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<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>
<html newsdate="2022-04-05" type="newsletter">
<version>1</version>
<head>
<title>AI in EU +++ Open letter to Bundestag +++ Plasma Mobile +++ Meshnet</title>
</head>
<body microformats="h-entry">
<h1 id="ai-in-eu-open-letter-to-bundestag-plasma-mobile-meshnet">AI in EU +++ Open letter to Bundestag +++ Plasma Mobile +++ Meshnet</h1>
<p>
In our April Newsletter, we welcome the promising developments on
AI in the EU. We address the German Government to demand a clear
budget for Free Software. We interview Plasma Mobile developer
Bhushan Shah, and talk with Elektra Wagenrad in a podcast episode
about Mesh Networking. We congratulate KDE on the world&#39;s first
eco-certified software.
</p>
<h2 id="european-parliament-recognises-free-software-as-key-for-fair-ai">European Parliament recognises Free Software as key for fair AI</h2>
<p>
The Special Committee on Artificial Intelligence in a Digital Age
(AIDA) of the European Parliament voted on its resolution on
Artificial Intelligence in a Digital Age on March 22nd, and
underlined the importance of Free Software for AI with a broad
majority. We now ask EU co-legislators to take this position into
account and to include provisions and guidelines on Free Software
in the upcoming legislation.
</p>
<p>
Public authorities using AI systems should make them publicly
available. Public research inventing AI systems should make them
publicly available. Transparency in AI technologies is necessary to
test them, evaluate their results, and improve them. <a href="/news/2022/news-20220330-01.html">The FSFE
is following closely the legislative process</a> and analysed <a href="https://download.fsfe.org/campaigns/AIandFS/fsfe_AIandFreesoftware.pdf">how
AI can remain verifiable and trustworthy as well as lead to further
innovation</a> with Free Software.
</p>
<h2 id="germany-has-ambitious-free-software-plans-will-it-realise-them-">Germany has ambitious Free Software plans. Will it realise them?</h2>
<p>
The coalition agreement of the German government set digitisation
as a priority and Free Software as a secure and transparent
solution. 100 days into the new German government in office, no
action has been taken. On the contrary, German administrations are
alarmingly close to using Microsoft products, giving up the chance
to adopt a strategy based on open interfaces. Alexander Sander, the
FSFE&#39;s Policy Consultant, explains: &quot;Instead of finally
providing a &#39;Free Software cloud&#39; for administrations, the
new government will again rely on costly proprietary
applications.&quot; <a href="/news/2022/news-20220315-01.html">We call
upon the government to follow its own plans</a>.
</p>
<p>
Specifically, together with other actors such as the Open Source
Business Alliance and the Open Knowledge Foundation Germany, the
FSFE demands that the German government <a href="/news/2022/news-20220328-01.html">includes
digital sovereignty in the 2022 federal budget</a> and implement
already announced initiatives for software freedom. In an <a href="https://download.fsfe.org/policy/letters/20220328-German-Budget-and-Free-Software-2022.de.pdf">open
letter (DE)</a> the signatories address the government groups in
the Bundestag.
</p>
<h2 id="plasma-mobile-running-a-privacy-respecting-and-secure-gnu-linux-phone">Plasma Mobile: Running a privacy-respecting and secure GNU/Linux phone</h2>
<p>
What are my options if I want to run my phone with Free Software?
We interviewed Plasma Mobile developer Bhushan Shah to learn more
about the project. Plasma Mobile is a full Linux-based system which
offers a completely transparent development process. When it comes to
privacy, Plasma Mobile is one of the most secure operating systems
for phones. There is no tracking, spying, nor data mining to craft
targeted ads. <a href="/news/2022/news-20220323-01.html">Bhushan
gives a clear overview of Plasma Mobile, including how it is
developed, and how to get it</a>.
</p>
<figure>
<a href="/news/2022/news-20220323-01.html">
<img src="https://pics.fsfe.org/uploads/medium/b9b1f761fd936faa0aab1e11fe3f70bd.jpg" alt="7 people in front of a garden and a building in a summer day"/>
</a>
<figcaption>
Bhushan Shah (second from left), developer in the Plasma Mobile project since 2015.
</figcaption>
</figure>
<h2 id="listen-to-our-new-podcast-episode-discover-mesh-networking-">Listen to our new podcast episode. Discover mesh networking.</h2>
<p>
<a href="/news/podcast/episode-14.html">In our new
Software Freedom Podcast episode, Matthias Kirschner talks with our
guest, Elektra Wagenrad, about the origins of Freifunk, the
B.A.T.M.A.N. protocol, and the Mesh Potato project</a>. If you are
new to the world of mesh networking this episode is an easy
entrance to it. Elektra explains the theory behind the protocols
and dives deeper into its philosophical idea.
</p>
<figure>
<a href="/news/podcast/episode-14.html">
<img src="https://pics.fsfe.org/uploads/medium/0bf10017e47d8510d09d6058db413290.png" alt="Portrait of a woman smiling"/>
</a>
<figcaption>
Elektra Wagenrad, one of the original developers of the
B.A.T.M.A.N. protocol and of the Mesh Potato project. Image is
licensed under CC-BY-SA 3.0 and created by Andrea Behrendt.
</figcaption>
</figure>
<h2 id="the-most-energy-efficient-pdf-reader-is-free-software-congrats-okular-">The most energy-efficient PDF reader is Free Software. Congrats, Okular!</h2>
<p>
To be exact, Okular is a universal document viewer. This means you
are not only able to read PDFs, comics, and EPub books, but also
you can browse your image files, visualize Markdown documents, and
much more. In February 2022, Okular was awarded the Blue Angel
ecolabel, the official environmental label awarded by the German
government. In 1978, the German Environment Agency was the first to
establish an environmental label; this year the label&#39;s scope
was extended to include software products, making Okular the first
ever eco-certified computer program.
</p>
<p>
In order to receive the Blue Angel ecolabel, a program needs to
meet many requirements, including transparency, backwards
compatibility, and the ability to run the application on hardware
at least five years old. Free Software usually excels in these
conditions. The FSFE <a href="/news/2022/news-20220316-01.html">congratulates
Okular and all of the KDE community</a>!
</p>
<figure>
<a href="/news/2022/news-20220316-01.html"><img src="https://pics.fsfe.org/uploads/medium/bb97d5abf32d0f8f5c38ca7e190c4030.png" alt="Screenshot of comics opened with Okular" /></a>
<figcaption>
Screenshot from KDE&#39;s Okular, Illustrations from David Revoy CC-BY-SA-4.0
</figcaption>
</figure>
<h2 id="save-the-date-">Save the date!</h2>
<ul>
<li>
<p>
Thursday 14 April is the day of three FSFE local group meetings.
At 18:00-21:00 <a href="https://wiki.fsfe.org/Events/Zurich/2022-04-14">Zurich will
have its regular in-person monthly meeting</a>. Anyone interested
in Free Software and wanting to stand up for the ideals of Free
Software can join. The group will discuss ways to reach out to
new people and the upcoming Open Education Day. <a href="https://wiki.fsfe.org/LocalGroups/Hamburg">Hamburg is
having its regular in-person monthly meeting</a> too. Please join
the group&#39;s mailing list for more information. <a href="https://wiki.fsfe.org/LocalGroups/Berlin">Berlin</a> has
its regular online monthly meeting. Subscribe to the <a href="https://lists.fsfe.org/mailman/listinfo/berlin">mailing
list</a> or follow the group&#39;s <a href="https://libranet.de/profile/fsfeberlin">Mastodon page</a>
to stay tuned.
</p>
</li>
<li>
<p>
On Wednesday 20 April, <a href="https://wiki.fsfe.org/LocalGroups/BNL">the FSFE country
team Netherlands</a> will have its regular online monthly
meeting.
</p>
</li>
<li>
<p>
Date TBA. The FSFE local group Aarhus, Denmark, has delayed its
first meeting. If you are interested, now is a great time to
contact Carsten Agger (agger [at] fsfe [dot] org).
</p>
</li>
</ul>
<h2 id="what-we-have-done">What we have done</h2>
<ul>
<li>
<p>
On 30 March, Erik Albers, FSFE Programme Manager and
sustainability expert, showcased in the Digital Social Summit
that software design and Free Software licencing impacts the
sustainability of hardware and infrastructure.
</p>
</li>
<li>
<p>
On 24 March, <a href="https://libranet.de/display/0b6b25a8-2162-39a4-b089-4a2078010682">the
FSFE local group Berlin brainstormed with Jessica Wawrzyniak from
Digital Courage how an allowlist of suitable Free Software for
Education could work</a>, and how the German administration could
compile such a list.
</p>
</li>
<li>
<p>
On 20 March, the FSFE Women group met online to discuss past and
future events.
</p>
</li>
<li>
<p>
On 19 March, the participants of the Upcycling Android workshop
flashed phones in Berlin.
</p>
</li>
<li>
<p>
On 16 March, <a href="https://wiki.fsfe.org/Events/Netherlands/2022-03-16">the
FSFE Country team Netherlands had its monthly online meeting</a>.
The team discussed the new telecommunications law in Belgium, and
the potential actions to secure Router Freedom. The volunteers
have already contacted Neutrinet. The government&#39;s open
source strategy was also an important topic, as well as the
increased dependency on DigID, the Dutch digital identity app. On
19 March the team met in person in the Netherlands Linux Users
meeting.
</p>
</li>
<li>
<p>
On 15 March, Erik Albers participated in &#39;Sustainable
software for phones that last&#39;, a webinar organised by
Fairphone. <a href="https://media.fsfe.org/w/4WvPgN79fuex3eaSR378yH">A panel of
experts</a> discussed why the longevity of phones continues to
decline. Within the panel, Erik took a stand on how the universal
right to install Free Software operating systems on any device
will help us to live in a more sustainable digital society.
</p>
</li>
<li>
<p>
On 12 March, Matthias Kirschner, author of Ada &amp; Zangemann,
read the book during Chemnitzer Linux-Tage. A video from an <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2bHLxFqTnRo">author
reading</a> during Wintercongress is now available.
</p>
</li>
<li>
<p>
On 10 March, <a href="https://libranet.de/display/0b6b25a8-1262-279c-0282-3d4767329405">the
FSFE local group Berlin had its monthly meeting</a>. The
participants discussed matters of financing and security related
to Free Software. The group discussed the recent plans of Mozilla
to create privacy-friendly advertising.
</p>
</li>
<li>
<p>
On 10 March, <a href="https://wiki.fsfe.org/Events/Zurich/2022-03-10">the FSFE
local group Zurich discussed ways to reach out to new people, and
explored possible actions such as workshops and information
events</a>.
</p>
</li>
<li>
<p>
On 9 March, the <a href="https://wiki.fsfe.org/LocalGroups/Hamburg">FSFE local group
Hamburg had its monthly meeting</a>.</p>
</li>
</ul>
<h2 id="contribute-to-our-newsletter">Contribute to our newsletter</h2>
<p>
If you would like to share any thoughts, pictures, or news, please
send them to us. As always, the address is <email>newsletter@fsfe.org</email>.
We're looking forward to hearing from you! If you also want to
support us and our work, join our community and support us with a
donation or a monthly contribution <a href="https://my.fsfe.org/donate?referrer=newsletter"></a>.
Thanks to our community and all the volunteers,
supporters, and donors who make our work possible. And thanks to
our translators, who enable you to read this newsletter in your
native languages.
</p>
<p>Your editor, Fani Partsafyllidou</p>
</body>
<sidebar promo="about-fsfe" />
<date>
<original content="2022-04-05" />
</date>
<followup>donate</followup>
<tags>
<tag key="front-page"/>
<tag key="newsletter">Newsletter</tag>
<tag key="AI">AI</tag>
<tag key="european-parliament">European Parliament</tag>
<tag key="open-letter">Open letter</tag>
<tag key="de">Germany</tag>
<tag key="upcyclingandroid">Upcycling Android</tag>
<tag key="interview">Interview</tag>
<tag key="podcast">Software Freedom Podcast</tag>
<tag key="local group">Local group</tag>
</tags>
<discussion href="https://community.fsfe.org/t/825"/>
<image url="https://pics.fsfe.org/uploads/medium/c2f8622627d6d635020e8220380e4225.png" alt="Collage with four images. An illustration of a newspaper. An illustration of a neoclassical building with ones and zeros as its columns. An illustration of three phones depicting screens from Plasma Mobile home page, calendar, and calculator. A photograph of a woman."/>
</html>