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Phone liberation involves various steps that can be difficult for people that lack a technical background. However, they would love to have full control over their device and their data by using Free Software. To help them, the FSFE organises workshops to help people liberating their devices. These workshops are open for everyone to attend. You are welcome to organise similar workshops on your own! On this page you will find all information about FSFE's workhops, how to organise your own workshop or how to ask FSFE to organise a workshop in your town.
Phone liberation involves various steps that can be challenging for daily users that lack a strong technical background. However, it is no contradiction that they often would love to be in full control of their devices. Running Free Software that is not tied to any manufacturer or provider is something that everybody should be able to do - despite your technical background.
That is why we organise phone liberation workshops. On this page you will find all information about FSFE's workhops, how to organise your own workshop or how to ask FSFE to organise a workshop in your town.
To help them, the FSFE organises workshops to help people liberating their devices. These workshops are open for everyone to attend. You are welcome to organise similar workshops on your own!

<h2>Why workshops?</h2>
This campaign can help you to <strong>regain control</strong>
of your Android device and your data. It collects information about
running an Android system as free as possible and tries to coordinate
the efforts in this area.
Have you ever tried to convince your friends or someone else to use Free Software in general or that specific program you enjoy so much? Many users are interested in Free Software, they sometimes just do not know how to install or use it. But they will be happy for any help on their path to freedom. If you think about these workshops, think about GNU/Linux installation parties. But not on Desktops but on phones.

You want a mobile device that is really yours when you bought it?
You want a mobile device that does not spy on you and hands over your data to big corporations?
Then read on!

<div id="subpages">
<div class="half">
<h3><a href="/campaigns/android/liberate.html">Liberate Your Device</a></h3>
Learn how to liberate your device and how to regain control of your data
by switching to a free Android operating system with free (as in freedom) apps.
We collected all the information necessary.
<div class="action"><a href="/campaigns/android/liberate.html">Regain Control</a></div>
<div class="half last">
<h3><a href="/campaigns/android/help.html">Help Making Liberation Effortless</a></h3>
Liberating devices should be effortless, so everybody can enjoy freedom.
There are many ways you can help to achieve this goal,
even if you don't know how to program.
<div class="action"><a href="/campaigns/android/help.html">Contribute</a></div>
<h2 style="clear:both;" id="Why">Why Your Mobile Device Needs To Be Free</h2>

Mobile devices are small computers that we carry around all the time.
They know our current location and contain private pictures. We use
them to communicate with our friends, our family and maybe our secret
love. They also provide access to the internet and have built-in
camera and microphone. Being such powerful tools, they can bring great
risks to privacy, but at the same time we can achieve great things
with them: it depends on who controls them.
<h3>Freedom and Control</h3>
Most mobile devices are not controlled by the users, but by the manufacturer
and the operator. The software that runs on them is not Free Software.
Even Android phones ship with non-free software and proprietary add-ons
that usually do not work in the full interest of the user. Software
updates will only be made available as long as the manufacturer still has a
commercial interest in your device. The applications (apps) available
from the official market are most of the time non-free. Nobody is
allowed to study how they work and what they really do on your phone.
Sometimes they just don't work exactly as you want, but sometimes they
even contain malicious features.

Running exclusively Free Software on your device puts you in full control.
Even though you may not have the skills to directly exercise all of your freedom,
you will benefit from a vibrant community that can do it together.
Our mobile devices contain more personal information than most private
diaries. But proprietary systems, even most Android phones, are designed
to hand over this data to companies like Google or Apple. Most
users do not have full control over the personal data on their device.
Convenient solutions for synchronisation and data backup
trick more and more people into storing all their data on centralised
servers run by some profit driven corporation. These are usually based in the US
and are required to hand your data over to the US government on mere request.
Whoever has personal information about us is able to manipulate us.
Therefore non-free devices are a threat to democracy and to our society.
Privacy is one of the most important reasons to support Free Software.
Proprietary add-ons like <a
href="">Carrier IQ</a> spy on
smart-phone users without their knowledge. Many apps from the market
contain malicious features. They read your private data, such as
<a href=""
title="Apple faces US inquiry over iPhone address book privacy">your address book</a>
and “phone home”, or they use
<a href="">Google Analytics</a>
to send data to Google. These are just examples that have been
discovered so far. The lack of freedom impedes independent inspection
and secret spy features only become known by accident.
Most smart-phones require you to connect and identify yourself to a
centralised server before you can use them properly. Users have to trust
the server without knowing what information is stored and how it is
processed or related to other data. A phone running only Free Software
does not require you to provide data to an untrustworthy company or
pressure you to do so – at least this is very unlikely, as the
software's actions would be obvious and the community would be able to
develop an alternative version. The convenience of "value-added"
services that are often coupled with such connections can be provided
using Free Software as well. This keeps you in control of your personal
data, your diary remains in your possession. You can have the cake and
eat it too.

<h2>Other Related Initiatives</h2>

Even though this campaign is about Android, there are other
initiatives that make it possible to use small mobile computers with
(mostly) Free Software. Due to the driver situation of mobile
hardware, none of these initiatives really can run such machines in
freedom. Non-free drivers and firmware are needed for many peripherals
to work.

On the hardware side there is the <a
href="">GTA04 phone</a>.
It is the follow-on for Openmoko GTA02 and was designed to require no proprietary drivers.
It runs GNU/Linux, but it requires non-free firmware in order to use the
WiFi. So close, yet so far away.

The <a href="">Maemo</a>/<a
href="">MeeGo</a> initiatives developed systems for mobile phones based
on GNU/Linux, with many nonfree components. They have now moved into
<a href="">Mer</a>
and <a href="">Tizen</a>.
While Mer is a community effort to continue work on the
MeeGo codebase using Qt, Tizen is a corporate initiative that uses
only parts of MeeGo plus Enlightenment and HTML5.

Mozilla is working on the
<a href="">Boot to Gecko operating system</a>
whose concept is to provide only a browser running web applications.
This raises the usual issues of
<a href="">Software as a Service</a>,
on top of the possible nonfree drivers.
Also WebOS was <a
href="">announced to be released
as Free Software</a>. It remains to be seen whether all parts will be free
and whether there will be new devices shipping WebOS.


If you have any questions about this campaign,
you are invited to send an email <a href="">to our mailing-list</a>.
Everybody interested in the campaign is
<a href="">subscribed</a> there,
so your message will reach everybody who is involved.

For general information about FSFE's work that is not related to the "Free Your Android" campaign,
please use <a href="/contact/contact.html">the general contact page</a>.

<h2>Participating Organisations</h2>

<div class="image">
<a href=""><img src="/campaigns/android/foebud.png" alt="FoeBuD e.V." title="FoeBuD e.V." /></a>
<a href=""><img src="/campaigns/android/fsf.png" alt="Free Software Foundation" title="Free Software Foundation" /></a>
<a href=""><img src="/campaigns/android/ansol.png" alt="Associação Nacional para o Software Livre" title="Associação Nacional para o Software Livre" /></a>

<h2>What is a workshop like?</h2>
In phone liberation workshops everything is about putting users in full control of their devices and the software they run. This involves three major steps:
<ul>unlock the bootloader</ul>
<ul>flash a custom ROM on the device</ul>
<ul>get to know the new system and f-droid</ul>
Please keep in mind, that every phone is different and can end in an individual hack. To get things right,sometimes you need patience on both sides: the owners as well as the hackers. (Be prepared to spend some time on your way to freedom. But )
Vice versa, this time can be a good time to get to know other people that share the same spirit and spent some time together to improve your device.
<h2>Who can attend such a workshop</h2>
In principal FreeYourAndroid worksohps are open for everyone. The only voraussetzung to take part in a FYA-workshop is your device. Your device is crucial to the success of liberating your phone or not. Depending on the manufacturer, deviceses are able to unlock their bootloader or not. Also, some operating systems are not available for every phone. <a>FSFE's workshops</a> concentrate on android-based alternatives that are <a>Replicant</a> and <a>CyanogenMod</a> [1]. We concentrate on these systems as they are fully android based alternatives. That means, that users can switch easily from their Android system they are used to to these free systems without loosing anything. All applications and user-interfaces they are used to will or can be the same with these android alternatives. this is in favour of the user and helps to reach new audiences: the mobile world.
hence, you should check if your device is compatible with one of these two systems. you can find information about official support on <a>replicants pages</a> and in the <a>cyanogenmod wiki</a>. If you are not sure if your device is supported you should ask your organiser. It is also possible that your device is not officially supported but the systems will run on them. but this could include a special hack and you should ask your organiser if he is up for this.
[1] The FSFE is aware that these systems are not 100% Free Software or that they use third-party software that is non-free. But they are technically Free Software and they also put users in freedom of not being locked into manufacturers or providers systems.
<h2>I am a user, how should I prepare for a workshop?</h2>
If you are attending a FreeYourAndroid workshop, you can make your organiser very happy if you prepare yourself and your device for its liberation.
First, you should do a backup of all relevant data that you like to keep. You need this backup, because during the workshop you will install another operating system, During its installation process, all data on your device will be erased! That is why you should do a backup at home to not lose important data during the workshop. We have <a>instructions on how to backup your data</a>.
Second, bring all relevant IT infrastructure with you. Relevant in this case is of course the device you would like to liberate and a laptop to access and control your device externally. You will also need all relevant cable like the data cable to connect your device and your laptop as well as a power plug.
finally, bring some time and good mood. phone liberation sometimes takes time - see previous point about "what's happening"
<h2>I am a hacker, how should I prepare for a workshop?</h2>
You are looking forward to help people liberating their phones? Welcome! Phone liberation can be a challenge but is always some fun. Each phone is different and instead of installing the same operating system again and again, you can hack devices. Unlock the bootloader and give yourself root access is fun. Flashing an alternative operating system, too. help users to get in full control!
You should have some experience in unlocking bootloader and flashing devices. you find a lot of help in CyanogenMods wiki.
<h2>We would like to organise a workshop. how do we do?</h2>
If you would like to organise a workshop you should first gather some freedom fighters that help you in organising and giving the workshop. The number of experts involved correlates also with the number of possible participants. As far as we have experience, we recommend to have one expert per four or better one per three attendees.
Once you have managed date, location and people involved, you should promote your event. <a>You find templates for promotion</a> that you can use or remix - or just set up your own invitation.
You should be aware about the pros and cons of using a registration system for the workshop or not. the good thing about doing a registration system is that you can chech if the attendees have a device that works for liberation and you can remind them about doing a backup and bringing a laptop. But, the need for registration often erschreckt people or they don't receive the information early enough to attend. This is the good thing about a public workshop, eg. a public workshop in the university in the first week of your semester: people pass by randomly, and maybe take part in spontaneous will that would have never participated with a registration. still you can get in trouble with the laptop issue and the backup. The other thing is the time you need. id you plan to do your workshop, let's say from 12 to 18 hours, than you should not begin with any phone liberation after 15 hours as time might be to short.
By now, for a most public event we recommend both: promote your workshop pulicly and state that, eg. users should make a backup, bring a laptop and come latest at 14 hours. Or - if they want to be sure that everything works out with their device - they should register here and recieve a feeedback.
To promote your event effectively, you can ask for <a>our promotion material</a> and use it for your event.
<h2>Are FSFE's workshops different or better?</h2>
No, of course not. our workshops are also basde on the work of volunteers and there is no concurrency between any workshops. The only difference is that you can book us. If you are an organisation, a company or whatever that likes to liberate its communacation infrastructure and get rid of data leeches as well as being tied to manufacturers willl, please send us a request by email to android@ and ask for a workshop. We will than call you to speak about all the details. We do not charge you for this service but we are happy about a donation for our work. At least you have to cover our travel costs (from Berlin) and some verpflegungspauschale for the experts, coming. We will send one expert per 4 attendees.
<timestamp>$Date: 2012-07-08 10:39:14 +0200 (Sun, 08 Jul 2012) $ $Author: hugo $</timestamp>
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