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  1. <?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8" ?>
  2. <html newsdate="2013-12-04" type="newsletter">
  3. <version>1</version>
  4. <head>
  5. <title>FSFE Newsletter - December 2013</title>
  6. </head>
  7. <body>
  8. <h1>FSFE Newsletter - December 2013</h1>
  9. <h2>Our cryptocards and straw fires</h2>
  10. <p>In 2005 we started giving <a href="/fellowship/card.html">crypto cards</a>
  11. to individuals who donated to us and have become Fellow of FSFE. We believe it
  12. is important to remind people about Free Software tools to encrypt our
  13. communications. Besides since FSFE was founded in 2001, we have been explaining
  14. that those 40 digits on our business cards are about encryption and why this
  15. is important. 8 years later, the topic encryption hit ithe media, and it is now
  16. mentioned in every newspaper in Europe. This is good and bad at the same time:
  17. We currently face the problem that media attention is very high but it does
  18. not mean we have more resources to deal with it. We would like to work more on
  19. these issues but we also cannot stop working on other long term topics.</p>
  20. <h2>Importance of long term work</h2>
  21. <p>If you take a look at <a href="/timeline/timeline.html">our new timeline</a>
  22. you will see that we often had to work on topics which are difficult to explain to a
  23. larger audience, work intensive, and sometimes unpopular. Companies worked
  24. against Free Software as they saw it as threat to them earning money but we helped
  25. them to understand how they can make revenues with Free Software. We had to spend
  26. 8 years of work with the European Commission and the European Court of Justice to
  27. make sure Free Software companies are allowed to compete with Microsoft's work
  28. group servers and since then we are <a
  29. href="/news/2012/news-20120619-01.html">pushing this knowledge also on the
  30. national</a> and local levels. License compliance was an unpopular topic for a
  31. long time but developers have to make sure our software can be programmed and used
  32. without legal risks. When we started working on Open Standards it was a niche
  33. topic, now it is main stream. Companies opposed our position on software
  34. patents, now a lot of businesses and politicians realised they are a dangerous
  35. business risk. Today they use our arguments and ask us for input to get rid of
  36. them.</p>
  37. <h2>What we need to master the challenge</h2>
  38. <p>We believe in a society in which software is in the hands of all of us: as
  39. individuals, companies and organisations, or governments, instead of a few
  40. powerful entities. Nobody should be allowed to prevent you from changing
  41. software, or asking someone else to change it for you, on your mobile phone,
  42. router, car, or other belongings. The last months have shown us
  43. that it is important for our society to have computers we can trust. Computers
  44. we control. Programs that are transparent in what they do with our data and
  45. which can be changed to fulfil our needs. The only way to achieve this is with
  46. Free Software.</p>
  47. <p>Such a challenge cannot be solved in a few months, it takes a long time. It
  48. takes organisations which continue to work when there is no big media
  49. attention. An organisation which fights for your freedom in the digital age.
  50. FSFE has worked on those issues for over 12 years.</p>
  51. <p>To face this challenge FSFE needs to work continuously towards this goal,
  52. and for this we need you, to invest in your freedom! At the moment it is a
  53. good time to intensify our work, as there are many people out there who listen
  54. differently to the same messages we had before. We would like to expand our
  55. activities, and therefore we need your donation. Do what others did who value
  56. software freedom: <a href=""><strong>Become a supporting member by joining the Fellowship of
  57. FSFE!</strong></a></p>
  58. <h2>Something completely different</h2>
  59. <ul>
  60. <li><a href="/news/2013/news-20131107-01.html">FSFE published a press release
  61. about the Rockstar vs. Google case</a>: Rockstar, a consortium of
  62. companies formed to collect certain patents put on sale in the dissolution
  63. procedure of Nortel, has sued Google and other companies over seven of those
  64. patents. FSFE already <a
  65. href="/activities/swpat/nortel.html">voiced serious
  66. concerns and warned competition regulators against exactly such a scenario
  67. in December 2011</a>. Again an example how software patents are a dangerous
  68. business risk.</li>
  69. <li>We welcome <a
  70. href="">our
  71. new core team member Maurice Verheesen from the Netherlands</a>. He already
  72. took care of our booth at T-Dose which also becomes <a
  73. href="">a meeting point for Fellows
  74. from the Netherlands and the Rhineland</a>.</li>
  75. <li>Shall I buy a computer without an operating system and install GNU/Linux
  76. distribution of my own choice, or buy a laptop with GNU/Linux preinstalled
  77. which includes non-free software? Participate in the discussion on our
  78. public English speaking list by <a
  79. href="">reading
  80. this message </a>, continue with the mentioned blogs articles there,
  81. comment on the list, and like Paul Boddie wrote: join other volunteers
  82. to maintain the <a
  83. href="">hardware
  84. vendors page</a>.</li>
  85. <li>Thanks to Nermin Canik, FSFE had its <a
  86. href="">first booth
  87. in Turkey</a>, and Michael Stehmann took care of an <a
  88. href="">FSFE booth and two talks at
  89. OpenRheinRuhr</a>.</li>
  90. <li>FSFE <a
  91. href="">participated
  92. at the Open Knowledge Festival</a>. At the "speed geeking", in which Lucile
  93. Falgueyrac gave the same five minutes talk seven times, she presented FSFE, Open
  94. Standards and <a href="">Document Freedom
  95. Day</a>.</li>
  96. <li>The Parliament in <a
  97. href="">Spain's
  98. Andalusia is unanimously urging the region's government to switch to Free
  99. Software</a>.</li>
  100. <li>Guido Arnold <a
  101. href="">published
  102. the FSFE education update from October</a>.</li>
  103. <li>Jérémie Zimmermann from our friends at La Quadrature Du Net argues in <a
  104. href="">
  105. "Snowden and the Future of our Communication Architecture"</a> that the
  106. "Snowden revelations give us a vivid illustration that Richard Stallman and
  107. others have been right for all these years." He writes that we need
  108. decentralised services, Free Software, and end-to-end encryption.</li>
  109. <li>The Guardian project wrote about <a
  110. href="">how
  111. to set up your own app store with F-Droid</a>. If you host your own F-Droid
  112. repository, then people can use F-Droid to install your own apps signed by your own
  113. signing key.</li>
  114. <li>Renault apparently has the ability to remotely prevent the battery from
  115. charging. Karsten Gerloff <a
  116. href="">wrote
  117. about the Zoe electric car</a>. </li>
  118. <li>He also summarised a report by the French website Mediapart. At the
  119. European Parliament in Strasbourg, a technically skilled person managed to <a
  120. href="">intercept
  121. 14 Members of the European Parliament and their staffers</a> using trivial
  122. tools.</li>
  123. <li>From the <a href="">planet aggregation</a>: </li>
  124. <ul>
  125. <li>After discussion with a Danish Member of Parliament, Thomas Locke <a
  126. href="">wrote
  127. what he did to support Tor</a> and is now running a Tor exit node.</li>
  128. <li>Torsten Grote <a
  129. href="">summarised
  130. the presentation</a> about Dark Mail as Next-Generation Email to Stop
  131. Spying.</li>
  132. <li>Fellowship representative Nikos Roussos <a
  133. href="">wrote about how
  134. he started with GNU/Linux</a>.</li>
  135. <li>The Neo900 phone moved beyond the discussion phase and into the
  136. fundraising phase. Paul Boddie <a
  137. href="">gives some
  138. background</a>.</li>
  139. <li>Besides he <a href="">takes a look
  140. at the Free Software Desktop</a>. He argues that "Free Software desktop
  141. developers have imperilled their own mission with the result that they now
  142. have to make up lost ground in the struggle to get people to use their
  143. software."</li>
  144. <li>In Paris another <a
  145. href="">MutterWare
  146. meeting</a> took place. Nicolas Jean <a
  147. href="">wrote a short summary</a>,
  148. about the email client meeting. Hugo Roy <a
  149. href="">documents how to do a
  150. carddav lookup in mutt</a> and Karsten Gerloff <a
  151. href="">how
  152. to do address lookup with mu</a>. If you regret not living in Paris,
  153. Hugo and Nicolas suggest to start MutterWare meetings in your city, too.</li>
  154. <li>A court in Caen/France <a
  155. href="">ruled
  156. that a French SME did not infringe Skype's copyright by
  157. reverse-engineering the algorithm used by the company</a> for its VoIP
  158. services, and attempting to use it commercially.</li>
  159. <li>Daniel Pocock highlights the applications for <a
  160. href="">the Outreach
  161. Program for Women</a> and the <a
  162. href="">
  163. option for Australian women to get $75,000 to make free software during
  164. maternity leave</a>. </li>
  165. <li>Cryptography: Sergey Matveev wrote <a
  166. href="">about a big
  167. cryptoparty in Moscow</a>, Lucile Falgueyrac helped at a <a
  168. href="">cryptoparty
  169. for journalists</a>, and wrote about <a
  170. href="">the
  171. problems accepting a security signature in GNU/Linux</a>.</li>
  172. <li>Anna spent a week with some 5-11 year old children for an <a
  173. href="">plasticine
  174. animating using Phatch, Linux Stop Motion and Kdenlive</a>.</li>
  175. <li>And your editor <a
  176. href="">highlighted
  177. the part about Free Software</a> from David Wheelers's article
  178. "Vulnerability bidding wars and vulnerability economics".</li>
  179. </ul>
  180. </ul>
  181. <h2>Get active: Why does Free Software matter to you?</h2>
  182. <p>This month Jacob Appelbaum, spokesperson for the Tor Project, and two other
  183. Tor developers became supporting members of FSFE and Jacob explained why he did
  184. so:</p>
  185. <blockquote><p>I believe that actions of support for the FSFE are important for
  186. encouraging Free Software development and adoption in Europe as well as the
  187. rest of the world. I'm an FSFE Fellow because financially supporting the cause
  188. of Free Software brings positive improvements to all societies throughout the
  189. world.</p></blockquote>
  190. <p>Quotes like this help others understanding the importance of our work. On
  191. our english <a href="/fellowship/index.html">Fellowship page</a> some of our Fellows
  192. already explain why Free Software and FSFE's work is important to them. We
  193. would also like <strong>you</strong> to <a
  194. href="">write us why Free Software and our
  195. work matters to you</a>. In agreement with you, we would then like to
  196. publish some of the submissions on our website. Else they just motivate
  197. FSFE's working teams. </p>
  198. <p>Thanks to all the <a href="/contribute/contribute.html">volunteers</a>, <a href="">Fellows</a> and
  199. <a href="/donate/thankgnus.html">corporate donors</a> who enable our work,<br/>
  200. <a href="/about/people/kirschner">Matthias Kirschner </a> - <a href="/">FSFE</a></p>
  201. <p>-- <br />
  202. <a href="/index.html">Free Software Foundation Europe</a><br />
  203. <a href="/news/news.rss">FSFE News</a><br />
  204. <a href="/events/events.rss">Upcoming FSFE Events</a><br />
  205. <a href="">Fellowship Blog Aggregation</a><br />
  206. <a href="/contact/community.html">Free Software Discussions</a> </p>
  207. </body>
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  211. </html>
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