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  1. <?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8" ?>
  2. <html newsdate="2013-08-06" type="newsletter">
  3. <head>
  4. <title>FSFE Newsletter - August 2013</title>
  5. </head>
  6. <body>
  7. <h1>FSFE Newsletter - August 2013</h1>
  8. <h2>Proprietary companies ask European Commission to restrict business models</h2>
  9. <p>Because Android is Free Software and gratis, the non-free software
  10. competition cannot compete with it, therefore the market has less alternatives,
  11. thus the consumer suffers from this lack of competition. In a nutshell that is
  12. the argumentation of the so-called "Fair Search" coalition. Essentially they
  13. are asking the European Commission to favour a restrictive business model over
  14. a liberal one, which is exactly the opposite of what competition regulators
  15. should do in order to achieve a fair market.</p>
  16. <p>Asking the European Commission to cripple Free Software in order to allow
  17. proprietary vendors to sell their locked-down systems is absurd. Therefore the
  18. <a href="/news/2013/news-20130729-01.html">FSFE has written a letter to the
  19. European Commission's competition authorities to refute the claims</a>, and
  20. make it clear that Free Software is critical for a competitive IT market. In
  21. our letter we ask the European Commission to dismiss the "FairSearch"
  22. coalition's unfounded claims regarding predatory pricing, and not make them
  23. part of whatever steps it decides to take. For further information: our legal
  24. council <a href="">Carlo Piana wrote a background
  25. article about this case</a>.</p>
  26. <h2>Election software: source code available but not Free Software</h2>
  27. <p>Estonia has used Internet voting for general elections since 2005. Local
  28. activists have recently managed to convince Estonia's National Electoral Committee (NEC) to release source code for
  29. some of the software under a non-free licence, but this licence does not permit
  30. distribution of derivative works or commercial use and therefore is non-free.
  31. Besides "[i]mportant system components remain completely unknown to the general
  32. public. One of those components is the client side voting application that must
  33. be loaded and executed on the voter's computer," said Heiki Ojasild, Fellowship
  34. representative in the FSFE's General Assembly in <a
  35. href="/news/2013/news-20130730-01.html">our press release</a> accompanying
  36. our <a href="/ee/i-voting/2013-07-26_Open_Letter_to_NEC.html">open letter to
  37. NEC regarding the country's Internet
  38. voting system</a>.</p>
  39. <p>Similar in Norway: Paul Boddie reports about the <a
  40. href="">Norwegian voting and the
  41. illusion of "Open Source"</a>, where the published software covers only
  42. "testing, reviewing or evaluating the code", restricts commercial purposes, and
  43. for a lot of things you need a "written approval" from the vendors.</p>
  44. <h2>NSA leaks motivates Free Software activists</h2>
  45. <p newsteaser="yes">For almost two decades the Free Software Foundations have been working for a
  46. society where the power over technology is distributed. We work
  47. for a world in which nobody can prevent others from learning how computers
  48. work. A world in which programmers can work with each other instead against
  49. each other. Nobody should be forced to use a certain kind of software without
  50. being able to adjust it to her own needs instead of adjusting herself to the
  51. software. Everybody should be able to audit software, to understand what a
  52. program does exactly and what happens to your data.</p>
  53. <p>The Free Software movement wrote a lot of software which respects your
  54. privacy, including encryption and anonymisation software. The FSFE pushed for
  55. Open Standards to prevent monopolies by enabling different software to work
  56. with each other. We promote decentralised systems, so there is no single point
  57. in our infrastructure which has too much power and which enables you to store
  58. the data in a trusted enviroment.</p>
  59. <p>It seems the NSA leaks of the last weeks have strengthened the Free Software
  60. community's will to continue fighting for our freedoms in a digital society.
  61. More people are listening to Free Software programmers and activists, more
  62. people demand Free Software solutions, more people are using Free Software to
  63. protect their privacy, and more people appreciate Free Software developer's
  64. work. E.g. <a href="">Eva Galperin from EFF
  65. said in her keynote at KDE's conference akademy</a>: "Help us Free Software,
  66. you are our last and only hope". She asked Free Software developers to build
  67. new products, and "save us"! And as you will see below, the Free Software
  68. movement will continue to do so.</p>
  69. <h2>Something completely different</h2>
  70. <ul>
  71. <li>Privacy is a fundamental human right, and is central to maintaining
  72. democratic societies. The FSFE joined more than 100 other organisations in <a
  73. href="">demanding that states respect
  74. human rights, and bring their surveillance apparatus under democratic
  75. control.</a> More than one year in the making, the demands are now more
  76. relevant than ever. The FSFE also <a
  77. href="">signed an Open Letter
  78. to stop surveillance</a>, which calls for twelve political steps including
  79. the development and promotion of Free Software for digital self-defence.</li>
  80. <li>The FSFE <a href="/news/2013/news-20130712-01.html">commented on leaked
  81. documents</a> which show how Microsoft is actively cooperating with the
  82. NSA.</li>
  83. <li>Together with the Open Rights Group we sent an <a
  84. href="/activities/os/transparency-letter.html">open letter on transparency
  85. to Martin Schulz, President of the European Parliament</a>. Mr Schulz has
  86. recently been asked to produce a study on transparency within the Parliament.
  87. In our letter we are offering Mr Schulz our help in this effort and suggest
  88. several questions, e.g. if the Parliament would be obliged to publish the
  89. source code of the software it uses.</li>
  90. <li>News about Free Software in education are back: <a
  91. href="">Guido
  92. Arnold summarised what happened in the education sector</a> during April,
  93. May, and June. He also <a
  94. href="">summarised the relevant
  95. parts</a> of the UNESO conference World Summit on an Information Society
  96. (WSIS+10).</li>
  97. <li>Ubuntu is aiming to raise $32 million in crowdfunding to produce Ubuntu
  98. Edge, a mobile computer that can dual-boot between Android and Ubuntu
  99. GNU/Linux. <a href="/about/fsfnetwork.html">Our sister organisation</a> the
  100. FSF is asking the crucial question: <a
  101. href="">Will
  102. Ubuntu Edge commit to using only Free Software?</a>. Paul Boddie, Fellow
  103. and maintainer of <a href="">Fellowship wiki</a>, looked
  104. into the question if <a href="">Ubuntu
  105. Edge is making things even harder for open hardware?</a></li>
  106. <li>Besides <a
  107. href="">our
  108. sister organisation reports that the New Internationalist adopted the
  109. DRM-free label</a> and over 50 others were added to the DRM-free
  110. Guide.</li>
  111. <li>From the public administrations: Students and teachers at <a
  112. href="">
  113. 160 high schools in the Brussels Region have started to use Free
  114. Software</a> like LibreOffice or Mozilla Thunderbird on PCs and tablets.
  115. Joinup reports that <a
  116. href="">
  117. France's ministry of Agriculture extensively uses Free Software</a>: For
  118. instance in 2012 it spent 174,000 euro on support for Free Software.
  119. Additionally news from France: Lucile wrote about the <a
  120. href="">Zombie
  121. Free Software provision</a> -- a Free Software law for France's higher
  122. education -- and how to contact politicians.</li>
  123. <li>For those amongst you giving talks at conferences: LWN now offers a handy
  124. <a href="">calendar for call for
  125. papers</a>.</li>
  126. <li>From the <a href="">planet aggregation</a>: </li>
  127. <ul>
  128. <li>Former FSFE president Georg Greve wrote a tetralogy about the Post
  129. PRISM society. He <a href="">puts
  130. together what actually has been proven so far</a>, <a
  131. href="">what that means for
  132. society</a>, <a href="">what the
  133. implications for businesses around the world are</a>, and <a
  134. href="">takes a look at
  135. governments</a>. He argues that any government should be able to answer
  136. the following question: What is your policy on a sovereign software supply
  137. and digital infrastructure? If that question cannot be answered, he
  138. suggests it is time to get to work. And soon.</li>
  139. <li>FSFE's president Karsten Gerloff wrote <a
  140. href="">about
  141. what you can do to secure your communications</a>, e.g. participating in
  142. politics,</li>
  143. <li>Werner Koch, author of GnuPG and FSFE GA member wrote about <a
  144. href="">
  145. Gpg4win and the feds</a>, commenting on a CT article which mentions
  146. GnuPG and claims that only a self compiled version is trustworthy.</li>
  147. <li>and Kevin Keijzer <a
  148. href="">documented
  149. how he maintains his online privacy</a>.</li>
  150. <li>Anonymisation hobbyist Jens Lechtenboerger <a
  151. href="">explains
  152. how he selects Tor guard nodes under global surveillance</a>, and also
  153. publishing code how he analysed the situation.</li>
  154. <li>A proposal for a new encrypted mobile messaging app called Hemlis
  155. received $125,000 in crowdfunding. It is good to see ambitious new software
  156. projects get support from the community when they are Free Software. Sam
  157. Tuke checks if <a href="">this is
  158. really the case with Hemlis</a>.</li>
  159. <li>Viktor Horvath <a
  160. href="">published the video from
  161. his talk at FOSDEM about SlapOS</a> a decentralised Free Software
  162. plattform.</li>
  163. <li>Lucile wrote about <a
  164. href="">
  165. several examples of interesting uses of transparency policies</a>,
  166. related to Free Software especially for France.</li>
  167. <li>Should a person be bound by terms of use and contracts where that
  168. person has been effectively coerced into accepting them? Other
  169. questions about IT in universities are asked by Paul Boddie in <a
  170. href="">"Students: Beware of the
  171. Academic Cloud!"</a></li>
  172. <li>News from Martin Gollowitzer's <a
  173. href="">"Tracking
  174. for Freedom"</a> project: he is now cycling with the pros.</li>
  175. <li>Mirko Böhm reports from his travel to <a
  176. href="">Akademy
  177. and the Qt contributor summit</a>. Together with Armijn Hemel he started
  178. a process to <a
  179. href="">
  180. make defensive publications a routine part of the Qt release
  181. process</a>,</li>
  182. <li>and Free Software activities in Munich have intensified. Christian
  183. Kalkhoff and the Munich group now bought a pavilion to <a
  184. href="">
  185. be present at more and more public events (German)</a>.</li>
  186. </ul>
  187. </ul>
  188. <h2>Get active: Help with Crypto parties!</h2>
  189. <p>Crypto parties are getting more popular. They also attract funding from
  190. non-free software companies. One company <a
  191. href="">
  192. offered money to crypto party organisers if they also mention non-free
  193. software (German)</a>. Good that a lot of FSFE's volunteers already support
  194. the organisers to help people install encryption software, and educate
  195. participants about Free Software.</p>
  196. <p>In the Free Software community a lot of us understand how end-to-end
  197. encryption works. At the moment a lot of people new to Free Software want to
  198. use it themselves. If you have some time, either help some friends, colleagues,
  199. or search for local crypto parties and show others how to use GnuPG for e-mail
  200. encryption, OTR for encrypted chats, TOR to anonymise your online behaviour or
  201. programs like Jitsi to have encrypted audio and video communications.</p>
  202. <p>Thanks to all the <a href="">Fellows</a> and
  203. <a href="donate/thankgnus.html">donors</a> who enable our work,<br/>
  204. <a href="/about/kirschner">Matthias Kirschner </a> - <a href="">FSFE</a></p>
  205. <p>-- <br />
  206. <a href="/index.html">Free Software Foundation Europe</a><br />
  207. <a href="/news/news.rss">FSFE News</a><br />
  208. <a href="/events/events.rss">Upcoming FSFE Events</a><br />
  209. <a href="">Fellowship Blog Aggregation</a><br />
  210. <a href="/contact/community.html">Free Software Discussions</a> </p>
  211. </body>
  212. <tags>
  213. <tag>newsletter</tag>
  214. <tag>Matthias Kirschner</tag>
  215. </tags>
  216. <timestamp>$Date: 2011-06-06 12:32:19 +0200 (Mon, 06 Jun 2011) $ $Author: mk $</timestamp>
  217. </html>
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