FSFE Newsletter – December 2014
press at fsfeurope.org
press at fsfeurope.org
Tue Dec 9 08:19:13 CET 2014
= FSFE Newsletter – December 2014 =
[ Read online: https://fsfe.org/news/nl/nl-201412.ru.html ]
== More demand from the EU institutions ==
The new European Commission is currently setting the direction of its
policy making for the coming five years. The FSFE is in frequent contact
with Commission staff, who currently see open doors for Free Software in
Brussels. We want to make sure to use this momentum to push for changes
on software procurement, standardisation, and device sovereignty. So our
president Karsten Gerloff participated in several meetings.
In November the European Parliament (EP) organised a conference to
inform members of the parliament about the IT services available to
them. It featured a panel discussion led by Adina Valean, the new EP
Vice President in charge of ICT, with a contribution from Giancarlo
Villela, the director of the EP’s IT department. After the panel
discussion, Karsten got the chance to contribute a few brief remarks
about the EU institution’s live streams, DebianParl, and vendor lock-
In the beginning of December Karsten was again at the Parliament, this
time at a workshop on “Open Standards for ICT procurement”. The real
value of those events, as so often, was in the people who are there. The
workshop provided an opportunity for the small community pushing Free
Software and Open Standards in procurement to meet and share updates. So
in the future we can push together with them for positive changes.
== There is no cloud just other people’s computers ==
Another event Karsten participated in was the presentation of the report
on “cloud” computing and interoperability by the Brussels-based lobby
organisation ECIS’s. Karsten documented the meeting in his blog post
“Some common-sense recommendations on cloudy computing”.
Just a few days later our new “there is no cloud just other people’s
computers”-stickers arrived in our office. We received lots of
positive feedback about the stickers, and now added them to our promo
packs. We are planning to have some more merchandise with this slogan
ready for our booth at FOSDEM from 31 January to 1 February 2015 in
== Progress with “email self-defence” leaflets ==
Beside the new stickers, you can now also order new leaflets, to promote
our sister organisation’s “email self-defence guide”. Originally we
produced this leaflet in German for the annual Berlin “freedom not fear”
demonstration in September. Afterwards volunteers all over Germany
ordered and distributed them. For example, one cinema gave out a
leaflet for everybody who bought a ticket for the Snowden documentary
“Citizienfour”. Meanwhile we had to reorder the German version for a
third time and since the end of November we have been sending out the
English version to Free Software supporters throughout Europe.
In the next weeks our translators and designers will finalise a
Chinese, Dutch, French, Greek, Italian, and a Spanish version. For 2015
we want to enable local Free Software supporters to distribute this and
other leaflets at libraries, universities, schools, cinemas, companies,
restaurants and cafes, shops and in other places.
== FSFE’s translators: they are just awesome ==
This brings us to a badly needed thank you note. During the last 12
months we published the newsletter monthly. Two of the editions were
written by our volunteer Heiki ”Repentinus” Ojasild, so your editor
could enjoy his vacation. Our newsletter was available in 6 languages on
average (lowest 4 languages highest 9 languages). We had newsletters in
Albanian, Dutch, English, French, German, Greek, Italian, Portuguese,
Romanian, Serbian, and Spanish.
Your editor is proud to work in a team with such dedicated volunteers.
They translate the newsletter, the leaflets mentioned above, plus other
FSFE news. They enable more people around the world to read about Free
Software in their mother tongue, and are therefore a crucial part of the
FSFE. So your editor would like to deeply thank our growing translators
team for this important work.
== Something completely different ==
- The year is almost over, and it is reporting season. Our president
published a sneak preview of things we achieved in 2014 covering
our work on: public procurement, the Free Software pact, compulsory
routers, improving information material, informing about “trusted
computing” and “Secure Boot”, organising Document Freedom Day,
answering legal questions, as well as our participation events such as
workshops, panel discussions, or organising booths.
- In the last newsletter we asked you to help the FixMyDocuments
campaign. With the support they received, they have now compiled a
list of over 15,000 editable documents from the European institutions
not available in the Open Document Format.
- WhatsApp adopted a secure end-to-end encryption method developed for
the Free Software app TextSecure. Torsten Grote takes a look at what
that means for Free Software.
- Local events: FSFE had a booth at T-Dose in the Netherlands. Our
Dutch Fellows organised the booth together, Kevin Keijzer gave a talk
about “Discrimination of Free Software (users) in education”, Maurice
Verheesen spoke about “Digital Sovereignty For Europe”, and Felix
Stegerman talked about the opportunities and dangers of the “Internet
of Things”. Beside that, our Berlin group organised a booth at the
FiFFkon at the Technical University Berlin.
- Guido Arnold published a summary of what happened in education
throughout Europe during October.
- The French Fellow Alexandre Keledjian published F-Droid-Web, a simple
and lightweight web interface to F-Droid server. It provides an
easy way to add a new software repository to your mobile using qr-
codes, and to browse the F-Droid catalogue by name, category, summary,
license type, and description.
- From the planet aggregation:
- Mirko Böhm, FSFE Fellow and KDE community member, wrote about why
you should support FSFE’s work, which in his words is: to
protect, explain, and organise the freedoms to use, study, share,
and improve software.
- Daniel Pocock questions if Amnesty is giving spy victims a false
sense of security. In his post he provides a letter template
to sent to Amnesty.
- “EOMA68” is an open electronic interface standard, designed to
support the development of small computing devices. Nico Rikken
wrote why EOMA68 will advance both Free Software and free
- Mario Fux explains how you can contribute as a non-developer to
- Beside that we had some technical HowTos on the planet, including:
Kevin Keijzer who reports from his experience trying to install
Ubuntu without proprietary software.
- Hannes Hauswedell who wrote about how to encrypt cron’s daily mail
on FreeBSD. His HowTo pertains to FreeBSD in particular, but
he is “sure all you GNUsers out there will figure out the
- Mirko Böhm who describes how to configure a gaming mouse on
GNU/Linux in a way that you can work and play at the machine.
- And Max Mehl who is now running his own Git (a decentralised
version control system) instance which also includes a script to
delete all meta data from PDF files in a directory.
== Get active: Get a smartcard and support us ==
Next year, we will push harder than ever to weave software freedom into
the fabric of our society. To enable us to intensify our work with the
European Commission, to let more people know about Free Software, and to
continue our other work we still need €190,000 for 2015.
As an individual the best way to support the FSFE’s work financially is
to become a Fellow (a sustaining member of the FSFE). All Fellowship
contributions directly benefit our work towards a free society.
Fellows receive a state-of-the-art Fellowship smartcard which, together
with the free GnuPG encryption software and a card reader, can be used
to sign and encrypt e-mails, to securely log into a computer from a
potentially insecure machine using SSH, or to store the user’s hard disk
encryption keys. Since the encryption key is stored on the card itself,
it is almost impossible to steal.
Thanks to all the volunteers, Fellows and corporate donors
who enable our work,
Matthias Kirschner - FSFE
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