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<title>FSFE Newsletter - November 2015</title>
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<h1 class="p-name">FSFE Newsletter - November 2015</h1>
<h2 id="fsfe-to-eu-think-global-go-free-software">FSFE to EU: Think global, go Free Software!</h2>
<p>In the end of October, FSFE
<a href="https://download.fsfe.org/policy/letters/20151029-fsfe-dsm-comments.pdf">provided its recommendations</a>
to the European Commission’s Digital Single Market Strategy, a roadmap
for European policy in digital age aimed at bringing down regulatory barriers
between 28 different national markets. In particular, the Commission has set goals to digitalise European industries, to develop standards for “the cloud”, “the Internet of Things”, and big data, and to further enhance digital education.</p>
<p>FSFE believes that Free Software will help the EU to meet the goals
set by the Commission. However, several barriers to unleash the full
potential of Free Software still exist: in particular unharmonised
exceptions to copyright protection, software patents, unrecognised rights
of users to modify their property, and the danger of standard-essential
patents in the standardisation. We ask EU legislators to follow our
recommendations and abolish the obstacles in the way of Free Software.</p>
<h2 id="What-the-cloud-is-going-on">What the cloud is going on?</h2>
<p>As a part of the Commission’s Digital Single Market, the European
Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) has been requested to
identify a detailed map of the standards required to support EU policy
in “the cloud”. Your co-editor
<a href="https://blogs.fsfe.org/polina/2015/10/15/what-the-cloud-is-going-on-in-etsi/">blogged</a>
about their confusing position on Free Software in the ETSI’s Cloud Standards
Coordination initiative.</p>
<h2 id="fsfes-legislative-push-against-compulsory-routers-inches-forward-in-bundestag">FSFE’s
legislative push against compulsory routers inches forward in Bundestag</h2>
<p>FSFE hired our German coordinator Max Mehl as a working student to
stay on top of the compulsory routers issue. So far the FSFE, together
with 9 other civil and economic organisations,
<a href="/news/2015/news-20151028-01.html">sent a joint letter</a>
to members of the German Bundestag to support the bill against compulsory
routers. Forcing consumers to use a specific router provided by an ISP
undermines free and fair competition of manufacturers. In addition they
are harmful to users’ security, privacy, and independence to use their
own preferred, secure, device.</p>
<p>The Bundestag will consult about the bill in November, and despite
the unanimous opinion of experts, consumer protectors, and politicians
who support the bill, some members of the Federal Council aligned against
it, and adopted technically inconsistent arguments of internet providers
and network carriers.</p>
<h2 id="remember-sony-rootkit-fsfe-does">Remember Sony rootkit? FSFE does</h2>
<p>FSFE commemorated the 10th anniversary of the Sony rootkit fiasco
on 31 October by <a href="/activities/drm/sony-rootkit-fiasco.html">posting a reminder</a>
of how dangerous digital restrictions are for user’s security, the
freedom to tinker, and general purpose computing. Before public outrage
and lawsuits demanded retribution from Sony, the rootkit had already
infiltrated users’ computers, spied on their listening habits, blocked
third party software, slowed down computer performance, created holes
in user’s computer security, and sent data back to Sony. This month FSFE
<a href="https://blogs.fsfe.org/asawritz/2015/11/04/sony-rootkit-still-making-headlines-10-years-later-2/">reached out</a> to dozens of
tech and security journalists to team up and remind the public to protect
their digital freedoms and to be wary of digital restrictions, the same
kinds of restrictions that gave Sony access to millions of computers and
hundreds of thousands of networks.</p>
<h2 id="get-active">Get Active</h2>
<p>Since last week was the 10th anniversary of when the Sony rootkit
was unveiled, spend a few minutes this month to share what happened
back in 2005 with friends, family, or colleagues who have never heard of
the Sony rootkit. Sony rootkit provides a prime example of how companies
build in harmful restrictions into software to limit what consumers can
do with their own property.</p>
<h2 id="fsfs-30th-birthday-finds-cake-birthday-wishes-and-swiss-press-coverage">FSF’s
30th birthday finds cake, birthday wishes, and Swiss press coverage</h2>
<p>In contrast to the Sony rootkit anniversary, there was also a positive
anniversary this month. On 3 October 2015 the Free Software Foundation of
Europe <a href="https://wiki.fsfe.org/FSF30Birthday">celebrated the Free
Software Foundation’s 30th birthday</a> with some delicious cake and many
wonderful birthday wishes. Shortly thereafter, FSFE President Matthias Kirschner
<a href="http://www.tagesanzeiger.ch/digital/computer/Politisch-denkende-Menschen-verstehen-das-Anliegen-der-freien-Software/story/18389205">spoke extensively</a> with
the largest Swiss newspaper about FSFE and the role of Free Software in
politics and the economy. Matthias’s interview complemented an
<a href="http://www.tagesanzeiger.ch/digital/computer/Politisch-denkende-Menschen-verstehen-das-Anliegen-der-freien-Software/story/18389205">additional article</a> about
Richard Stallman and Free Software activism.</p>
<h2 id="zurich-fellows-offer-free-software-computer">Zurich fellows offer
Free Software computer</h2>
<p>Fellows in Zurich started
<a href="https://blogs.fsfe.org/mmoeller/2015/10/07/libre-laptops/">“Free Computer for Free People”</a>,
an initiative to offer laptops that run completely on Free Software only.
This includes alternative firmware and free BIOS that are most often
proprietary on the majority of laptops and preclude users from installing
Free Software not authorised by the manufacturer. By reusing used hardware,
the Zurich Fellows also like to foster a sustainable use of hardware.</p>
<h2 id="freertc-mission-statement-for-skype-replacement">FreeRTC Mission Statement for Skype replacement</h2>
<p>FSFE’s project to develop FreeRTC, that is,
Real Time Communications, is taking suggestions for how to improve
their Mission Statement. The goal is to make it as easy as possible to
call other people and receive calls from other people using solely Free
Software, open standards, a free choice of service providers and a credible
standard of privacy. <a href="https://lists.fsfe.org/mailman/listinfo/free-rtc">Sign up to the mailing list</a> to
follow the discussion and post your opinion.</p>
<h2 id="fsfe-executive-director-jonas-öberg-reflects-on-his-1999-meeting-with-richard-stallman">FSFE
Executive Director Jonas Öberg reflects on his 1999 meeting with Richard Stallman</h2>
<p>FSFE co-founder and Executive Director, Jonas Öberg
<a href="https://opensource.com/life/15/10/my-open-source-story-jonas-oberg">reminisced</a> about
how he got involved in Free Software, including the details of his
influential trip to Boston as a 22-year-old in 1999. His story features
trips to Technology Square in Boston, attending the Free Software Awards,
and a commitment to Richard Stallman to “always be true to the community.”</p>
<h2 id="interview-with-apache-software-foundation-member-developer-and-mother-isabel-drost-fromm">Interview with
Apache Software Foundation member, developer, and mother, Isabel Drost-Fromm</h2>
<p>On 13 October, Paul Boddie commemorated Ada Lovelace Day
(international day of women in science and technology) by <a href="https://blogs.fsfe.org/fellowship-interviews/?p=715">interviewing</a>
local Berlin resident and Free Software contributor, Isabel Drost-Fromm.
Their conversation covered technical topics (naturally), as well as advice
on managing expectations and building confidence for the transition to
the next generation of hackers, makers, and tinkerers.</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.</p>
<p>Polina Malaja and Asa Ritz - <a href="/index.html">FSFE</a></p>
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<original content="2015-11-09" />
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