your freedom. Even if they have are interpreted the same way now, they leave a different impression. Basically, 'alll libre software has open code, but not all open code is libre'. I think that freedom is very important and we should stress that, so it's better to use the terms "free" or "libre".

(I addressed using completely free software in my other reply in this thread, but basically: It should be free whenever it can be.)
posted by Tirifto 3 years and 9 months ago Link