[FSFE PR][EN] FSFE launches Campaign For A Free Android System

press at fsfeurope.org press at fsfeurope.org
Tue Feb 28 10:59:40 CET 2012

= FSFE launches Campaign For A Free Android System =

[Read online: http://fsfe.org/news/2012/news-20120228-01.html ]

Smartphones have a privacy problem. This is one of the reasons why the
Free Software Foundation Europe (FSFE) is launching its"Free Your
Android!" campaign[1] today.

"Users deserve to have full control over their mobile devices", says
Torsten Grote, FSFE member and initiator of the campaign. "If your phone
runs Free Software, you're in charge. If it runs proprietary software,
you're handing control of your digital life to manufacturers and app

The lack of software freedom on smartphones and tablets is becoming
increasingly problematic. Many apps spy on their users without their
knowledge[2] (Carrier IQ) and transmit personal data such as address
books on the iPhone[3]. Other devices are completely locked down,
prevent users from uninstalling certain apps, or just do not receive
updates. "Free Your Android!" promotes versions of Android optimised for
user control, and an alternative market that only provides free-as-in-
freedom apps[4]. It also invites people to contribute to various
initiatives and to identify essential apps that still have no free

"The Android operating system may be mostly free, but many applications
are not", says Karsten Gerloff, FSFE's President. "Mobile devices
contain lots of data about our lives. With this campaign, we will not
only build awareness of how much privacy and freedom matter for
smartphones and tablets, we will also give users the means to make their
own devices better."

The Free Your Android campaign encourages people to get in touch with
developers of useful proprietary apps. Often these apps are distributed
free of charge, but not under a free licence. Responses and objections
by developers are collected and analysed in a wiki[5].

Currently the FSF, and the German privacy organisation FoeBuB e.V. are
working with FSFE in an effort to improve the conditions for software
freedom and privacy in the mobile space. FSFE is looking forward to
other organisations joining the campaign.

  1. http://fsfe.org/campaigns/android/android.en.html
  2. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carrier_IQ
  3. http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/2012/feb/15/apple-iphone-address-book-privacy
  4. http://f-droid.org/
  5. http://wiki.fsfe.org/Android

== About the Free Software Foundation Europe ==
  The Free Software Foundation Europe (FSFE) is a non-profit
  non-governmental organisation active in many European countries and
  involved in many global activities. Access to software determines
  participation in a digital society. To secure equal participation in
  the information age, as well as freedom of competition, the Free
  Software Foundation Europe (FSFE) pursues and is dedicated to the
  furthering of Free Software, defined by the freedoms to use, study,
  modify and copy. Founded in 2001, creating awareness for these issues,
  securing Free Software politically and legally, and giving people
  Freedom by supporting development of Free Software are central issues
  of the FSFE.

  Contact: Torsten Grote, Free Software Foundation Europe,
  Linienstr. 141, 10115 Berlin, t +49-30-27595290, m +49-173-6319870

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