Router Freedom in Europe +++ Hamburg pro Free Software +++ European Parliament

press at press at
Tue Jun 16 17:25:37 UTC 2020

 = Router Freedom in Europe +++ Hamburg pro Free Software +++ European Parliament =

[ Read online: ]

In our June Newsletter read among other things about the FSFE's
achievements regarding Router Freedom in Europe, about a new coalition
agreement in Hamburg that puts a focus on Free Software and about the
European Parliament demanding "Public Money? Public Code!". As always,
also read about our diverse community activities.

 == Router Freedom in Europe challenged by new set of rules ==

Since 2013, the FSFE has been advocating for Router Freedom in Europe
with outstanding results in Germany and with positive influence across
Europe. Now, a new set of rules comes into play regarding Router
Freedom, the new Guidelines on the Location of the Network Termination
Point (NTP) [1]. These are the draft results by the Body of European
Regulators for Electronic Communications (BEREC). In a next step, these
guidelines have to be implemented locally by states' National Regulatory
Agencies (NRAs). We summarised the positive outcomes as well as the
challenges ahead [2].

On the positive side, BEREC acknowledged the contribution brought into
the discussion by the FSFE. Most important, BEREC modified the official
text in order to adopt our position to the extent that Router Freedom
should be the rule when determining the NTP. BEREC also explicitly
recognised a lot of other arguments we brought into the discussion in
favor of real Router Freedom - from net neutrality to end-users' digital
sovereignty to improved innovation and competition. Unfortunately, the
new guidelines from BEREC still grant the different NRAs the
discretionary power to restrict Router Freedom if they decide that there
is an "objective technological necessity" for routers to be part of the
ISP's network.

These vague terms used by the guidelines will probably cause
discrepancies during the national implementations of 27 different
countries. Now help us monitor their implementation. The next six months
will be essential to understanding if the NRAs' approach will benefit or
harm Router Freedom.

 == Hamburg focuses more on Free Software ==

Last month we reported about the new coalition agreement in Munich
committing to the principle of "Public Money? Public Code!" [3]. This
month we are happy to announce that the new coalition agreement in
Hamburg goes in a similar direction and sets a focus on Free Software

In order to strengthen the digital sovereignty of Hamburg, the city
wants to use more Free Software in the future ( see coalition agreement
in German [5] ). The goal is to minimise the dependence on individual
providers and create transparency. Wherever it appears meaningful,
cooperation with other administrations should be established.
Unfortunately, the coalition agreement still contains several loopholes,
for example for procurement procedures and diffuse justifications that
could be used to excuse many protections for proprietary software

 == Discharge procedure in the European Parliament ==

In the middle of May, the European Parliament voted on the discharge of
several EU institutions. In order to avoid vendor lock-ins, to be more
transparent and to run more secure systems, the European Parliament
recommends in its resolutions ( 1 [6], 2 [7], 3 [8], 4 [9], 5 [10] )
that "software developed for the institution be made publicly available
under free and open-source software licence". At the FSFE we are happy
to see our "Public Money? Public Code!" demands being amplified by the
European Parliament. We will keep an eye on the EU institutions, to see
if they will follow the European Parliaments' recommendations in the


The biggest financial impact the FSFE faces in these times of physical
distancing is the cancellation of Free Software conferences, including
our own events. To keep the software freedom movement solid and alive,
please consider donating a part of your conference budget to Free
Software organisations, including the FSFE [11].


 == What have we done? Inside and outside the FSFE ==

- In the last Newsletter we reported about the Dutch minister for
  internal affairs Raymond Knops commiting to a "Free Software by
  default" policy [12] and underlining its benefits for society. This
  month we are happy to report that the Dutch FSFE team was able to
  convince the team behind OperationAIR [13] - an easily producible
  emergency ventilator for which parts could mainly be sourced locally -
  to provide the software under a Free Software license.

- Etalab is a department of the French public administration in charge
  of digital affairs that maintains two lists of Free Software. One is
  about the Free Software recommended for the public sector while the
  other one links to Free Software repositories created by the public
  sector. To find out more about the two lists deployed by Etalab we
  conducted an interview with Bastien Guerry from Etalab [14].

- The European Commission has launched an evaluation of some central
  concepts of EU competition law. In order to contribute to a fair and
  inclusive assessment, the FSFE took part in the public consultation
  [15]. Since 2001 the FSFE has strongly advocated in favour of Free
  Software technologies because of their benefits to a competitive

- Alexander Sander gave the keynote about "Public Money Public Code –
  Global problems need global solutions!" [16] at the online event

- A recording of Erik Albers' talk about how to make Free Sofware a
  topic in democratic elections that was given in 2017 at Kielux
  Linuxtage now has been published (DE) [17].

 == Get Active ==

Many of our local groups do online-meetings now, from local group
meetings in Berlin, to regional group meetings in the Rhineland, to
country team meetings in Italy and Spain. Most of these meetings are
open for FSFE friends to participate. Many other organisations who care
about software freedom and digital rights run online-meetings as well.
Reach out to them and get to know some new people, discuss with them
some burning topics around Free Software or related topics. And use Free
Software to participate [18].

 == Contribute to our newsletter ==

If you would like to share any thoughts, pictures, or news, send them to
us. As always, the address is newsletter at We're looking forward
to hearing from you!

If you also want to support us and our work, join our community and
support us with a donation or a monthly contribution [19].

Thanks to our community, all the volunteers [20], supporters [21] and
donors [22] who make our work possible. And thanks to our translators
[23], who enable you to read this newsletter in your native languages.

Your editor,

Erik Albers


Support us with your donation [24]


Discuss this [25]

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