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<title>FSFE Newsletter - December 2014</title>
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<h1 class="p-name">FSFE Newsletter – December 2014</h1>
<h2>More demand from the EU institutions</h2>
<p>The new European Commission is currently setting the direction of its policy
making for the coming five years. The FSFE is in frequent contact with
Commission staff, who currently see open doors for Free Software in Brussels.
We want to make sure to use this momentum to push for changes on software
procurement, standardisation, and device sovereignty. So our president Karsten
Gerloff participated in several meetings.</p>
<p>In November the European Parliament (EP) organised a conference to inform
members of the parliament about the IT services available to them. It featured
a panel discussion led by Adina Valean, the new EP Vice President in charge of
ICT, with a contribution from Giancarlo Villela, the director of the EP’s IT
department. After the panel discussion, Karsten got the chance to <a
href="https://blogs.fsfe.org/gerloff/2014/11/19/free-software-for-the-european-parliament-fsfe-comments-at-dg-itec-forum/">contribute
a few brief remarks about the EU institution’s live streams, DebianParl, and
vendor lock-in</a>.</p>
<p>In the beginning of December Karsten was again at the Parliament, this time
at a <a
href="https://blogs.fsfe.org/gerloff/2014/12/04/workshop-on-open-standards-for-ict-procurement/">workshop
on “Open Standards for ICT procurement”</a>. The real value of those events, as
so often, was in the people who are there. The workshop provided an opportunity
for the small community pushing Free Software and Open Standards in procurement
to meet and share updates. So in the future we can push together with them for
positive changes.</p>
<h2>There is no cloud just other people’s computers</h2>
<p>Another event Karsten participated in was the presentation of the report on
“cloud” computing and interoperability by the Brussels-based lobby organisation
ECIS’s. Karsten documented the meeting in <a
href="https://blogs.fsfe.org/gerloff/2014/11/14/some-common-sense-recommendations-on-cloudy-computing/">his
blog post “Some common-sense recommendations on cloudy computing”</a>.</p>
<p>Just a few days later our new <a
href="https://blogs.fsfe.org/mk/new-stickers-and-leaflets-no-cloud-and-e-mail-self-defense/">“there
is no cloud just other people’s computers”-stickers arrived in our office</a>.
We received lots of positive feedback about the stickers, and now added them to
our <a
href="/contribute/spreadtheword.html#promo-material">promo
packs</a>. We are planning to have some more merchandise with this slogan ready
for our booth at FOSDEM from 31 January to 1 February 2015 in Brussels.</p>
<h2>Progress with “email self-defence” leaflets</h2>
<p>Beside the new stickers, you can now also order new leaflets, to promote our
sister organisation’s “email self-defence guide”. Originally we produced this
leaflet in German for the annual Berlin “freedom not fear” demonstration in
September. Afterwards volunteers all over Germany <a
href="/contribute/spreadtheword.html#promo-material">ordered</a> and
distributed them. For example, one cinema gave out a leaflet for everybody who
bought a ticket for the Snowden documentary “Citizienfour”. Meanwhile we had to
reorder the German version for a third time and since the end of November we
have been sending out the English version to Free Software supporters
throughout Europe.</p>
<p>In the next weeks our <a
href="/contribute/translators/translators.html">translators</a> and <a
href="/contribute/designers/designers.html">designers</a> will finalise a
Chinese, Dutch, French, Greek, Italian, and a Spanish version. For 2015 we
want to enable local Free Software supporters to distribute this and other
leaflets at libraries, universities, schools, cinemas, companies, restaurants
and cafes, shops and in other places.</p>
<h2>FSFE’s translators: they are just awesome</h2>
<p>This brings us to a badly needed thank you note. During the last 12 months
we published the newsletter monthly. Two of the editions were written by our
volunteer Heiki ”Repentinus” Ojasild, so your editor could enjoy his vacation.
Our newsletter was available in 6 languages on average (lowest 4 languages
highest 9 languages). We had newsletters in Albanian, Dutch, English, French,
German, Greek, Italian, Portuguese, Romanian, Serbian, and Spanish.</p>
<p>Your editor is proud to work in a team with such dedicated volunteers. They
translate the newsletter, the leaflets mentioned above, plus other FSFE news.
They enable more people around the world to read about Free Software in their
mother tongue, and are therefore a crucial part of the FSFE. So your editor
would like to deeply thank our <a
href="/contribute/translators/translators.html">growing translators team</a>
for this important work.</p>
<h2>Something completely different</h2>
<ul>
<li>The year is almost over, and it is reporting season. <a
href="https://blogs.fsfe.org/gerloff/2014/12/01/preview-what-fsfe-did-in-2014/">Our
president published a sneak preview of things we achieved in 2014</a> covering
our work on: public procurement, the Free Software pact, compulsory routers,
improving information material, informing about “trusted computing” and “Secure
Boot”, organising Document Freedom Day, answering legal questions, as well as
our participation events such as workshops, panel discussions, or organising
booths.</li>
<li>In the last newsletter we asked you to help the FixMyDocuments campaign.
With the support they received, they have now <a
href="https://joinup.ec.europa.eu/node/110097">compiled a list of over 15,000
editable documents from the European institutions not available in the Open
Document Format</a>.</li>
<li>WhatsApp adopted a secure end-to-end encryption method developed for the Free
Software app TextSecure. Torsten Grote takes a look at <a
href="http://blog.grobox.de/2014/whatsapp-end-to-end-encryption-federation/">what
that means for Free Software</a>.</li>
<li>Local events: FSFE had a <a
href="https://blogs.fsfe.org/flx/2014/11/11/t-dose-2/">booth at T-Dose in the
Netherlands</a>. Our Dutch Fellows organised the booth together, Kevin Keijzer
gave a talk about “Discrimination of Free Software (users) in education”,
Maurice Verheesen spoke about “Digital Sovereignty For Europe”, and Felix
Stegerman talked about <a
href="https://blogs.fsfe.org/flx/2014/11/09/my-t-dose-talk-the-internet-of-things-opportunities-and-dangers/">the
opportunities and dangers of the “Internet of Things”</a>. Beside that, our
Berlin group organised a <a
href="https://blogs.fsfe.org/majestyx/2014/11/12/fiffkon-2014-leak/">booth at
the FiFFkon</a> at the Technical University Berlin.</li>
<li>Guido Arnold published a summary of <a
href="https://blogs.fsfe.org/guido/2014/11/free-software-in-education-news-october-2/">what
happened in education throughout Europe during October</a>.</li>
<li>The French Fellow Alexandre Keledjian published <a
href="https://github.com/dervishe-/f-droid-web/wiki">F-Droid-Web, a simple and
lightweight web interface to F-Droid server</a>. It provides an easy way to add
a new software repository to your mobile using qr-codes, and to browse the
F-Droid catalogue by name, category, summary, license type, and
description.</li>
<li>From the <a href="https://planet.fsfe.org">planet
aggregation</a>:</li>
<ul>
<li><a
href="http://creative-destruction.me/2014/12/04/fsfe-needs-your-support-for-2015/">Mirko
Böhm, FSFE Fellow and KDE community member, wrote about why you should support
FSFE’s work</a>, which in his words is: to protect, explain, and organise the
freedoms to use, study, share, and improve software.</li>
<li>Daniel Pocock questions if Amnesty is giving spy victims a false sense of security. In his post he
provides a letter template to sent to Amnesty.</li>
<li>“EOMA68” is an open electronic interface standard, designed to support
the development of small computing devices. Nico Rikken wrote <a
href="http://nicorikken.eu/blog/why-eoma68-will-advance-both-free-software-and-free-hardware/">why
EOMA68 will advance both Free Software and free hardware</a>.</li>
<li>Mario Fux explains how you <a
href="https://blogs.fsfe.org/mario/?p=257">can contribute as a non-developer to
KDE</a>.</li>
<li>Beside that we had some technical HowTos on the planet, including: Kevin
Keijzer who reports from <a
href="https://blogs.fsfe.org/the_unconventional/2014/11/16/installing-ubuntu-without-proprietary-software/">his
experience trying to install Ubuntu without proprietary software</a>.</li>
<li>Hannes Hauswedell who wrote about <a
href="https://blogs.fsfe.org/h2/2014/11/04/encrypting-crons-daily-mail/">how to
encrypt cron’s daily mail on FreeBSD</a>. His HowTo pertains to FreeBSD in
particular, but he is “sure all you GNUsers out there will figure out the
necessary changes”.</li>
<li>Mirko Böhm who describes <a
href="http://creative-destruction.me/2014/11/13/configure-your-gaming-mouse-on-linux/">how
to configure a gaming mouse on GNU/Linux in a way that you can work and play at
the machine</a>.</li>
<li>And Max Mehl who is now running his own Git (a decentralised version
control system) instance which also includes a <a
href="http://blog.mehl.mx/2014/sharing-is-caring-my-git-instance/">script to
delete all meta data from PDF files in a directory</a>.</li>
</ul>
</ul>
<h2>Get active: Get a smartcard and support us</h2>
<p>Next year, we will push harder than ever to weave software freedom into the
fabric of our society. To enable us to intensify our work with the European
Commission, to let more people know about Free Software, and to continue our
other work <a href="/news/2014/news-20141203-01.html">we still need €190,000
for 2015</a>.</p>
<p>As an individual the best way to support the FSFE’s work financially is to
<a href="https://my.fsfe.org/donate">become a Fellow (a sustaining member of the
FSFE)</a>. All Fellowship contributions directly benefit our work towards a
free society.</p>
<p>Fellows receive a state-of-the-art Fellowship smartcard which, together with
the free GnuPG encryption software and a card reader, can be used to sign and
encrypt e-mails, to securely log into a computer from a potentially insecure
machine using SSH, or to store the user’s hard disk encryption keys. Since the
encryption key is stored on the card itself, it is almost impossible to
steal.</p>
<p>Thanks to all the <a href="/contribute/contribute.html">volunteers</a>, <a href="https://my.fsfe.org/donate">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>
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<author id="kirschner" />
<date>
<original content="2014-12-08" />
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