271 lines
14 KiB

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8" ?>
<html newsdate="2013-08-06" type="newsletter">
<title>FSFE Newsletter - August 2013</title>
<h1>FSFE Newsletter - August 2013</h1>
<h2>Proprietary companies ask European Commission to restrict business models</h2>
<p>Because Android is Free Software and gratis, the non-free software
competition cannot compete with it, therefore the market has less alternatives,
thus the consumer suffers from this lack of competition. In a nutshell that is
the argumentation of the so-called "Fair Search" coalition. Essentially they
are asking the European Commission to favour a restrictive business model over
a liberal one, which is exactly the opposite of what competition regulators
should do in order to achieve a fair market.</p>
<p>Asking the European Commission to cripple Free Software in order to allow
proprietary vendors to sell their locked-down systems is absurd. Therefore the
<a href="/news/2013/news-20130729-01.html">FSFE has written a letter to the
European Commission's competition authorities to refute the claims</a>, and
make it clear that Free Software is critical for a competitive IT market. In
our letter we ask the European Commission to dismiss the "FairSearch"
coalition's unfounded claims regarding predatory pricing, and not make them
part of whatever steps it decides to take. For further information: our legal
council <a href="http://piana.eu/android">Carlo Piana wrote a background
article about this case</a>.</p>
<h2>Election software: source code available but not Free Software</h2>
<p>Estonia has used Internet voting for general elections since 2005. Local
activists have recently managed to convince Estonia's National Electoral Committee (NEC) to release source code for
some of the software under a non-free licence, but this licence does not permit
distribution of derivative works or commercial use and therefore is non-free.
Besides "[i]mportant system components remain completely unknown to the general
public. One of those components is the client side voting application that must
be loaded and executed on the voter's computer," said Heiki Ojasild, Fellowship
representative in the FSFE's General Assembly in <a
href="/news/2013/news-20130730-01.html">our press release</a> accompanying
our <a href="/news/2013/2013-07-26_Open_Letter_to_NEC.html">open letter to
NEC regarding the country's Internet
voting system</a>.</p>
<p>Similar in Norway: Paul Boddie reports about the <a
href="https://blogs.fsfe.org/pboddie/?p=291">Norwegian voting and the
illusion of "Open Source"</a>, where the published software covers only
"testing, reviewing or evaluating the code", restricts commercial purposes, and
for a lot of things you need a "written approval" from the vendors.</p>
<h2>NSA leaks motivates Free Software activists</h2>
<p>For almost two decades the Free Software Foundations have been working for a
society where the power over technology is distributed. We work
for a world in which nobody can prevent others from learning how computers
work. A world in which programmers can work with each other instead against
each other. Nobody should be forced to use a certain kind of software without
being able to adjust it to her own needs instead of adjusting herself to the
software. Everybody should be able to audit software, to understand what a
program does exactly and what happens to your data.</p>
<p>The Free Software movement wrote a lot of software which respects your
privacy, including encryption and anonymisation software. The FSFE pushed for
Open Standards to prevent monopolies by enabling different software to work
with each other. We promote decentralised systems, so there is no single point
in our infrastructure which has too much power and which enables you to store
the data in a trusted enviroment.</p>
<p>It seems the NSA leaks of the last weeks have strengthened the Free Software
community's will to continue fighting for our freedoms in a digital society.
More people are listening to Free Software programmers and activists, more
people demand Free Software solutions, more people are using Free Software to
protect their privacy, and more people appreciate Free Software developer's
work. E.g. <a href="https://lwn.net/Articles/559124">Eva Galperin from EFF
said in her keynote at KDE's conference akademy</a>: "Help us Free Software,
you are our last and only hope". She asked Free Software developers to build
new products, and "save us"! And as you will see below, the Free Software
movement will continue to do so.</p>
<h2>Something completely different</h2>
<li>Privacy is a fundamental human right, and is central to maintaining
democratic societies. The FSFE joined more than 100 other organisations in <a
href="https://necessaryandproportionate.org/">demanding that states respect
human rights, and bring their surveillance apparatus under democratic
control.</a> More than one year in the making, the demands are now more
relevant than ever. The FSFE also <a
href="http://www.stopsurveillance.org/?page_id=20">signed an Open Letter
to stop surveillance</a>, which calls for twelve political steps including
the development and promotion of Free Software for digital self-defence.</li>
<li>The FSFE <a href="/news/2013/news-20130712-01.html">commented on leaked
documents</a> which show how Microsoft is actively cooperating with the
<li>Together with the Open Rights Group we sent an <a
href="/freesoftware/standards/transparency-letter.html">open letter on transparency
to Martin Schulz, President of the European Parliament</a>. Mr Schulz has
recently been asked to produce a study on transparency within the Parliament.
In our letter we are offering Mr Schulz our help in this effort and suggest
several questions, e.g. if the Parliament would be obliged to publish the
source code of the software it uses.</li>
<li>News about Free Software in education are back: <a
Arnold summarised what happened in the education sector</a> during April,
May, and June. He also <a
href="https://blogs.fsfe.org/guido/2013/06/1347/">summarised the relevant
parts</a> of the UNESO conference World Summit on an Information Society
<li>Ubuntu is aiming to raise $32 million in crowdfunding to produce Ubuntu
Edge, a mobile computer that can dual-boot between Android and Ubuntu
GNU/Linux. <a href="/about/fsfnetwork.html">Our sister organisation</a> the
FSF is asking the crucial question: <a
Ubuntu Edge commit to using only Free Software?</a>. Paul Boddie, Fellow
and maintainer of <a href="https://wiki.fsfe.org">Fellowship wiki</a>, looked
into the question if <a href="https://blogs.fsfe.org/pboddie/?p=366">Ubuntu
Edge is making things even harder for open hardware?</a></li>
<li>Besides <a
sister organisation reports that the New Internationalist adopted the
DRM-free label</a> and over 50 others were added to the DRM-free
<li>From the public administrations: Students and teachers at <a
160 high schools in the Brussels Region have started to use Free
Software</a> like LibreOffice or Mozilla Thunderbird on PCs and tablets.
Joinup reports that <a
France's ministry of Agriculture extensively uses Free Software</a>: For
instance in 2012 it spent 174,000 euro on support for Free Software.
Additionally news from France: Lucile wrote about the <a
Free Software provision</a> -- a Free Software law for France's higher
education -- and how to contact politicians.</li>
<li>For those amongst you giving talks at conferences: LWN now offers a handy
<a href="https://lwn.net/Calendar/Monthly/cfp/2013-08/">calendar for call for
<li>From the <a href="https://planet.fsfe.org">planet aggregation</a>: </li>
<li>Former FSFE president Georg Greve wrote a tetralogy about the Post
PRISM society. He <a href="https://blogs.fsfe.org/greve/?p=553">puts
together what actually has been proven so far</a>, <a
href="https://blogs.fsfe.org/greve/?p=568">what that means for
society</a>, <a href="https://blogs.fsfe.org/greve/?p=573">what the
implications for businesses around the world are</a>, and <a
href="https://blogs.fsfe.org/greve/?p=586">takes a look at
governments</a>. He argues that any government should be able to answer
the following question: What is your policy on a sovereign software supply
and digital infrastructure? If that question cannot be answered, he
suggests it is time to get to work. And soon.</li>
<li>FSFE's president Karsten Gerloff wrote <a
what you can do to secure your communications</a>, e.g. participating in
<li>Werner Koch, author of GnuPG and FSFE GA member wrote about <a
Gpg4win and the feds</a>, commenting on a CT article which mentions
GnuPG and claims that only a self compiled version is trustworthy.</li>
<li>and Kevin Keijzer <a
how he maintains his online privacy</a>.</li>
<li>Anonymisation hobbyist Jens Lechtenboerger <a
how he selects Tor guard nodes under global surveillance</a>, and also
publishing code how he analysed the situation.</li>
<li>A proposal for a new encrypted mobile messaging app called Hemlis
received $125,000 in crowdfunding. It is good to see ambitious new software
projects get support from the community when they are Free Software. Sam
Tuke checks if <a href="https://blogs.fsfe.org/samtuke/?p=564">this is
really the case with Hemlis</a>.</li>
<li>Viktor Horvath <a
href="https://blogs.fsfe.org/viktor/archives/62">published the video from
his talk at FOSDEM about SlapOS</a> a decentralised Free Software
<li>Lucile wrote about <a
several examples of interesting uses of transparency policies</a>,
related to Free Software especially for France.</li>
<li>Should a person be bound by terms of use and contracts where that
person has been effectively coerced into accepting them? Other
questions about IT in universities are asked by Paul Boddie in <a
href="https://blogs.fsfe.org/pboddie/?p=197">"Students: Beware of the
Academic Cloud!"</a></li>
<li>News from Martin Gollowitzer's <a
for Freedom"</a> project: he is now cycling with the pros.</li>
<li>Mirko Böhm reports from his travel to <a
and the Qt contributor summit</a>. Together with Armijn Hemel he started
a process to <a
make defensive publications a routine part of the Qt release
<li>and Free Software activities in Munich have intensified. Christian
Kalkhoff and the Munich group now bought a pavilion to <a
be present at more and more public events (German)</a>.</li>
<h2>Get active: Help with Crypto parties!</h2>
<p>Crypto parties are getting more popular. They also attract funding from
non-free software companies. One company <a
offered money to crypto party organisers if they also mention non-free
software (German)</a>. Good that a lot of FSFE's volunteers already support
the organisers to help people install encryption software, and educate
participants about Free Software.</p>
<p>In the Free Software community a lot of us understand how end-to-end
encryption works. At the moment a lot of people new to Free Software want to
use it themselves. If you have some time, either help some friends, colleagues,
or search for local crypto parties and show others how to use GnuPG for e-mail
encryption, OTR for encrypted chats, TOR to anonymise your online behaviour or
programs like Jitsi to have encrypted audio and video communications.</p>
<p>Thanks to all the <a href="https://my.fsfe.org/donate">Fellows</a> and
<a href="/donate/thankgnus.html">donors</a> who enable our work,<br/>
<a href="/about/people/kirschner">Matthias Kirschner </a> - <a href="/index.html">FSFE</a></p>
<p>-- <br />
<a href="/index.html">Free Software Foundation Europe</a><br />
<a href="/news/news.rss">FSFE News</a><br />
<a href="/events/events.rss">Upcoming FSFE Events</a><br />
<a href="https://planet.fsfe.org/en/rss20.xml">Fellowship Blog Aggregation</a><br />
<a href="/about/contact.html#community">Free Software Discussions</a> </p>
<tag key="newsletter"/>
Local Variables: ***
mode: xml ***
End: ***