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<html newsdate="2013-12-04" type="newsletter">
<title>FSFE Newsletter - December 2013</title>
<h1>FSFE Newsletter - December 2013</h1>
<h2>Our cryptocards and straw fires</h2>
<p>In 2005 we started giving <a href="/fellowship/card.html">crypto cards</a>
to individuals who donated to us and have become Fellow of FSFE. We believe it
is important to remind people about Free Software tools to encrypt our
communications. Besides since FSFE was founded in 2001, we have been explaining
that those 40 digits on our business cards are about encryption and why this
is important. 8 years later, the topic encryption hit ithe media, and it is now
mentioned in every newspaper in Europe. This is good and bad at the same time:
We currently face the problem that media attention is very high but it does
not mean we have more resources to deal with it. We would like to work more on
these issues but we also cannot stop working on other long term topics.</p>
<h2>Importance of long term work</h2>
<p>If you take a look at <a href="/timeline/timeline.html">our new timeline</a>
you will see that we often had to work on topics which are difficult to explain to a
larger audience, work intensive, and sometimes unpopular. Companies worked
against Free Software as they saw it as threat to them earning money but we helped
them to understand how they can make revenues with Free Software. We had to spend
8 years of work with the European Commission and the European Court of Justice to
make sure Free Software companies are allowed to compete with Microsoft's work
group servers and since then we are <a
href="/news/2012/news-20120619-01.html">pushing this knowledge also on the
national</a> and local levels. License compliance was an unpopular topic for a
long time but developers have to make sure our software can be programmed and used
without legal risks. When we started working on Open Standards it was a niche
topic, now it is main stream. Companies opposed our position on software
patents, now a lot of businesses and politicians realised they are a dangerous
business risk. Today they use our arguments and ask us for input to get rid of
<h2>What we need to master the challenge</h2>
<p>We believe in a society in which software is in the hands of all of us: as
individuals, companies and organisations, or governments, instead of a few
powerful entities. Nobody should be allowed to prevent you from changing
software, or asking someone else to change it for you, on your mobile phone,
router, car, or other belongings. The last months have shown us
that it is important for our society to have computers we can trust. Computers
we control. Programs that are transparent in what they do with our data and
which can be changed to fulfil our needs. The only way to achieve this is with
Free Software.</p>
<p>Such a challenge cannot be solved in a few months, it takes a long time. It
takes organisations which continue to work when there is no big media
attention. An organisation which fights for your freedom in the digital age.
FSFE has worked on those issues for over 12 years.</p>
<p>To face this challenge FSFE needs to work continuously towards this goal,
and for this we need you, to invest in your freedom! At the moment it is a
good time to intensify our work, as there are many people out there who listen
differently to the same messages we had before. We would like to expand our
activities, and therefore we need your donation. Do what others did who value
software freedom: <a href=""><strong>Become a supporting member by joining the Fellowship of
<h2>Something completely different</h2>
<li><a href="/news/2013/news-20131107-01.html">FSFE published a press release
about the Rockstar vs. Google case</a>: Rockstar, a consortium of
companies formed to collect certain patents put on sale in the dissolution
procedure of Nortel, has sued Google and other companies over seven of those
patents. FSFE already <a
href="/activities/swpat/nortel.html">voiced serious
concerns and warned competition regulators against exactly such a scenario
in December 2011</a>. Again an example how software patents are a dangerous
business risk.</li>
<li>We welcome <a
new core team member Maurice Verheesen from the Netherlands</a>. He already
took care of our booth at T-Dose which also becomes <a
href="">a meeting point for Fellows
from the Netherlands and the Rhineland</a>.</li>
<li>Shall I buy a computer without an operating system and install GNU/Linux
distribution of my own choice, or buy a laptop with GNU/Linux preinstalled
which includes non-free software? Participate in the discussion on our
public English speaking list by <a
this message </a>, continue with the mentioned blogs articles there,
comment on the list, and like Paul Boddie wrote: join other volunteers
to maintain the <a
vendors page</a>.</li>
<li>Thanks to Nermin Canik, FSFE had its <a
href="">first booth
in Turkey</a>, and Michael Stehmann took care of an <a
href="">FSFE booth and two talks at
<li>FSFE <a
at the Open Knowledge Festival</a>. At the "speed geeking", in which Lucile
Falgueyrac gave the same five minutes talk seven times, she presented FSFE, Open
Standards and <a href="">Document Freedom
<li>The Parliament in <a
Andalusia is unanimously urging the region's government to switch to Free
<li>Guido Arnold <a
the FSFE education update from October</a>.</li>
<li>Jérémie Zimmermann from our friends at La Quadrature Du Net argues in <a
"Snowden and the Future of our Communication Architecture"</a> that the
"Snowden revelations give us a vivid illustration that Richard Stallman and
others have been right for all these years." He writes that we need
decentralised services, Free Software, and end-to-end encryption.</li>
<li>The Guardian project wrote about <a
to set up your own app store with F-Droid</a>. If you host your own F-Droid
repository, then people can use F-Droid to install your own apps signed by your own
signing key.</li>
<li>Renault apparently has the ability to remotely prevent the battery from
charging. Karsten Gerloff <a
about the Zoe electric car</a>. </li>
<li>He also summarised a report by the French website Mediapart. At the
European Parliament in Strasbourg, a technically skilled person managed to <a
14 Members of the European Parliament and their staffers</a> using trivial
<li>From the <a href="">planet aggregation</a>: </li>
<li>After discussion with a Danish Member of Parliament, Thomas Locke <a
what he did to support Tor</a> and is now running a Tor exit node.</li>
<li>Torsten Grote <a
the presentation</a> about Dark Mail as Next-Generation Email to Stop
<li>Fellowship representative Nikos Roussos <a
href="">wrote about how
he started with GNU/Linux</a>.</li>
<li>The Neo900 phone moved beyond the discussion phase and into the
fundraising phase. Paul Boddie <a
href="">gives some
<li>Besides he <a href="">takes a look
at the Free Software Desktop</a>. He argues that "Free Software desktop
developers have imperilled their own mission with the result that they now
have to make up lost ground in the struggle to get people to use their
<li>In Paris another <a
meeting</a> took place. Nicolas Jean <a
href="">wrote a short summary</a>,
about the email client meeting. Hugo Roy <a
href="">documents how to do a
carddav lookup in mutt</a> and Karsten Gerloff <a
to do address lookup with mu</a>. If you regret not living in Paris,
Hugo and Nicolas suggest to start MutterWare meetings in your city, too.</li>
<li>A court in Caen/France <a
that a French SME did not infringe Skype's copyright by
reverse-engineering the algorithm used by the company</a> for its VoIP
services, and attempting to use it commercially.</li>
<li>Daniel Pocock highlights the applications for the Outreach Program for Women and the
option for Australian women to get $75,000 to make free software during
maternity leave. </li>
<li>Cryptography: Sergey Matveev wrote <a
href="">about a big
cryptoparty in Moscow</a>, Lucile Falgueyrac helped at a <a
for journalists</a>, and wrote about <a
problems accepting a security signature in GNU/Linux</a>.</li>
<li>Anna spent a week with some 5-11 year old children for an <a
animating using Phatch, Linux Stop Motion and Kdenlive</a>.</li>
<li>And your editor <a
the part about Free Software</a> from David Wheelers's article
"Vulnerability bidding wars and vulnerability economics".</li>
<h2>Get active: Why does Free Software matter to you?</h2>
<p>This month Jacob Appelbaum, spokesperson for the Tor Project, and two other
Tor developers became supporting members of FSFE and Jacob explained why he did
<blockquote><p>I believe that actions of support for the FSFE are important for
encouraging Free Software development and adoption in Europe as well as the
rest of the world. I'm an FSFE Fellow because financially supporting the cause
of Free Software brings positive improvements to all societies throughout the
<p>Quotes like this help others understanding the importance of our work. On
our english <a href="/fellowship/index.html">Fellowship page</a> some of our Fellows
already explain why Free Software and FSFE's work is important to them. We
would also like <strong>you</strong> to <a
href="">write us why Free Software and our
work matters to you</a>. In agreement with you, we would then like to
publish some of the submissions on our website. Else they just motivate
FSFE's working teams. </p>
<p>Thanks to all the <a href="/contribute/contribute.html">volunteers</a>, <a href="">Fellows</a> and
<a href="/donate/thankgnus.html">corporate donors</a> who enable our work,<br/>
<a href="/about/people/kirschner">Matthias Kirschner </a> - <a href="/">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="">Fellowship Blog Aggregation</a><br />
<a href="/contact/community.html">Free Software Discussions</a> </p>
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