FSFE Newsletter February 2019

press at fsfe.org press at fsfe.org
Tue Feb 12 17:02:26 UTC 2019

 = FSFE Newsletter February 2019 =

[ Read online: https://fsfe.org/news/nl/nl-201902.ru.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 [1] 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 [2]

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
[3] 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
security issues."


Join our community of freedom fighters! [4]


 == 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 [5]
  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 [6] 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 [7].

- Björn Schießle, FSFE coordinator for Germany, gave a talk [8] 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?" [9] 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
  user-protecting devices.

- Frank Karlitschek predicts [10] that 2019 will be a very good year for
  privacy, open source and decentralized "cloud" [11] software. It could
  be the year where Free Software, federated and self-hosted technology
  hits the mainstream.

- Björn Schießle wrote [12] 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 [13] 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 [14] with an
  assembly, a booth, and running its own track [15]. From the FSFE we
  had Susanne speaking about her self-made "smartphone" [16] ( video
  [17] ), Katharina Nocun about data collecting Amazon [18] ( video [19]
  ) and Erik Albers about the best of Fdroid [20] ( video [21] )

- 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
  related topics.

- Local FSFE community meetings happened this month in Hamburg [22],
  Bonn, Frankfurt (Main) [23], Madrid [24], Zurich [25] and Berlin [26].
  If you would like to see your local FSFE meeting listed here, please
  announce it with our improved event announcement tool [27].

- The European Commission expands its bug bounty programme [28] 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 [29] 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 [30] in our Discourse installation.

 == Get Active ==

On February 14, our community around the globe celebrates "I love Free
Software" Day [31]. 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 [32]
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 [33], supporters [34] and
donors [35] who make our work possible. And thanks to our translators
[36], who enable you to read this newsletter in your mother tongue.

Your editor,

Erik Albers


Join our community of freedom fighters! [37]


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  1: https://fsfe.org/news/2019/news-20190124-01.html
  2: https://fsfe.org/campaigns/publiccode/brochure.html
  3: https://fsfe.org/news/2019/news-20190205-01.html
  4: https://fsfe.org/join/nl2018-02
  5: https://nlnet.nl/PET/background/
  6: https://fsfe.org/activities/foss4smes/foss4smes.html
  7: https://www.foss4smes.eu/
  8: https://2019.copyleftconf.org/schedule/presentation/12/
  9: https://blogs.fsfe.org/pboddie/?p=2386
 10: https://karlitschek.de/2019/01/2018-and-2019/
 11: https://fsfe.org/contribute/spreadtheword#nocloud
 12: https://www.schiessle.org/articles/2019/01/02/cultural-techniques/
 13: https://faircomputer.ch
 14: https://events.ccc.de/congress/2018/wiki/index.php/Assembly:Free_Software_Foundation_Europe
 15: https://events.ccc.de/congress/2018/wiki/index.php/Assembly:Free_Software_Foundation_Europe#Our_Sessions
 16: https://fahrplan.events.ccc.de/congress/2018/Fahrplan/events/9681.html
 17: https://media.ccc.de/v/35c3-9681-butterbrotdosen-smartphone
 18: https://fahrplan.events.ccc.de/congress/2018/Fahrplan/events/9858.html
 19: https://media.ccc.de/v/35c3-9858-archaologische_studien_im_datenmull
 20: https://pretalx.35c3oio.freifunk.space/35c3oio/talk/UFZYAS/
 21: https://media.freifunk.net/v/35c3oio-74-f-droid-pimp-your-android-fork-with-the-best-free-software-apps
 22: https://wiki.fsfe.org/LocalGroups/Hamburg
 23: https://wiki.fsfe.org/LocalGroups/RheinMain
 24: https://wiki.fsfe.org/LocalGroups/Madrid
 25: https://wiki.fsfe.org/LocalGroups/Zurich
 26: https://wiki.fsfe.org/LocalGroups/Berlin
 27: https://fsfe.org/community/tools/eventregistration
 28: https://joinup.ec.europa.eu/news/eur-3000-eur-25000
 29: https://chemnitzer.linux-tage.de/2019/en/programm/beitrag/269
 30: https://community.fsfe.org/t/chemnitzer-linuxtage-2019-standteam/216
 31: https://fsfe.org/campaigns/ilovefs/
 32: https://fsfe.org/campaigns/ilovefs/artwork/artwork.html
 33: https://fsfe.org/contribute/contribute
 34: http://fsfe.org/join
 35: https://fsfe.org/donate/thankgnus
 36: https://fsfe.org/contribute/translators/translators
 37: https://fsfe.org/join/nl2019-02

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