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<h1 class="p-name">FSFE Newsletter – January 2015</h1>
<h2>A revolution</h2>
<p>
The Earth has once again completed a full, customarily counted
revolution. Here at FSFE we have been busy throughout 2014, working hard
to ensure that users remain in control of their devices and that Free
Software may once compete on a level playing field for public tenders.
More information, including the extent of our limited success and our
future prospects, on both these issues and our other frontiers may be
found in our <a href="/news/2014/news-20141218-02.html">annual report for 2014</a>,
penned by our President <a href="/about/people/gerloff">Karsten Gerloff</a>.
</p>
<p>
In addition to providing a comprehensive overview of our activities in
2014, Karsten finishes the report with a sneak peek of the challenges
we are going to face and overcome in revolution 2015.
For instance, we intend to build on the success of the
<a href="http://freesoftwarepact.eu/">Free Software Pact</a> to spread
awareness about Free Software among both the elected representatives of
the European citizenry and the unelected bureaucrats of the executive
branch.
</p>
<p>
We also intend to invest more in our local volunteers and Fellowship
groups. We are hopeful that not only will we reach a wider audience and
have a greater impact with increased local participation, but this will
also be much more fun for everyone involved.
</p>
<h2>Fellowship elections</h2>
<p>
FSFE has a bit less than 1500 <a href="/fellowship/">Fellows</a> or
sustaining members. In addition to receiving
<a href="/fellowship/about/fellowship.html#youget">certain benefits</a>
useful for digital activists, all of them have a say in the governance
of the FSFE. This right is exercised by
<a href="/about/legal/constitution.html#id-fellowship-seats">electing</a>
representatives to the General Assembly, the highest decision-making
body of FSFE. Your temporary editor will have served his term as a
Fellowship Representative by this spring, and hence a new Representative
will be elected by the orderly Fellows from February 20th to March 6th
2015, 12pm.
</p>
<p>
Your outgoing Representative would like to take this opportunity to
invite all our Fellows to partake in the elections. The General Assembly
is responsible for making all strategic decisions for FSFE, and all
Fellows, whether true idealists or business-minded pragmatists, have
the same right to affect our future growth and direction, so please do
so.
</p>
<h2>EU: the good and the bad</h2>
<p>
On December 17, 2014, the European Parliament adopted the EU budget for
2015. We are very happy to report that thanks to the efforts of MEPs
Julia Reda (Pirates) and Max Andersson (Greens), the Parliament has
allocated up to a million euros to audit Free Software used by the
European Parliament and Commission. We hope that the institutions
concerned will closely work with upstream developers to best benefit
the public. We also welcome
<a href="/news/2014/news-20141219-01.html">further allocations</a>
that aim to allow equal participation in the digital society.
</p>
<p>
Unfortunately, we must still call upon EU institutions to make use of
Open Standards and Free Software, as a recent study prepared for the
Greens/EFA
<a href="/news/2014/news-20141212-01.html">has found</a> that the EU
Parliament falls woefully short of its democratic obligations to ensure
transparency and openness. Among other shortcomings the parliamentarians
lack access to a standards-compliant e-mail solution.
</p>
<h2>Something completely different</h2>
<ul>
From the planet aggregation:
<li>
Paul Boddie writes about the
<a href="https://blogs.fsfe.org/pboddie/?p=802">unplanned obsolescence</a>
of early Fairphone devices, justifiedly arguing that Fairphone's
decision to overlook or deprioritize hardware support for Free
Software was unwise considering the abundance of information available
on the lack of hardware support for Free Software.
</li>
<li>
Otto Kekäläinen
<a href="http://seravo.fi/2014/password-hygiene-every-mans-responsibility">writes</a>
about password management while recognizing that people are not
storage media. Otto's piece is an excellent read when taken with a
pinch of salt.
</li>
<li>
Nico Rikken contemplates the right to make bad choices in his piece
<a href="http://nicorikken.eu/blog/optional-rights/">Optional rights</a>’.
</li>
</ul>
<p>
2015 will bring a new etiquette to our Fellowship Planet. A proposed
draft will be presented to the Fellows for consultation at the earliest
convenience.
</p>
<h2>Get active: spread free software</h2>
<p>
The gift giving season has just ended. No doubt you have a friend or
relative unfortunate enough to have been given a computer bundled with
non-free software as a gift. Help them install a free GNU/Linux
distribution or <a href="http://www.replicant.us/">Replicant</a>.
</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/ojasild">Heiki Ojasild</a><br />
Fellowship Representative, <a href="/">FSFE</a>
</p>
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