FSFE Newsletter - November 2015

press at fsfeurope.org press at fsfeurope.org
Mon Nov 9 14:09:52 CET 2015

 = FSFE Newsletter - November 2015 =

[ Read online: https://fsfe.org/news/nl/nl-201511.ro.html ]

 == FSFE to EU: Think global, go Free Software! ==

In the end of October, FSFE provided its recommendations[1] 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.

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

 == What the cloud is going on? ==

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 blogged[2] about their confusing position
on Free Software in the ETSI’s Cloud Standards Coordination initiative.

 == FSFE’s legislative push against compulsory routers inches forward in Bundestag ==

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, sent a joint letter[3] 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.

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.

 == Remember Sony rootkit? FSFE does ==

FSFE commemorated the 10th anniversary of the Sony rootkit fiasco on 31
October by posting a reminder[4] 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 reached out[5] 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.

 == Get Active ==

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.

 == FSF’s 30th birthday finds cake, birthday wishes, and Swiss press coverage ==

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 celebrated the Free Software Foundation’s 30th birthday[6]
with some delicious cake and many wonderful birthday wishes. Shortly
thereafter, FSFE President Matthias Kirschner spoke extensively[7] with
the largest Swiss newspaper about FSFE and the role of Free Software in
politics and the economy. Matthias’s interview complemented an
additional article[8] about Richard Stallman and Free Software activism.

 == Zurich fellows offer Free Software computer ==

Fellows in Zurich started “Free Computer for Free People”[9], 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.

 == FreeRTC Mission Statement for Skype replacement ==

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. Sign up
to the mailing list[10] to follow the discussion and post your opinion.

 == FSFE Executive Director Jonas Öberg reflects on his 1999 meeting with Richard Stallman ==

FSFE co-founder and Executive Director, Jonas Öberg reminisced[11] 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

 == Interview with Apache Software Foundation member, developer, and mother, Isabel Drost-Fromm ==

On 13 October, Paul Boddie commemorated Ada Lovelace Day (international
day of women in science and technology) by interviewing[12] 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.

Thanks to all the volunteers[13], Fellows[14], and corporate donors[15]
who enable our work.

Polina Malaja and Asa Ritz - FSFE[16]

Free Software Foundation Europe <https://fsfe.org>
FSFE News <https://fsfe.org/news/news.en.rss>
Upcoming FSFE Events <https://fsfe.org/events/events.en.rss>
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Free Software Discussions <https://fsfe.org/contact/community.en.html>

  1. http://fsfe.org/activities/policy/eu/digital-single-market-comments.en.html
  2. http://blogs.fsfe.org/polina/2015/10/15/what-the-cloud-is-going-on-in-etsi/
  3. http://fsfe.org/news/2015/news-20151028-01.html
  4. http://fsfe.org/activities/drm/sony-rootkit-fiasco.en.html
  5. http://blogs.fsfe.org/asawritz/2015/11/04/sony-rootkit-still-making-headlines-10-years-later-2/
  6. https://wiki.fsfe.org/FSF30Birthday
  7. http://www.tagesanzeiger.ch/digital/computer/Politisch-denkende-Menschen-verstehen-das-Anliegen-der-freien-Software/story/18389205
  8. http://www.tagesanzeiger.ch/digital/computer/Politisch-denkende-Menschen-verstehen-das-Anliegen-der-freien-Software/story/18389205
  9. https://blogs.fsfe.org/mmoeller/2015/10/07/libre-laptops/
 10. https://lists.fsfe.org/mailman/listinfo/free-rtc
 11. https://opensource.com/life/15/10/my-open-source-story-jonas-oberg
 12. http://blogs.fsfe.org/fellowship-interviews/?p=715
 13. http://fsfe.org/contribute/contribute.en.html
 14. https://fsfe.org/fellowship/ams/join.php?ams=join
 15. https://fsfe.org/donate/thankgnus.en.html
 16. https://fsfe.org/index.ro.html

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