FSFE Newsletter February 2019
press at fsfe.org
press at fsfe.org
Tue Feb 12 17:02:24 UTC 2019
= FSFE Newsletter February 2019 =
[ Read online: https://fsfe.org/news/nl/nl-201902.en.html ]
This month's Newsletter is introducing our new expert policy brochure
"Public Money? Public Code" and reflecting the importance of source code
availability for trust and security in critical IT-infrastructure. As
always the Newsletter gives an overview about the talks given and the
booths set-up by our community as well as a short summary of what we
have done - this month including FOSDEM, 35C3, FOSS4SMEs and the Next
Generation Internet. As a "get active" item, this month we encourage you
to participate in our IloveFS-campaign.
== FSFE publishes expert brochure about “Public Money? Public Code!" ==
Convincing decision-makers why more public code would benefit us all
should be easy. There are so many good arguments for putting publicly
funded code under a Free Software licence: Tax savings, transparency,
and innovation – just to name a few. But, in practice, we experience
that there are still a lot of basics that need to be explained. Starting
with: What is Free Software? Why should governments develop Free
Software? What are Free Software business models? To answer these
questions and give practical guidelines to decision-makers, we have
published a policy brochure that presents the most important facts and
arguments about publicly funded code.
This publication  answers decision-makers' most common questions and
refutes widespread misunderstandings about Free Software. In several
articles and contributions from experts, the brochure presents
successful Free Software use-cases and inspiring legislation that show
that change is already taking place. Overall, the brochure provides
practical guidance for moving the modernisation of public infrastructure
forward and hints at how procurement guidelines can be updated to
include the strong points of Free Software. Downloads and prints are
available under a Creative Commons license 
Among the contributions included in the brochure, that feature experts
from various fields, is an interview with Francesca Bria, Chief
Technology and Digital Innovation Officer for the City of Barcelona, who
drives the modernisation of Barcelona's public infrastructure. She says:
"The Barcelona City Council supports the FSFE's campaign 'Public Money,
Public Code', because we need alliances to make Free Software the
default setting in the public sector. The digital public infrastructure
that we use should be a public good, owned and controlled by the
== About publishing source code to establish trust in critical infrastructure ==
In many countries, the Chinese company Huawei is facing distrust after
allegations of potential state espionage. The company is one of the
largest manufacturers of 5G equipment, the upcoming generation of
cellular mobile communications. To ensure that the products and the
underlying infrastructure are safe, network providers and politicians
proposed an inspection of the equipment's source code. The FSFE welcomes
 this move to recognize the importance of source code availability ,
but is afraid that the proposed solution falls too short. Allowing
inspection of the secret code by selected authorities and telephone
companies might help in this specific case, but will not solve the
general problem. Instead, to establish trust in critical infrastructure
like 5G, it is a crucial precondition that all software code powering
those devices is published under a Free and Open Source Software
licence. On this basis, everyone can inspect the code, not only for
backdoors, but for all security risks. Only these freedoms allow for
independent and continuous security audits which will lead citizens, the
economy, and the public sector to trust their communication and data
exchange. Furthermore, in order to verify code integrity – so that the
provided source code corresponds to the executable code running on the
equipment – it is either necessary that there are reproducible builds in
case of binary distribution, or that providers are brought into the
position to compile and deploy the code on their own.
"We should not only debate the Huawei case but extend the discussion to
all critical infrastructure." says Max Mehl, FSFE Programme Manager.
"Only with Free and Open Source Software can transparency and
accountability be guaranteed. This is a long-known crucial precondition
for security and trust. We expect state actors to immediately implement
this solution not only for the Huawei case but for all comparable IT
Join our community of freedom fighters! 
== What else have we done? Inside and Outside the FSFE ==
- On January 14 and 15, our project manager Gabriel Ku Wei Bin attended
a kickoff meeting in Amsterdam of the Next Generation Internet 
project, funded by the European Commission and administered by the
NLNet Foundation in the Netherlands. The FSFE joins the project to
provide guidance to applicant technologies involved in the project to
ensure that their final products are compliant with Free Software
licensing best practices.
- On January 16 and 17 the FSFE's project managers Galia Mancheva and
Max Mehl joined the FOSS4SMEs  meeting in Dublin and shot videos
for the online lessons the e-learning platform of the project is
launching later this year. Stay tuned for further updates on the
project’s website .
- Björn Schießle, FSFE coordinator for Germany, gave a talk  on using
strong copyleft to build a sustainable business at the Copyleft
Conference on February 4th in Brussels.
- On January 23 Alexander Sander, the FSFE's EU public policy programme
manager, joined a panel at Eurocieties Society Forum in Barcelona.
Sander talked about how cities and public administration can foster
Free Software and involve the local ecosystem in developing digital
services based on Free Software and open standards.
- Paul Boddie writes about "An Absence of Strategy?"  in which he
argues that "installing Free Software over it" is no longer enough in
the world of mobile devices. He claims that instead we need a strategy
and an organisation that brings together collective efforts and
practical action to identify ongoing projects and propose actual
solutions towards constructing sustainable, community-driven, and
- Frank Karlitschek predicts  that 2019 will be a very good year for
privacy, open source and decentralized "cloud"  software. It could
be the year where Free Software, federated and self-hosted technology
hits the mainstream.
- Björn Schießle wrote  about Free Software being a "new cultural
technique", a collective achievement done in a socio-cultural context,
requiring social interaction and participation. And as such, it
requires special attention by policy makers and society.
- Marcus Moeller, Country Coordinator of the FSFE in Switzerland, set up
a Swiss association Faircomputer  for which he and his
contributors are collecting used Laptops. These devices are then
checked, repaired, cleaned and equipped with Free Software. The
refurbished machines are given away for free to interested people
around Germany, Austria and Switzerland, only charging a small amount
for the warranty to ensure they can be used without any hassle for
- Between Christmas and New Year, the FSFE was organising a cluster
"about:freedom" together with like-minded organisations at the Chaos
Communication Congress, the biggest community driven hacker congress
in Germany. Inside the cluster, the FSFE was present  with an
assembly, a booth, and running its own track . From the FSFE we
had Susanne speaking about her self-made "smartphone"  ( video
 ), Katharina Nocun about data collecting Amazon  ( video 
) and Erik Albers about the best of Fdroid  ( video  )
- In the beginning of February, the FSFE was present at FOSDEM, the
biggest community-driven Free Software event in Europe. We had formal
and informal meetings and social evenings, and were running an
information booth throughout the event.
- On January 19, FSFE joined the Dutch Linux user group NLLGG meeting in
Utrecht to set up a booth and have a chat about Free Software and
- Local FSFE community meetings happened this month in Hamburg ,
Bonn, Frankfurt (Main) , Madrid , Zurich  and Berlin .
If you would like to see your local FSFE meeting listed here, please
announce it with our improved event announcement tool .
- The European Commission expands its bug bounty programme  called
EU-FOSSA2. Software developers who find security vulnerabilities in
the selected Free Software will be awarded between EUR 3,000 and EUR
25,000 for critical bugs.
== Do not miss: upcoming events with the FSFE ==
- The FSFE will be present with a booth at Chemnitzer Linuxtage from
March 16 to 17 in Chemnitz, Germany, and is looking forward to having
a chat with you about Free Software or FSFE. Erik Albers, programme
manager for the FSFE will give a workshop  about how to make the
best of your Android(-fork) by using FDroid. If you like to get in
contact beforehand or join the booth team, have a look at the
discussion  in our Discourse installation.
== Get Active ==
On February 14, our community around the globe celebrates "I love Free
Software" Day . We would like to encourage you to be part of our
online campaign by creating, sharing or simply enjoying love messages
all around the world dedicated to Free Software and the people behind
it. Enjoy the day, share and refuel your energy!
As in previous editions, we are looking forward to seeing you spreading
all kind of materials, be they texts, pictures, graphics, scripts or
whatever comes to your mind, to show your love to Free Software.
Throughout the day, we will share your contributions around the globe on
our media channels and collect them for a nice write-up about the love
you have for our communities. If you share something, remember to use
the hashtag *#ilovefs*, or if you happen to use the IloveFS visuals 
on your web platform, website or a blog, please, let us know, so we can
include it in our stream.
== 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 fsfe.org. We're looking forward
to hearing from you!
Thanks to our community, all the volunteers , supporters  and
donors  who make our work possible. And thanks to our translators
, who enable you to read this newsletter in your mother tongue.
Join our community of freedom fighters! 
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