There are two ways to think about the concept of “tech freedom.”
One is to focus on intent and capability. On this view, free tech is that which isn’t designed and cannot easily be used to coerce, censor, or oppress.
Another approach is to consider provenance. Tech from sources with accountable governance and transparent ownership is freer than technology that originates in a more opaque or corrupt environment.
In practice, these ideas amount to something similar, because tech with trusted provenance tends to be more benign in its application.
Tech freedom matters because individual rights, open markets, the rule of law, and democracy matter. Trusted tech supports these things. Untrusted tech, by contrast, hands instruments of control to would-be authoritarians.
This is particularly dangerous in places where democracy is fragile.