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Heute — 26. Januar 2023FSFE News

FSFE local groups celebrate ‘I Love Free Software Day’

26. Januar 2023 um 00:00

FSFE local groups celebrate ‘I Love Free Software Day’

On the14th of February the FSFE community meets up in diverse cities around Europe to celebrate ‘I Love Free Software Day’. Join our events in Germany, Netherlands, Italy, Greece, Switzerland and Spain.

This year we celebrate the 13th edition of ‘I Love Free Software Day’. Over the past decade the ‘I Love Free Software Day’ has become a tradition for the Free Software community. On this day Free Software enthusiasts, users, and contributors share their appreciation for each other. A series of gatherings in different cities, scattered around Europe, is coming up. On February 14 , people will meet to discuss Free Software topics and thank contributors of their favourite programs.

Find an event organised by an FSFE group near you and join!

Party at C-base in Berlin

It is not a venue. It is the remains of a 4.5 billion year old space station were discovered under Berlin-Mitte: c-base. It is where the FSFE throws a party. Come and join us! W 📨 🐘

🇩🇪📍 Rungestraße 20, 10179 Berlin

⏰ 16:30-00:00

📋 Please register here.

  • 16:30-19:00 Upcycling Android Workshop: Learn how to flash phones with Free Software and why it is a sustainable practice
  • 19:30 Party, music, snacks, drinks!
  • 20:00 I Love Free Software open mic: 1 minute lightning talks featuring favourite projects and saying thank you
  • Until 00:00 music by DJ Tasmo

Meetups in Bonn and Hamburg

More German cities love Free Software. A community meeting in Bonn will celebrate this day probably online some hours earlier, on Monday 13 February, while the FSFE local group Hamburg is organising a meeting on 14 February.

🇩🇪📍 Bonn, Hamburg

⏰ TBA

Pizza party in Frankfurt Chaos Computer Club

Webathon in Frankfurt, 2019

During the public evening at the Chaos Computer Club in Frankfurt, we celebrate the "I Love Free Software Day". Stop by and join us! In addition to a small program of a few 📢 Lightning Talks (5' lectures) and a 🍕 Pizza Party, the evening is dedicated to discussions about Free Software. W 📨

19:00 – 19:30 👋 Arrive

19:30 – 20:00 📢 Lightning Talks I

20:00 – 20:30 🍕 Pizza party

20:30 – 21:00 📢 Lightning Talks II

from 21:00 Happy get-together

📋 Please register by sending an email to mweimann@fsfe.org and keep in mind that an FFP-2 mask is required during the event.

Free Software and privacy in Thessaloniki, Greece

We love both Free Software and privacy. In this meetup ‘I Love Free Software Day’ will be presented along with short talks on privacy. Of course, there is also going to be time to say thank you to our favourite Free Software programs. We meet and connect with friends from GFOSS and GreekLUG. W 📨 💬

🇬🇷📍 Ypsilon first floor, Edessis 5, 546 25

📋 Places are limited, please register.

18:30 – 19:00 👋 Arrive

19:00 – 19:10 🔹 FSFE intro

19:10 – 19:20 📢 “I Love Free Software Day”

19:20 – 19:30 🔹 GFOSS intro

19:30 – 19:40 📢 Mastodon: Social media back in the hands on people

19:40 – 19:50 🎤 Q&A

19:50 – 20:00 🔹 GreekLUG intro

20:00 – 20:10 📢 OpenPGP in Thunderbird for encrypted and/or signed emails

20:10 – 20:20 🎤 Q&A

20:20 – 20:30 📢 Community activities: ‘Public Money? Public Code!’, FediGov

20:30 – 20:50 🎤 ‘A Free Software program I would like to thank is…’ round

from 21:00 🍻 Beers in Ypsilon

Netherlands team meets in Arnhem

Strategically placed at the centre of the country, the meeting in Arnhem can accommodate people from all of the Netherlands. The team has planned a cosy dinner and a drink. W 📨

🇳🇱 📍 Momento Oude Oeverstraat 98 6811 JZ Arnhem, Nederland

⏰ 19:00

📋 Please confirm your attendance through the Dutch mailing list.

Italian community meets online

A group call that welcomes all Italian-speaking members interested in Free Software is coming up. After the success of the Italian community meeting at SFScon with more than 20 participants online and in person the team wanted to meet again. What better occasion than the ‘I Love Free Software Day’? We will celebrate our love for Free software and discuss the future of Free Software in Italy.

🇮🇹 💻 Online here

⏰ 17:30

Meetup in Swiss hackerspace

The local groups Zurich, Basel, and St. Gallen invite other hacker groups for drinks and food after work to celebrate ‘I Love Free Software Day’. At 18:00 they take a group picture!

🇨🇭📍Bitwäscherei, restaurant on the ground floor, Zurich

⏰ 17:00

Spanish groups’ meetups

Free Software advocates celebrating the ‘I Love Free Software Day’ in Barcelona, 2019.

Local group members are trying to organize meetings in Madrid and in Barcelona to celebrate ‘I Love Free Software Day’. Contact the groups to stay up to date with their plans!

🇪🇸 📍Madrid and Barcelona

⏰ TBA

Your city?

Join us in celebrating our love for Free Software on the 14th of February. For more meetings and information have a look at our event page. Or reach out to us at contact@fsfe.org, if you would like to organise a meeting in your area. Let’s connect with each other and show our appreciation for Free Software and the freedoms it guarantees for us.

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Ältere BeiträgeFSFE News

Ready for FOSDEM 2023?

23. Januar 2023 um 00:00

Ready for FOSDEM 2023?

FOSDEM 2023 is taking place in Brussels the first weekend of February. The FSFE team will be participating at the main Free Software convention in Europe with a booth and giving some keynotes. Are you going to be there? Come to our booth and do not miss our talks!

After two years without the chance to meet in person and spend time talking with other Free Software friends -- and newcomers -- around our booth, we are almost there: FOSDEM is back as an “in situ” event.

FOSDEM brings together thousands of Free Software enthusiasts for one weekend in Brussels to discuss current topics and developments in the Free Software world. This year we are back at the Université Libre de Bruxelles with our booth and several talks to encourage and raise awareness on wider issues that impact our movement. Networking is equally important. We have prepared social gatherings to get to know each other a bit better during the evenings in some informal venues.

Join the chat

Your first step if you are coming to FOSDEM is to join our Matrix FOSDEM 2023 room.Stay up to date and tell us if you want to join our social gatherings and join the FSFE booth team.

FOSDEM BOOTH SET UP- Friday 3 February

If you are already in Brussels on Friday and have time, help us set up our booth! Then we will have a small social gathering. Let’s catch up! 19.00 h. Dinner at Positano restaurant: Rue De Pascale 20, 1050 Ixelles. See in OpenStreet Map.

FSFE FOSDEM Legal & Policy DevRoom, TEDective - Saturday 4 February

The Legal and Policy Issues Devroom is taking place during the first day of the conference. Together with our co-organisers Karen Sandler and Bradley Kuhn from Software Freedom Conservancy, Richard Fontana from Red Hat, and Tom Marble from Informatique, Inc., the FSFE’s Alexander Sander and Matthias Kirschner will be addressing legal and policy topic.

Also on Saturday morning we have a talk about TEDective, our Free Software solution that makes European public procurement data explorable for non-experts and after it a talk about thr Windows and Office “tax” refund. Between these talks and other interesting ones that you might attend, do not forget to stop by at our booth to get some promo material and to buy some new merchandise, such as a t-shirt so you can show everyone your support.

Finally, we will come to the end of this long but worthwhile first day with an 'Ada & Zangeman' book reading and a meetup to get to know the members of our community better, sharing a beer with a passionate debate on some of the topics we have learned about during the day!

Saturday

FSFE FOSDEM Public Money, Public Code!, REUSE - Sunday 5 February

Our second day will start with a talk in the morning about our campaign ‘Public Money? Public Code!’, in which we will provide a policy brief of the state of play of Free Software in the European Union. If you are interested in this topic, you should attend another of our talks about this issue to learn how to effectively push for Free Software all over Europe. That one will take place in the afternoon under the title ‘If it’s public money, make it public code!’.

Also in the afternoon you can learn about REUSE, our tool to communicate licensing and copyright information, which makes developing, using,and re-using Free Software easier.

Of course, we have more activities, campaigns and topics that our team can discuss with you. So stop at our booth! We will be willing to answer your questions and show you some of the initiatives that we have going on.

Sunday

Give us a hand!

Bringing and taking back our merchandise and promotional material all the way to Brussels is no easy task and we need extra hands to help building and tearing down the booth. Contact our Community Coordinator Fani fani@fsfe.org if you can join us!

  • Friday ~15:00 - 17:00 h. - Moving boxes to booth
  • Sunday 17:00 - 17:30 h. - Booth tear-down

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Kommunen brauchen Freie Software: Mitschnitt und neue Mailingliste

19. Januar 2023 um 00:00

Kommunen brauchen Freie Software: Mitschnitt und neue Mailingliste

Dortmund schlägt in Sachen Freie-Software-Governance ein neues Kapitel auf und inspiriert Kommunen in ganz Deutschland. Der Mitschnitt unserer Veranstaltung vom 11. Januar 2023 ist jetzt online. Für Interessentinnen aus kommunalen Verwaltungen und Politik gibt es eine neue Mailingliste zum Austausch rund um Freie Software in Kommunen.

Im Dezember 2022 hat die Stadt Dortmund ihr Profil als Wegbereiterin Freier Software geschärft und die Einrichtung einer „Koordinierungsstelle Digitale Souveränität und Open Source“ beschlossen. Über 160 interessierte Vertreterinnen aus Kommunen im ganzen Land informierten sich am 11. Januar 2023 in einer Onlineveranstaltung über den Weg zu diesem Schritt, über den Leitgedanken „Public Money? Public Code!“, über Freie-Sofware-Governance als Schlüssel zu Digitaler Souveränität und über die damit verbundenen Perspektiven für Kommunen im ganzen Land.

Den Mitschnitt der gemeinsamen Veranstaltung der Initiative Do-FOSS, des Vereins Offene Kommunen.NRW, der Kommunalen Gemeinschaftsstelle für Verwaltungsmanagement und der Free Software Foundation Europe könnt ihr sofort online ansehen.

Zur weiteren Diskussion über Freie Software in Kommunen gibt es ab sofort die neue Mailingliste fs-kommunen (at) lists.fsfe.org. Wir laden Interessentinnen aus kommunalen Verwaltungen, Politik und aus IT-Unternehmen genauso wie interessierte Privatpersonen ein, sich auf dieser Liste über Themen rund um kommunale Freie-Software-Governance auszutauschen und zu vernetzen. Auch Stellenausschreibungen mit Freie-Software-Bezug können dort geteilt werden.

Freie Software und „Public Money? Public Code!“

Freie Software gibt allen das Recht, Programme für jeden Zweck zu verwenden, zu verstehen, zu verbreiten und zu verbessern. Durch diese Freiheiten müssen ähnliche Programme nicht komplett neu programmiert werden und dank transparenter Prozesse muss das Rad nicht ständig neu erfunden werden. Bei großen Projekten können Expertise und Kosten geteilt werden und von der Allgemeinheit bezahlte Anwendungen stehen allen zur Verfügung. So wird Innovation gefördert und mittel- bis langfristig Steuergeld gespart. Abhängigkeiten von einzelnen Anbieterinnen werden minimiert und Sicherheitslücken können leichter geschlossen werden. Die Free Software Foundation Europe fordert daher mit über 200 Organisation und Verwaltungen „Public Money? Public Code!“ - Wenn es sich um öffentliche Gelder handelt, sollte auch der Code öffentlich sein! Mehr Informationen zur Initiative: “Public Money? Public Code!” .

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Join our team as an intern!

13. Januar 2023 um 00:00

Join our team as an intern!

Are you a motivated person who wants to support FSFE's activities as an intern? If your background is in computer science, law, political science or another social science field, apply to become part of our team in our Berlin office, working 35 hours per week for a period of 6 months. Join us in empowering people to take control of technology!.

About the FSFE

The Free Software Foundation Europe is a charity that empowers users to control technology. Software is deeply involved in all aspects of our lives and it is important that technology empowers rather than restricts us. Free Software gives everybody the rights to use, understand, adapt, and share software. These rights help support other fundamental freedoms like freedom of speech, press, and privacy.

The FSFE helps individuals and organisations to understand how Free Software contributes to freedom, transparency, and self-determination. It enhances users' rights by abolishing barriers to Free Software adoption, encourages people to use and develop Free Software, and provides resources to enable everyone to further promote Free Software in Europe.

We are involved in many activities in the legal, economic, political and technical areas around Free Software. Our work is made possible by a community of volunteers, supporters, donors, and staff.

We are looking for an intern

We are looking for a reliable and driven intern to join our team. You will support the FSFE's activities and work closely with our team. Our internships are of great value to us, therefore we make sure to offer our interns the opportunity to learn about Free Software and to meet and work with our vibrant community across Europe. The person will work 35 hours per week with our team in the FSFE Berlin office for a six months period.

Read more about our internships and what former interns say about it.

Main responsibilities

  • Support FSFE’s oingoing projects depending on your background and interests;
  • Communicate with different members of the FSFE community, NGOs, industry, and public administrations;
  • Depending on the work area, you will participate and help organising events around Europe,
  • Work together with our staff and volunteers on various projects;
  • General office tasks.

Qualifications

  • Your field of study doesn't matter, but you should be able to relate it to our work. Traditionally, a lot of interns in the FSFE have a legal or political science background, but we've also had excellent interns working with us with a more technical or other social science background.
  • Excellent spoken and written English, other European languages are considered an asset;
  • Very reliable, well-organised, and supportive of colleagues.

How to apply

To apply, please send a maximum one-page cover letter and a maximum two-page CV by email to jobs@fsfe.org, with the subject "Intern position 2023". Please do not include pictures of yourself in the application. There is no immediate closing date for submitting applications, but we recommend to apply as early as possible as applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis. Please indicate your possible starting date.

The position is for a period of 6 months, full time - 35 hours per week, starting as agreed. The location of the internship is Berlin, Germany, therefore you will be required to show that you can legally work in Germany; either by being an EU citizen, or by having a residence and work permit for the duration. This internship is compensated according to the German minimum wage. Your personal data will be deleted 3 months after we have made our decision.

Free Software is meant to serve everyone regardless of their age, ability or disability, gender identity, sex, race, nationality, religion or sexual orientation. Hence, we encourage applications from all backgrounds and promise to judge all applications on merit, without reference to any of the characteristics listed. To promote diversity and equality in the Free Software community, we shall give preference between applications of equal strength to applicants who identify as part of a traditionally marginalised demographic in technology.

You might be interested in

A thank you note to past FSFE interns

An internship in the FSFE can be an intensive yet enriching experience. We have asked eight of our former interns about their time at the FSFE. Get a glimpse of what to expect from this position in our interview with past interns.

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Promising news from Belgium and Dortmund +++ IT Security +++ Job opportunity

10. Januar 2023 um 00:00

Promising news from Belgium and Dortmund +++ IT Security +++ Job opportunity

In January’s Newsletter: Dortmund embraces Free Software, and Belgium is working to ensure Router Freedom. A cryptographer analyzes IT security. A digital health ecosystem licenses files with the REUSE tool. We are looking for an office coordinator. We look forward to seeing you in FOSDEM and I Love Free Software events.

Belgium Ready to Tick All Boxes for Router Freedom

Collaboration with supporters and volunteers brings us closer to victory. We addressed Router Freedom to privacy groups, consumer organisations, regulators, and telecommunications industry representatives. We want the upcoming legislation in Belgium to protect the right of all internet users to choose and use a private modem and router. We were not alone. 260 people from Belgium answered our survey which we could use to show potential barriers to Router Freedom.

The Belgian telecommunications regulator drafted a framework that ensures Router Freedom for all connections, including optical fiber which was often excluded in other countries. Enforcement of the current proposal will mark a win for digital rights in Belgium.

Dortmund Becomes Exemplary Municipality for Free Software

By embracing Free Software, Dortmund becomes an example for other municipalities. The City of Dortmund, together with Berlin and Munich, is initialising the "Open Source Big 3" and setting up a "Coordination Office for Digital Sovereignty and Open Source". This Office in Dortmund will cooperate with the Municipal Joint Office for Administrative Management (KGSt) on Free Software governance. The involvement of KGSt makes this development relevant for all other municipalities in Germany.

We will inform you about the developments in an online event on 11 January 2023, organised in cooperation with the Do-FOSS initiative and the Offene Kommunen.NRW. Register to join us!

Podcast Episode: What Makes a Program Secure?

Achieving optimal security is a challenge for the average user; we need to decide what level of privacy we need and what we are comfortable with. Cryptographer and privacy specialist Cryptie explains what makes a program secure: it has to be audited, checked, and corrected. Free Software allows more people to audit as more people are allowed to read the code and discover vulnerabilities.

Ultimately Free Software creates a culture in which people are ready to answer to criticism on systems and software. However there is also Free Software that is not audited, so its security is not confirmed. Conclusion: the best and most secure software is Free Software, but not all Free Software is secure. Listen to our new podcast episode with Cryptie.

Security by obscurity has been debunked for nearly half a century” says privacy specialist, Cryptie.

Digital Health Ecosystem Licenses Files With REUSE Tool

The combination of two ideas, universal access to healthcare and Free Software, gives us GNU Health. Created by GNU Solidario, a non-profit dealing with technology and social medicine, GNU Health is a community-driven Free Software project. While visiting schools in Latin America twenty years ago, the founder, Dr. Luis Falcón, realised that technology needs to support social changes.

To make the licensing clear, the project has recently adopted the REUSE specification 3.0 in its components Hospital Management System (both server and client) and Thalamus (the message server for the GH Federation). Luis presented the project and the process of the REUSE implementation in a video interview.

Presentation of the digital health ecosystem GNUHealth by founder Dr. Luis Falcón. Becoming REUSE compliant was simple, says Luis in the interview, also available in in our Peertube instance.

“Thank You for Your Support” Raffle

The FSFE needs your help to keep on working towards software freedom. Support us until February 12! We want to thank you for your support during these difficult times with a raffle. If you donate, or donated in the past year, more than €128 you might receive a signed copy of ‘Ada & Zangemann - A Tale of Software, Skateboards, and Raspberry Ice Cream' Feeling lucky?

Hey, our work depends on you. Support Free Software in Europe! Donate more than €128 and you might receive a signed copy of a children’s book about software freedom.

Celebrate I Love Free Software Day with a Meetup

On Tuesday 14 February let’s join to say thank you together to the awesome Free Software community; let’s express our love to the contributors behind Free Software. Their work is irreplaceable and does not go unnoticed.

We invite you to organise a thematic meetup with friends, colleagues, or FSFE local groups, and share your pictures with us. We also invite you to share a warm thank you message to your favourite Free Software project in a video or an image.

Join our team and take care of our office

We are looking for an office coordinator for an open-ended 25-35 hours per week position in our Berlin office.

Join us in one of our events

We had an awesome Upcycling Android workshop in Pablo Neruda library in Berlin. Next workshops are in Cologne and online!
  • 💻 Online: Do you want to organise a workshop on how to flash phones? We are here to help with an online train-the-trainers workshop. Learn about the Upcycling Android campaign, what to consider when organizing a workshop, and how we can help in promoting and implementing a workshop. F-Droid lead maintainer Hans-Christoph Steiner and microG main developer Marvin Wißfeld will present these two cornerstone projects. The workshop will take place in English on 19.01.2023 from 6-8pm (CET) online in a BBB room.
  • 💻🇧🇪 Online & Brussels, Belgium: FSFE goes to FOSDEM 2023! On Saturday 4 February come to our Legal and Policy Devroom, and our talk on TEDective. On Sunday 5 February checkout our talks on REUSE and ‘Public Money? Public Code!' policy and community stories. If you are in Brussels, come over to our booth, anytime in the weekend.

  • 🇩🇪 Cologne, Germany: Upcycling Android is coming up on 20 January. You can extend the life of your phone by flashing it with a Free Software operating system. We will bring sample phones so participants can tinker around with Free Software operating systems and we will also help participants to flash their own devices. Please register.

What we have done

  • We had another fun Upcycling Android workshop in Berlin, this time in a library makerspace. Several people came to Pablo Neruda library for the event, and many dropped by out of curiosity. We flashed phones and, getting into the holiday spirit, we had biscuits and coffee.

Groups

Denmark: Local group Aarhus is meeting on 12 January.

Germany: Local group Berlin had its online edu meeting and local group Hamburg had its monthly meeting. Local group Bonn met on 9 January.

Greece: The FSFE country team Greece had its first meeting in December, with many participants and a lively discussion about Mastodon that lasted for hours. The meeting started with a long introduction round to get to know each other. Then the group discussed Mastodon tips. Nikos Roussos presented the Greek mastodon instance Libretooth. Fani Partsafyllidou, FSFE Communications Project Manager, gave updates from the FSFE. The group voted for ‘Translations and Documentation in Greek’ as the topic of the next meeting on 12 January.

Netherlands: The FSFE country team Netherlands met online just before the holidays and discussed how to deal with proprietary educational tools and whether a meeting should be arranged during FOSDEM. Also, they talked about the public registry of AI systems in Amsterdam, the innovation of Open Hardware in Delft, and communication problems with Neutrinet VPN. Fani shared updates from the FSFE.

Switzerland: The Zurich group is meeting on 19 January to plan an I Love Free Software meetup and discuss the ongoing campaigns.

Women: The Women’s group’s next meeting will be held on 20 January.

Contribute to our Newsletter

If you would like to share any thoughts, pictures, or news, please send them to us. As always, the address is newsletter@fsfe.org. We're looking forward to hearing from you! If you also want to support us and our work, join our community and support us with a donation or a monthly contribution. Thanks to our community and 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 native languages.

Happy New Year!

Your editor, Fani Partsafyllidou

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FediGov seeks to promote sovereign communication in the public sector

09. Januar 2023 um 00:00

FediGov seeks to promote sovereign communication in the public sector

The FSFE Swiss local group launches an initiative with GNU/Linux.ch to encourage public institutions to use federated free software solutions to communicate with their people. FediGov is the name of this campaign that is encouraging people to ask their governments to adopt ethical communications.

Encouraging public institutions to communicate sovereignly is the aim of the FediGov campaign, launched by FSFE Switzerland and GNU/Linux.ch, that is asking individuals to explain to their local authorities the importance of sovereign communication in the public sector.

Public administrations are currently using commercial social networks to establish direct communications, excluding residents that are not using the commercial services but alternatives that allow them to use the Internet in a self-determined and privacy-friendly way.

These alternatives such as the Fediverse are also enjoying growing popularity, for example with many federal authorities in Germany. The Fediverse is a federated social network of free opensoftware servers (referred to as “instances”) with applications such as Mastodon that communicate with each other via a common protocol. Users have the option of operating their own instance or joining existing instances.

This results in an independent and self-determined use and design of digital technologies. It forms the cornerstone for our democracy in an increasingly digitalized society. People are not forced to pass on their data to large corporations in order to be able to communicate with public institutions.

With the FediGov campaign, FSFE Switzerland and GNU/Linux.ch want to raise awareness of the issue and offer both individuals and public authorities direct opportunities for action. Interested parties can use a template to send a letter to public authorities to motivate them to also be represented in the Fediverse. Public institutions are given assistance in dealing with decentralized social networks based on Free Software.

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♥ I Love Free Software Day: Let’s Meet and Connect!

04. Januar 2023 um 00:00

♥ I Love Free Software Day: Let’s Meet and Connect!

Every February 14 the Free Software community around the world comes together to celebrate the “I Love Free Software Day”. On this special day we show our gratitude for every Free Software contributor. Join us in celebrating our love for Free Software and thank all the supporters of software freedom.

At the Free Software Foundation Europe (FSFE) we want to acknowledge and celebrate the work done on Free Software throughout the year. There are different kinds of free software projects around the world, but we all share our belief in software freedom and its four freedoms to: use, study, share, and improve. To highlight the important role of the developers and supporters in software freedom, we celebrate the “I Love Free Software Day” every February 14.

On Tuesday, 14 February 2023, reach out to the individuals behind the software you use, and let them know that you appreciate their support and hard work for Free Software. Most contributors spend countless hours on Free Software projects, often without getting paid or receiving enough recognition for their work. Tell them a simple, but powerful, "Thank you!” “I Love Free Software Day” has taken place for years now, forming a lovely community tradition. Join us! Pick your favorite way to participate. Here are four fun options.

Meet up in your city

Organize a local get-together with your colleagues, friends or family to celebrate and recognize the work of the contributors of Free Software. Of course, you can also reach out to your nearest local group for a meetup. Order for free some ilovefs balloons! After a long break of events, it’s a perfect way to connect and celebrate your favorite Free Software projects. Check out ideas and inspirations. Take pictures and share them on social media with #ilovefs. We strongly encourage that this event should be on February 14, 2023 (if not, on a nearby date).

Make a share-pic

Send a thank you message to your favorite Free Software project for their valuable work! You can include #ilovefs in your message on social media of your choice. Remember that an image says more that just words: create your own pictures with our SharePic Generator! In less than two minutes you will get a cool illustration ready to be shared. Let your imagination run free and show your appreciation for Free Software with a #ilovefs image.

Create a video of yourself saying “Thank You!”

For a more personal touch, record a short thank you message on the phone, in a video. Pick your favorite Free Software project and let them know that their work means a lot to you, helping you work or relax. Do not forget to add the hashtag #ilovefs when sharing your message through any social media channel.

Send a postcard to your loved ones

Order for free our ‘I love Free Software, but I love you more’ postcard and get all romantic with the people you love. Order the postcard as soon as possible to get it on time. Share a picture of the postcard next to a sweet present.

Enjoy!

A small gesture that means a lot. Make a Free Software contributor happy today. Read other people’s messages and enjoy the vibrant and positive side of our Free Software community. You can also mention us on your social media post so we can see how you are celebrating this day. We are on Mastodon, LinkedIn, and Twitter.

Happy I Love Free Software Day ♥ everyone!

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SFP#18: IT-Security from a cryptographer's point of view with Cryptie

22. Dezember 2022 um 00:00

SFP#18: IT-Security from a cryptographer's point of view with Cryptie

A cryptographer and privacy specialist Amandine Jambert, a.k.a. Cryptie, is our guest in the 18th Software Freedom Podcast episode. With her experience, Cryptie is the perfect person to tackle some basics about Security in Free Software.

Cryptie has been involved with Free Software for around 20 years now and has been a volunteer for the FSFE for 10 years. Together Cryptie and Bonnie Mehring discuss the basics of cryptography and discover what a privacy specialist is. They then move on to the basics of IT-Security and talk about prejudices against the security of Free Software. If you have wondered what is needed to make Software more secure this is the perfect episode for you to start with this topic and learn about the basics of IT-Security.

Read more:

If you liked this episode and want to support our continuous work for software freedom, please help us with a donation.

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Unterstütze uns und nimm an der „Ada & Zangemann“-Buchverlosung teil

21. Dezember 2022 um 00:00

Unterstütze uns und nimm an der „Ada & Zangemann“-Buchverlosung teil

Wir haben tolle Neuigkeiten! Als Dankeschön für Deine Unterstützung, über die wir uns in diesen schwierigen Zeiten umso mehr freuen, verlosen wir 28 Exemplare des Buches „Ada & Zangemann: Ein Märchen über Software, Skateboards und Himbeereis“..

Wir wissen Deine Unterstützung zu schätzen und verlosen daher 28 Bücher des Autors Matthias Kirschner! 16 dieser Bücher -einschließlich Aufkleber, Postkarten und andere Werbegeschenkewerden- unter all jenen Unterstützern verlost, die mehr als 128 € spenden. Wer mehr als 256 € spendet, nimmt an der Verlosung weiterer acht vom Autor signierter Exemplare teil. Spendest Du mehr als 512 €, hast du die Chance, eines von vier handsignierten Büchern zu erhalten, die außerdem eine exklusive Zeichnung von der Illustratorin des Buches, Sandra Brandstätter, enthalten.

Das illustrierte Buch erzählt die Geschichte vom berühmten Erfinder Zangemann und dem Mädchen Ada, einer neugierigen Tüftlerin. Ada beginnt mit Hard- und Software zu experimentieren und erkennt dabei, wie wichtig der eigenständige, reie Umgang mit Software für sie und andere ist.

„Führt junge wie ältere Leser in die Macht und die Gefahren von Software ein. Hinter all dem steht die Ethik des Wissensaustauschs, auf dem die gesamte Menschheitsgeschichte aufbaut.“- Vint Cerf, Computerwissenschaftler und der Erfinder des Internets

„Was für eine unterhaltsame Lektüre! Ich erkenne mich in vielen Momenten in Ada wieder.“ - Isabela Fernandes, Exekutivdirektorin, Tor Project

„Eine mitreißende Geschichte über Eigenständigkeit, Gemeinschaft und das Aufstehen gegen Tyrannen, egal wie mächtig sie sein mögen. Softwarefreiheit ist Menschenfreiheit!" - Cory Doctorow, Science-Fiction-Autor

“„Ich war auch als Nicht-Kind von der ersten bis zur letzten Seite von der Geschichte gefesselt. Hut ab vor dem Autor, schwierige Themen wie Monopole, Lobbyismus, Digital Divide, Softwarefreiheit, digitale Autonomie, IoT, Verbrauchergängelung, Elektroschrott und vieles mehr in kindgerechter Form leicht verständlich in eine spannende Handlung zu verpacken." - Jörg Luther, Chefredakteur des deutschen Linux-Magazins, LinuxUser, Raspberry Pi Geek

Bitte unterstütze uns bis zum 12. Februar!

Deine Unterstützung ermöglicht es uns, unsere tägliche Arbeit fortzusetzen und konkrete Schritte in Richtung Softwarefreiheit in Europa zu unternehmen.

Und vergiss nicht diese Nachricht zu teilen!

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FSFE is hiring an office coordinator

20. Dezember 2022 um 00:00

FSFE is hiring an office coordinator

We are looking for an office coordinator for an open-ended 25-35 hours per week position in our Berlin office. As part of our office management team you will be the administrative backbone of our operations. Our ideal candidate has experience as an office administrator, secretary, event organiser, or another relevant administrative role.

About the FSFE

Free Software Foundation Europe is a charity that empowers users to control technology. Software is deeply involved in all aspects of our lives and it is important that technology empowers rather than restricts us. Free Software gives everybody the rights to use, understand, share, and improve software. These rights help support other fundamental freedoms like freedom of speech, press, and privacy.

The FSFE helps individuals and organisations to understand how Free Software contributes to freedom, transparency, and self-determination. We enhance users' rights by abolishing barriers to Free Software adoption, encourage people to use and develop Free Software, and provide resources to enable everyone to further promote Free Software in Europe.

We are involved in many activities in the legal, economic, political, and technical areas around Free Software. Our work is made possible by a community of volunteers, supporters, donors, and staff.

We are a distributed team of dedicated volunteers and employees from all around the world united in the spirit of empowering users to control technology. We know it will take a long time to achieve our mission, but we know we can achieve it together with persistence step by step. As a family-friendly organisation we can offer flexible working hours.

Main responsibilities

  • Review financial documents, preparing them for accounting, and general (mainly electronic) filing.
  • Communicate with our salary service, health insurance, bank, insurances, and other authorities.
  • Handle sourcing vendors, (re)-ordering, organising, invoicing, shipping, and the inventory for our information material and merchandise.
  • Manage office equipment including organising smaller and bigger office supplies, assets inventory, and key management.
  • Pay invoices and salaries as well as travel expense claims.
  • Issue outgoing invoices and monitor incoming payments.
  • Organise, store, and print organisational documents as needed.
  • Prepare financial reports and presentations
  • Help to constantly improve our administrative processes.

Qualifications

  • Proven experience as an administrator, administrative assistant, office coordinator, or another related role.
  • Basic knowledge of accounting and German tax law.
  • Knowledge and experience in understanding the financial side of the charitable non-profit sector are an advantage.
  • Fluency in written and spoken German, intermediate command of written and spoken English; other European languages are considered an asset.
  • Knowledge of how to handle the administrative side of EU-funded projects are a plus.
  • Familiarity with office equipment and office management tools (Free Software tools is a plus).

Attitude

We are looking for a reliable, well-organised, and punctual team player with a problem-solving attitude and an eye for detail who would like to strengthen our administrative backbone in Berlin, so that the many people in the FSFE can continue to empower users to control technology.

How to apply

To apply, please send a maximum one-page cover letter – including the desired hours per week and when you could start – and a maximum two-page CV (only PDFs are accepted) by email to jobs@fsfe.org, with the subject "organisational wizard". Please do not include pictures of yourself in the application.

Your personal data will be deleted 3 months after we have made our decision. The closing date for applications is Sunday 20 January 2023.

Free Software is meant to serve everyone regardless of their age, ability or disability, gender identity, sex, race, religion, or sexual orientation. Hence, we encourage applications from all backgrounds and promise to judge all applications on merit, without reference to any of the characteristics listed. To promote diversity and equality in the Free Software community, we shall give preference to applicants who identify as part of a traditionally marginalised demographic in technology for applications of equal strength.

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GNU Health opts for REUSE

19. Dezember 2022 um 00:00

GNU Health opts for REUSE

In the framework of the REUSE Booster initiative, the FSFE provides individual assessments and direct assistance to Free Software projects in the implementation of the REUSE best practices. GNU Health, a project that combines social medicine with technology, has recently become REUSE compliant. We have talked with Dr. Luis Falcón, its founder.

Boosting REUSE

Understanding and complying with legal obligations can be a burden sometimes, especially when reusing software from different projects that are released under different licenses. The REUSE initiative, introduced by the Free Software Foundation Europe (FSFE), aims to make the communication of licensing and copyright information of Free Software projects easier for everyone. With a set of best practices and the helper tool, adding this legal information in every single file of the project becomes a simple process.

Last year, the FSFE launched REUSE Booster, an initiative that aims to directly assist and support projects in the process of implementing REUSE. As a result of those efforts, the Free Software project GNU Health has recently adopted the REUSE specification 3.0 in its components: Hospital Management System (both server and client) and Thalamus (the message server for the GH Federation).

The FSFE took the opportunity to participate in this year edition of the GHCon to hand in the REUSE compliance award to the whole team of GNU Health.

GNU Health and its REUSE adoption

GNU Health is a community driven Free Software project from GNU Solidario; a non-profit humanitarian organisation that focuses both on technology and on social medicine. The software has been adopted by different organisations and national public health systems around the globe. From now on, users and re-users of GNU Health will have a clear overview of the copyright notices and license terms thanks to the standardised way of displaying it by following the REUSE specification.

“The task of manually keeping track, displaying and writing the legal information in large Free/Libre projects like GNU Health can be daunting. The REUSE project makes this tedious process simple. I invite the Libre software community to adopt REUSE as the standard for displaying legal information to boost development, productivity and integration among projects.”

Dr. Luis Falcón, founder of GNU Solidario and author of GNU Health.

In this short video interview, Dr. Luis Falcón shares with us how the process of adopting REUSE was for the GNU Health team, while also encourages other Free Software projects to join them in displaying their licensing and copyright information in an unambiguous and perfectly human- and machine-readable way.

Dr. Luis Falcón tells us more about the process of becoming REUSE compliant. Check the whole interview here.

REUSE adopters

At the moment the REUSE API has 1300+ projects registered as REUSE compliant. Within those we can highlight, among others, projects such as curl, and cosmoscout-vr from the German Aerospace Center (DLR). The Linux Kernel has also partially adopted REUSE, and the well-known KDE community, included REUSE in their licensing policy and they already migrated all their frameworks to the recommended standard.

We welcome other developers to adopt REUSE and look forward to feedback and collaboration. If you want to contact us, you need an extra hand in implementing REUSE in your project, or you just want to participate in the discussion, we invite you to join the mailing list.

Thanks to all our volunteers, contributors, and supporters!

This is therefore a great opportunity to thank our volunteers and external contributors to REUSE for their great work in continuing improving the tool and documentation but also for keeping up an ongoing and fruitful discussion regarding its specification.

The contribution of all our supporters also allows our continuing work on REUSE as well as on all our activities. You can join them by becoming a supporter, tell your friends how they can support our work with a small donation, or even ask your family to support the FSFE and our campaigns as a meaningful holiday gift.

Donate Now

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FSFE holds 2nd edition of Legal Education Day at the SFSCon 2022

14. Dezember 2022 um 00:00

FSFE holds 2nd edition of Legal Education Day at the SFSCon 2022

The 2nd Legal Education Day (LED), organized by the FSFE, took place in Bolzano to help Free Software developers understand legal topics on a basic level, so that they can avoid common pitfalls, allowing their software projects to reach full potential. The LED track featured sessions on the basics of copyright law, licenses, and other legal topics.

We all love the four freedoms that Free Software grants to users and developers, and how they benefit the individual user as well as our digital society as a whole. In order to ensure these freedoms, users of Free Software rely on legal instruments and the judicial system to be able to enforce them when others try to take them away from us.

Understanding and complying with the legal frameworks and licensing obligations can sometimes feel daunting. Nonetheless, we firmly believe that some basic legal knowledge can help developers and their software projects comply with their legal obligations when using or reusing Free Software, and helps to build a healthy Free Software environment based on openness and community.

To help with this, the FSFE has developed the Legal Education Day (LED), aiming to spread basic legal education on the legal context of Free Software, to give developers a foundation to understand how to license a software project and what legal obligations they have to abide by.

This was also the first edition that took place in-person, as the first one, organized in 2021, had to be held online due to the COVID pandemic. Therefore, this second edition of the LED put in the same room an interesting number of free software advocates willing to discuss legal issues during several hours, at the second day of the South Tyrol Free Software Convention (SFSCon), in Bolzano, Italy. Throughout the event, concepts such as copyright, trademarks were explained, and various issues related to Free Software licensing were tackled.

Additionally, the FSFE used the opportunity to also introduce the REUSE Initiative with an interactive workshop that allowed participants to get hands-on experience in setting up an example REUSE - compliant repository.

Feedback to the event from participants was very positive, with many let the organizer know that they found the sessions informative and helpful for understanding licensing tasks they have had to work with their software projects.

But don't just take our word for it! The event was streamed live so the webcast can be found at the SFSCon's website.

Last but not least, the FSFE would like to thank, on the one hand the SFSCon organisers for their help and support in hosting a successful LED 2022, and on the other hand, to all participants and spectators at home for taking part and helping to make the event a success.

We look forward to improving the content of the LED and hope to see many of you at next year's edition!

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Veranstaltung: Kommunen brauchen Freie Software - Dortmund geht als Referenzkommune voran

15. Dezember 2022 um 00:00

Veranstaltung: Kommunen brauchen Freie Software - Dortmund geht als Referenzkommune voran

Die Stadt Dortmund initialisiert zusammen mit Berlin und München die "Open Source Big 3" und richtet eine "Koordinierungsstelle Digitale Souveränität und Open Source" ein. Die Free Software Foundation Europe, der Verein Offene Kommunen.NRW und die Initiative Do-FOSS informieren am 11.01.2023 in einer Onlineveranstaltungen über diese Entwicklungen.

Die Stadt Dortmund stellt sich ihrer Rolle als Wegbereiterin für Digitale Souveränität durch Freie Software (auch als Open Source bekannt): Gemeinsam mit Berlin und München hat Dortmund die "Open Source Big 3" initialisiert. Zudem wird in Dortmund im Jahr 2023 eine "Koordinierungsstelle Digitale Souveränität und Open Source" beim Chief Information/Innovation Officer (CIO) der Stadtverwaltung eingerichtet, wie der Rat der Stadt Dortmund heute beschlossen hat. Über diese Koordinierungsstelle soll in Zusammenarbeit mit der Kommunalen Gemeinschaftsstelle für Verwaltungsmanagement (KGSt) eine Freie-Software-Governance als Querschnittsaufgabe der Verwaltung entwickelt werden. Durch die Einbindung des maßgebenden Fachverbands KGSt wird diese Entwicklung auch für alle anderen Kommunen in Deutschland relevant.

Für die Entwicklungszusammenarbeit von Verwaltungen rückt die auf den öffentlichen Dienst zugeschnittene Softwareentwicklungsplattform Open CoDE ins Zentrum. Hieraus ergeben sich neue Perspektiven für die Zusammenarbeit mit Communities auf Augenhöhe. Ein bewusstes Communitybuilding wird für die Verwaltungen erforderlich. Die Kooperation soll perspektivisch zudem nicht auf drei Städte beschränkt bleiben, sondern kann sich mit weiteren Kommunen zu den "Open Source Big X" entwickeln.

Über diese aktuellen Entwicklungen und Beschlüsse möchten wir in der gemeinsamen Onlineveranstaltung informieren. Zudem wollen wir diskutieren, welche Chancen und Herausforderungen sich für Dortmund und andere Kommunen in ganz Deutschland ergeben. Interessierte – nicht nur aus Dortmund – sind herzlich eingeladen!

Wann: 11.01.2023, 16:00 - 17:00 Uhr

Wo: https://registration.fsfe.org/Dortmund

Für Rückfragen steht zur Verfügung:

Christian Nähle

Do-FOSS - Initiative für den Einsatz Freier und Open-Source-Software bei der Stadt Dortmund

christian.naehle (at) do-foss.de

0176 / 56 74 76 29

Der politische Beschluss zur Einrichtung der "Koordinierungsstelle Digitale Souveränität und Open Source" findet sich hier. Daraus geht auch bereits das Anforderungsprofil für die kommende Stellenausschreibung hervor. Die formal veröffentlichte Stellenausschreibung wird ab Mitte Januar auf Do-FOSS zu finden sein.

Freie Software und „Public Money? Public Code!“

Freie Software gibt allen das Recht, Programme für jeden Zweck zu verwenden, zu verstehen, zu verbreiten und zu verbessern. Durch diese Freiheiten müssen ähnliche Programme nicht komplett neu programmiert werden und dank transparenter Prozesse muss das Rad nicht ständig neu erfunden werden. Bei großen Projekten können Expertise und Kosten geteilt werden und von der Allgemeinheit bezahlte Anwendungen stehen allen zur Verfügung. So wird Innovation gefördert und mittel- bis langfristig Steuergeld gespart. Abhängigkeiten von einzelnen Anbietern werden minimiert und Sicherheitslücken können leichter geschlossen werden. Die Free Software Foundation Europe fordert daher mit über 200 Organisation „Public Money? Public Code!“ - Wenn es sich um öffentliche Gelder handelt, sollte auch der Code öffentlich sein! Mehr Informationen zur Initiative.

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Router Freedom: Belgium on the right way to protect end-users

15. Dezember 2022 um 00:00

Router Freedom: Belgium on the right way to protect end-users

The Belgian regulator BIPT has decided to safeguard Router Freedom for all connection types, including optical fiber (FTTx). The FSFE engaged in the public consultation urging policy makers to make this right a reality, and to improve monitoring over ISP practices.

Since 2018, EU countries have been reforming their telecommunications law, passing new rules concerning network infrastructure and internet devices, including authority over routers and modems. This process has been long and fragmented, leading to diverse outcomes that in some cases benefit end-users, but in others represent a serious threat against the right to choose and use personal routers/modems. In November 2022, the Belgian the telecom regulator BIPT drafted a regulatory framework for consolidating Router Freedom in the country. The FSFE welcomed the bold step and urged the policy maker to translate this right into reality by upscaling monitoring over internet service providers’ (ISP) practices against end-users.

Belgian proposal checked all boxes

The FSFE acknowledged BIPT’s regulatory proposal as a solution with a high potential to consolidate Router Freedom for end-users. BIPT plans to set the location of the “network termination point” at Point A for all types of internet connections, including optical fiber. This choice of position translates into Router Freedom, meaning that end-users will be able to choose and use their own equipment. BIPT’s decision represents a benefit for end-users by clearly defining the boundaries of private and public networks – which have direct impact on the provision of internet services.

BIPT plans to set the NTP in a position that will guarantee Router Freedom

BIPT delivered a balanced document, providing an in-depth analysis of the technological criteria that the EU legislation allows decision makers to use to limit Router Freedom. The Belgian regulator took an exemplary position confirming FSFE’s longstanding position that no technological reason was identified as a significant threat to the public network’s security or integrity in Belgium or any other country that safeguarded Router Freedom.

The FSFE agrees with the conclusions achieved by BIPT that Router Freedom has not led to a substantial reduction in the quality of service for end-users. We have been monitoring the regulatory panorama in Europe and confirmed that the experiences in Finland, Germany, Italy, and the Netherlands serve as positive examples that devices chosen by end-users do not cause damage for network operators or end-users.

Most importantly, BIPT’s position encompasses all fixed network topologies, including optical fiber networks (FTTx), allowing end-users to deploy their own private equipment without the necessity of a media converter or upstream provider modem from ISPs. This is a major win for consumer protection, raising the bar for other countries to follow this example, mostly because other regulators have explicitly decided to exclude Router Freedom from fiber networks.

The FSFE took part in the consultation (EN)(NL), and backed up BIPT’s solution by arguing that for reasons of freedom of choice, privacy and data protection, interoperability, fair competition, and security, end-users must have the possibility to use their own routers/modems. We also demonstrated how Router Freedom is a valuable factor for digital sustainability.

BIPT’s regulatory solution may serve as good example for other EU countries to follow

Making Router Freedom a reality

Setting the position of the NTP and allowing end-users to use their routers/modems is not enough for effectively implementing Router Freedom. Based on our experience and the reports we have received over the years from the community, we highlighted to BIPT that more than being a technical issue, freedom of terminal equipment represents a policy demand and requires constant monitoring of ISPs’ commercial practices. End-user reports relate to ISPs’ practices that jeopardize this freedom, especially when:

  • Customers are forbidden to use their equipment by contract or ISPs impose disproportional disadvantages to users with private router;
  • ISPs do not inform customers about their rights regarding terminal equipment or manipulate users through their customer service in favour of the ISP’s routers;
  • ISPs advertise their routers as the only ones compatible with the network, or use non-standard plugs or proprietary protocols;
  • ISPs do not provide users the login data to the public network or make no support available to customers.
  • ISPs do not offer the same level of service (e.g. IPv6, bandwidth, etc) for customers using their own router.

Community support was key

The FSFE’s engagement in the consultation process was empowered by a network of supporters, volunteers, and supporting organisations in Belgium. Our Router Freedom survey counted valuable insights and feedback from 260 participants (from the 1036 who reported their country of residence). The responses helped us to understand better the issues end-users suffer in relation to their ISPs. Survey responses were especially important for issues regarding fiber networks and the respective optical equipment imposed by network operators. Besides, the FSFE Benelux team proactively fostered exchange with supporting organisations that were sensitive to the cause, providing feedback and dedicating efforts for submitting their position to the regulator, including the industry representative VTKE, the consumer organisation Test Achats, the privacy group Ministry of Privacy, and the network association Neutrinet.

Community engagement pays off. Our engagement with regulators is fostered by supporters, volunteers and partner organisations. Get your activity package right now and join us!

The Router Freedom initiative

Router Freedom is the right that consumers of any ISP have to be able to choose and use a private modem and router instead of equipment that the ISP provides. Since 2013, the Free Software Foundation Europe has been successfully engaged with Router Freedom, promoting end-users’ freedom in many European countries. Join us and learn more about the several ways to get involved. Please consider becoming a FSFE donor; you help make possible our long-term engagement and professional commitment in defending people’s rights to control technology.

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Weak EU Digital Rights +++ Checkmate! +++ 5 reasons why

13. Dezember 2022 um 00:00

Weak EU Digital Rights +++ Checkmate! +++ 5 reasons why

In this issue we note the shift of the EU Digital Rights Declaration to an unclear, ambiguous text. Free Software chess engine wins its legal battle. Your contribution can help software freedom. YH4F registration. The Greek team meets after a long time.

EU Declaration of Digital Rights falls short of its ambitions

Member states, the European Parliament and the Commission have reached a consensus on the Declaration of Digital Rights and Principles. The Declaration aims to serve as a reference point for the digital transformation of Europe. Instead, it descends into murky waters, causing ambiguity. The wording is unclear and the declaration overlooks existing good proposals.

The Declaration is said to be built upon previous initiatives such as the Berlin and Tallinn declarations. These frameworks already referred to Free Software concerning digital sovereignty and interoperability, required more use of Free Software, and strengthened the requirement for its use. It is striking that concerning interoperability, Free Software is not explicitly mentioned in the Declaration of Digital Rights and Principles.

Copyleft-licensed chess engine wins legal case against proprietary counterpart

Copyleft protects Free Software from becoming proprietary. Free Software chess engine Stockfish filed a lawsuit when ChessBase distributed parts of Stockfish work under a proprietary license, violating GPL-3.0 obligations. Checkmate! Stockfish was victorious. ChessBase must comply fully with GPL-3, hire a Free Software Compliance Officer, and list their Free Software elements online, before they can distribute the Stockfish software or make it publicly available again.

5 reasons why your contribution matters

Your support and contribution for the promotion of Free Software are important for securing our continuous work, ensuring our independence, strengthening our democratic society, promoting and implementing concrete steps towards software freedom, and making it easier to use and develop Free Software.

YH4F registrations end in 2022

Registration for Youth Hacking 4 Freedom ends on 31st December. The coding contest welcomes 14-18 year old Europeans who wants to hack a Free Software project of their choice and win cash prizes. As some of the winners from the last edition stated, participating was a lot of fun and a great opportunity. Check our video with the winners presenting their projects in Brussels. Share this opportunity among your friends and community! Moreover, you can send it to schools, teachers, and young people in your region.

Past events

  • On 2 December Alexander Sander, FSFE Senior Policy Consultant, spoke at a workshop hosted by the European Commission. The topic was ‘Open standards and industrial use for Open Source: Leveraging the sustainability of Open Source projects and increasing competition and interoperability between different steps in value-chains’.
  • On 26 November Vincent Lequertier gave a talk 'For an inclusive and ethical artificial intelligence' in the event Campus du Libre in Lyon, France. Also, the FSFE had a booth at the event.
Vincent Lequertier at a booth in Campus du Libre event. November 2022, Lyon, France.
  • On 21 November we flashed phones in Dessau and on 24 November in Frankfurt, Germany. We flashed phone devices the FSFE provided, and also others that people brought.
  • On 17 November Lina Ceballos, REUSE's coordinator, gave a talk about REUSE in the GNU Health Conference (GHCon). Right after, Lina gave the GNUHealth project the well-deserved REUSE compliance award for its Hospital Management System component. GNUHealth is an outstanding Free Software project that contributes to make a change in various countries in the global South.
Lina Ceballos presents REUSE in the GNU Health Conference. November 2022, Las Palmas, Spain.

FSFE groups

Our groups welcome everyone who is interested in Free Software to join, and abide to the Code of Conduct. Here is what they are up to.

Germany: A festive meeting marked the end of the year at the FSFE local Berlin group. Nikolai from "cosum" joined as speaker. cosum (from CO-llaborative con-SUM-ption) is a lending platform that allows people to share things like tools, gardening equipment, or gazebos. With this, the group wants to promote more social-ecological consumption models. With cosum, a public lending store can be founded, but also private-to-private lending between friends and lending in communities, e.g. in the house or neighborhood, are possible. Borrowing saves resources, money, and space. Hamburg has monthly meetings in-person.

Greece: After a long time without meetings, next Thursday 15 December the FSFE Greece country team gathers in a first introductory meeting. The topics to be discussed include Mastodon and its current developments, Greek instances, recommendations for content in the Greek language, and usage tips. Nikos Roussos, developer at libreops, will talk about Libretooth. Fani Partsafyllidou, FSFE Project Manager, will share updates about Free Software in Europe. Just drop by!

Netherlands: During their last meeting the team discussed a Gitea governance conflict. The Fair Digital Education coalition, in which the FSFE participates through the country team Netherlands, became an Internet Society chapter. The group also debated a worrying phenomenon in the Netherlands, where citizens form WhatsApp groups with policing purposes. There is a question if a standalone Belgium group can be formed. The next meeting is on 21 December.

Switzerland: Basel: In their previous meeting, the FSFE local group Basel discussed the dependency of schools upon proprietary software. The experiences of the members were similar; schools have a simplistic approach to software. The best way is to correct this is to demonstrate the benefits of Free Software in a playful and visual way. The group compared Tor, VPN, and Freifunk as privacy options. A member from the Zurich group encouraged the Basel group to adopt a project based strategy. Zurich: The FSFE local group Zurich has launched the FediGov campaign and has created a leaflet for the campaign ‘Learn like a pro’.

Women: In the last online meeting Fani presented the Upcycling Android open letter to the group. Then, the team talked about joining the decentralized and independent alternative events of 37c3. In the previous meeting the group discussed radio technology, an example of a privacy-focused voice assistant, and colour printing.

Get active

We need your backing to gain the right to install any software on any device. Sign our open letter and share it with your own message. Explain to your network what this right means for you.

Contribute to our Newsletter

If you would like to share any thoughts, pictures, or news, please send them to us. As always, the address is newsletter@fsfe.org. We're looking forward to hearing from you! If you also want to support us and our work, join our community and support us with a donation or a monthly contribution. Thanks to our community and 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 native languages.

Your editor, Fani Partsafyllidou

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Copyleft-licensed chess engine wins legal case against proprietary counterpart

12. Dezember 2022 um 00:00

Copyleft-licensed chess engine wins legal case against proprietary counterpart

Copyleft ensures that Free Software remains Free. Stockfish filed a lawsuit when ChessBase distributed parts of Stockfish work under a proprietary license, violating GNU GPL obligations. Checkmate! Copyleft won. Stockfish secured numerous concessions from ChessBase to respect the GPL.

The players

Stockfish is is a Free Software chess engine licensed under the GNU General Public License version 3 (GPL-3.0). It was created in 2004 and, through its strong community support, is now the strongest chess engine available to the public. ChessBase is a German software company that develops and sells proprietary chess software.

In 2021, Stockfish filed a lawsuit against ChessBase GmbH, alleging that ChessBase had distributed to customers software products under proprietary licenses despite them being derivative works of Stockfish. The most notable derivatives were the Fat Fritz 2 and Houdini 6 software distributed by ChessBase. By doing so, Stockfish alleged that ChessBase has violated central obligations of the GPL-3.0, which ensures that users of the software are informed of their rights. Despite leading developers with Stockfish terminating their licensing of Stockfish to ChessBase, ChessBase continued to distribute a number of Stockfish derivatives.

This suit is notable as it is among the first of its type to involve a permanent termination of a Free Software license to a specific party. Additionally, Stockfish did not seek damages or other forms of financial compensation in their lawsuit, but rather pressed the court only for judicial actions that would result in the enforcement of the GPL-3.0.

Copyleft licenses protect Free Software

Having a copyleft license means that the derivative and/or combined work has to be licensed under the same license as the original work. As a result, this ensures that a copylefted piece of Free Software can remain free, and it is difficult to transform it into proprietary software.

Win

On 7 November 2022, a settlement was reached between Tord Romstad and Stéphane Nicolet (leading developers of Stockfish), and ChessBase in the District Court of Munich I (Case No. 42 0 9765/21). Under this settlement, ChessBase will no longer be able to distribute Stockfish for a year, whether in its original or modified form. Nevertheless, licensing of the rights to Stockfish under the GPL v3 to ChessBase will resume after this year, provided that distribution of Stockfish or its derivatives in this time must comply fully with the license conditions of the GPL-3.0, which includes informing all its users that their use of Stockfish in their products will be subject to the GPL-3.0. To this end, ChessBase can seek certification from the Software Freedom Conservancy, a non-profit organization based in New York that works for software freedom, that their software is in compliance with the GPL-3.0.

To prevent any future violations, ChessBase will also create the position of a Free Software Compliance Officer and maintain a domain (foss.chessbase.com) that lists any of their products that contain Free Software.

Additionally, in case of future violations ChessBase is required to pay a contractual penalty to the FSFE for each breach of Stockfish’s initial request for ChessBase to cease its violations of the GPL-3.0. Under the terms of the settlement, this amount will be determined at Stockfish’s discretion.

It is heartening to see the enforcement in this settlement of the GPL-3.0 and copyleft principles, and we hope that this contributes to a climate where the freedoms of Free Software are respected by businesses and upheld by the courts. We thank the developers behind Stockfish for their great work and for sticking to the Community Enforcement principles

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Discover more YH4F projects and learn about the participants Héctor and Leonardo

09. Dezember 2022 um 00:00

Discover more YH4F projects and learn about the participants Héctor and Leonardo

Are you thinking about registering for the second edition of Youth Hacking 4 Freedom? But you are not yet sure? Two participants from the last edition, Héctor and Leonardo, talked with us about the projects they developed and their journey throughout the Free Software world! Discover their experiences during the first edition of YH4F.

While the second edition of the YH4F contest is now open for registration, the first edition of the Youth Hacking 4 Freedom contest has ended with 35 amazingly well done projects. There are no limits to the possibilities of projects that could be submitted and every technical idea is welcome. Among those great inspiring ones were Héctor's and Leonardo's projects: LibreHomework and Presents, respectively.

Leonardo is studying Computer Science Engineering in Milan. He has been an active member of the European Youth Parliament since 2019 and among his hobbies was already hacking, even before participating in the contest. Our second guest is Héctor, the youngest winner of the first edition of the Youth Hacking 4 Freedom contest. Héctor has always been interested in science and in understanding the world around him in greater detail. He has created LibreHomework out of the desire to help others with learning and organising their homework.

FSFE: Hello Leonardo and Héctor. Thank you for joining us.

FSFE: Leonardo, you have already been in contact with Free Software before the YH4F contest but you have not always loved it. When did you start to appreciate Free Software for the concept itself?

Leonardo: I would say that I am aware of Free Software since I have started using computers, using LibreOffice instead of Microsoft Office, GIMP instead of Adobe Photoshop, etc. but I have always seen them as the cheaper (and worse) alternatives to the popular programs that everyone was using. Someone would say, I was seeing it free as in free beer and not as in freedom.

My actual interest in Free Software is way more recent and probably started about 2 years ago after I saw the documentary ‘The Social Dilemma’ and started educating myself a bit about digital privacy and the ethical use of technology. I asked myself how some products I was using every day could be free for everyone. I started looking for some alternatives to them, and joined some communities on Mastodon and Reddit of people who care about those topics. This whole process of digging online, getting in touch with new people and caring about the consequences of my approach to technology led me to (re)discover the big world of Free Software: this time together with its philosophy and principles that made me fall in love with it.

FSFE: And how did you learn programming?

Leonardo: My first contact with programming dates back to when I was 13: my middle school technology teacher showed us one day a website where you had to solve some Angry Birds puzzles using block-coding. I enjoyed it so much that I kept on playing it as soon as I came home. Then, I thought, if that game was so fun, coding something from scratch could be even better!

I started watching some videos online on how to start coding with JavaScript, even though I have never actually learned it. But the first programming language I can say I learned is Python, thanks to a "Summer Camp": I attended at a school called H-Farm near my home city. This course has been followed, in the past 6 years, by many other courses and tutorials about other languages such as C# and Flutter/Dart, which is the one I used for my YH4F project.

FSFE

Héctor: Like most people I started with Scratch at the age of 10-11 and then I moved towards more advanced languages like Javascript and Python. I was initially fond of game development but now I like working on servers and backend stuff.

FSFE: So, you already had some knowledge about coding. Why did you join the YH4F contest?

Héctor: My IT teacher encouraged me to participate in the contest, so the project would decide my final mark. Working on an actual programming project was way more exciting than doing what my classmates were doing. I joined the contest in October and worked, since then, on the idea: the app, the server and the daemon.

FSFE: And what about you, Leonardo, what motivated you to join our competition?

Leonardo: Not long after the "change" I mentioned, I saw an advertisement for this contest, organized by the Free Software Foundation Europe, that was aiming to promote and encourage the Free Software culture among young minds. I thought it was not only a commendable idea, but also a great opportunity for me to merge my recent interest for FOSS with my passion for coding. So I decided to participate, re-building from scratch my recent coding project in order to make it fully Free Software, and ready to be used by large communities.

FSFE: How did you came up with your individual project idea?

Leonardo:The idea for "Presents" came into my mind back in 2020. After the lockdown period caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, it was time to think about birthday gifts for all the friends that had turned 18 during the lockdown (which were a lot, since my classmates and I are born in 2002). Since it takes me some time to come up with a good gift idea for a friend, and I'm definitely a lazy person, I thought: shouldn't there be an easier way for all this?

The App "Presents" developed from Leonardo.

That is how I started shaping the idea of this app in which people could add their wishes and forget about them while their friends or family could get inspiration from it to make the perfect gift without ruining the surprise effect. I started looking online for the best tech stack to realize this project. I ended up following some really great quality tutorials about the programming language Flutter and Googles App development platform Firebase. They made me publish the first version of the app in October 2020! But then I didn't like the fact that my own app wasn't following the Free Software philosophy, so I took the YH4F contest as an opportunity to develop a better, fresher and free version of Presents, Presents 2.0.

Héctor: Since I started learning programming I always wanted to make a task manager, so it was an idea that was already in my head, well, kind of. I also felt that the Free Software community lacked a good app for students, to help us manage our time and tasks, so an app like LibreHomework was a good target.

LibreHomework is an open-source tool made for students by students. It can schedule tasks, exams, organise your documents and lock your device screen to help you focus on your tasks.

FSFE: Are there some special functions in the application?

Héctor: The lock your screen function. It basically blocks the user from accessing the computer until a button is pressed or a timer finishes. It is achieved by putting the app in full screen and setting it “always on top”. It is not 100% effective but for someone with little to no knowledge of programming/computers it’s more than enough. In fact, making it more secure would imply making the app more aggressive on a system/kernel level.

LibreHomework will also be able to send you reminders. This is achieved by the daemon, written in Rust. It is a completely different program from the app and it’s not so well integrated yet, so it is a milestone.

FSFE: What is your favourite function?

Héctor:I don’t really have one because the app is supposed to be useful with all of them, but if I have to choose one I’ll choose the network/server. It’s completely coded and running, but the User Interface is not done yet, so it’s planned for the near future.

FSFE: Now that we have learned more about your projects, what kind of problems have both of you encountered during the coding period?

Leonardo: I would say I encountered many problems during the coding phase: some minor ones that could have been easily solved with a quick search on Stack Overflow. Some others took me several days and a lot of effort to be fixed.

Actually, the majority of the issues I faced from the latter category were related with AppWrite: the open-source backend I adopted to replace Google Firebase. I didn't know AppWrite before starting Presents 2.0, and I learned using their official documentation during this competition. But, even so it has strong and well-done documentations, AppWrite is missing all the "unofficial resources" like articles, video tutorials, and so on that other proprietary backends can count on and that make life for beginner-programmers like me way easier.

That's why, I started thinking about writing a series of articles about my experience with AppWrite, why I find it a great alternative to Google Firebase, and how to use it as a backend for your next Flutter app.

Héctor: A lot of bugs as expected. Some of them were really weird but I ended up solving them with some technical help. I also faced some decisions about the design or the network’s security, so I hope they didn’t backfire.

FSFE: Despite these challenges, will you continue to work on your project?

Héctor: Yes, there are some planned things and they are specified in the README: managing exams/documents, finishing the network’s tab, integrating the daemon, and making the project available in more languages.

Leonardo:I am continuously working on Presents, and I will keep on doing it since I don't see it just as a project for a competition but as an actual app that could help many people during their daily life. Up until now, the development has been focused on bridging the gap between version 1 and 2 in terms of functionalities and availability. As soon as this gap won't exist any more, Presents 2.0 will replace its ancestor both on the app stores and on the website. Then I will start working on some new features, hopefully following also community's suggestions (that by the way I'm always happy to accept and discuss in the Issues page of the project repository on Codeberg).

FSFE: Thank you for your time and we wish you good luck with your next steps.

The registration for the second edition of YH4F is now open. For more information on the contest please visit yh4f.org.

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EU Declaration of Digital Rights and Principles falls short of its ambitions

06. Dezember 2022 um 00:00

EU Declaration of Digital Rights and Principles falls short of its ambitions

Member states, the European Parliament, and the Commission have reached a consensus on the Declaration of Digital Rights and Principles. Although it aims to serve as a reference point for the digital transformation of Europe, it instead descends into murky waters, causing ambiguity. Its wording is unclear and it overlooks existing good proposals.

Whereas the EU institutions claim that digital sovereignty and openness are crucial for the digital transformation of Europe, the declaration lacks clear definition of such values. The text of the declaration makes reference to promoting interoperability, open technologies and standards. However, it is not clear what exactly the signatory institutions mean with such wording. By contrast, the European Parliament proposal had a clear reference to Free Software as a way to ensure transparency in the use of algorithms and artificial intelligence, as well as the importance of Open Standards. Unfortunately, this wording failed to be upheld during the inter-institutional negotiations, and the final text ended up being rather unclear.

“In a fast-pace digitalised society, the importance of such declaration of digital rights is crucial. This text will serve as a benchmark for decision makers in the journey of shaping our digital sphere. It is problematic for our software freedom that such declaration lacks clear definitions and that solid existing frameworks are not being taken into consideration”, explains Lina Ceballos, FSFE Policy Project Manager.

It is also not clear if the declaration is consistent with existing frameworks. According to its text, it is built upon previous initiatives such as the Berlin and Tallinn declarations. These aforementioned frameworks already refer to Free Software when it comes to digital sovereignty and interoperability, while they also require more use of Free Software, and strengthening the requirement for its use. However, when it comes to interoperability, Free Software is not explicitly mentioned in the Declaration of Digital Rights and Principles.

Last but not least, “the declaration misses to name reusability of software and hardware through Free Software licenses as an important step towards a more sustainable digital society. Having said this, the current negotiations about the Ecodesign Directive will have to do it right where the declaration falls short” says Erik Albers, FSFE's Digital Sustainability Program Manager.

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5 reasons why your contribution is crucial for the promotion of Free Software

05. Dezember 2022 um 00:00

5 reasons why your contribution is crucial for the promotion of Free Software

Your support and contribution for the promotion of Free Software are important for securing our continuous work, ensuring our independence, strengthening our democratic society, promoting and implementing concrete steps towards software freedom, and making it easier to use and develop Free Software.

1. Your engagement is what keeps us going

The backbone of the Free Software Foundation Europe's work is an active network of Free Software advocates and volunteers who contribute to the promotion and spreading of the benefits of Free Software within Europe.

Your contribution and commitment allow us to continue running our campaigns, lending a hand to our team during our events and helping setting up a booth. These actions all over Europe are creating a stable and strong Free Software movement. Our small actions are really contributing to changing the world!

Want to join us but not sure where to start? We are convinced that you will find a way to help us that fits your interests and skills. For example, you can join our community and be an active member of a local group, you can show your affiliation and love for Free Software by wearing our clothes, or you can spread the word at different events related to Free Software and give away stickers and leaflets.

You can help us by proofreading and translating our messages and documents into the different European languages, helping to improve our website. Or stand up for Free Software in your community, in your regional administration, or in your country. And there's even more you can do!

2. Your support ensures our independence

The Free Software Foundation Europe is a non-profit organisation. We depend on the financial contributions of individuals who, like you, put their trust in us and support our work. Indeed, over one third of our budget comes from individual donors.

This allows us to be independent of governments and companies and only follow what is best for software freedom.

Achieving our fundraising goal of 212.000 € by 12 February 2023 will put us in position to continue our long term approach. This is crucial to abolishing barriers to Free Software adoption, for example by establishing the right to install any software on any device.

In our transparency commitment, you can find out more information about the FSFE and where your donations are going.

3. You can contribute to empowering our society

Your support allow us to run diverse activities and campaigns that are raising awareness about the benefits of Free Software. We promote Free Software programming and tinkering among children and teenagers regardless of their ability or disability, gender identity, sex, race, religion, or sexual orientation. Thereby we provide new generations with the skills to build a more democratic and transparent society, where users have full control of their devices and technologies.

Thanks to your contribution, we can provide resources to enable everyone to further promote Free Software in Europe. We are able to attend various conferences, organise activities and workshops, and create content and material to spread the message.

Learn more about our Public Awareness activities.

4. You can help promote and implement Free Software

Our team includes policy experts who are working with policy makers and public bodies in Europe, from local administrators to EU decision makers. Our financial independence allows us to provide in-depth analysis on different topics and issues, getting involved in political processes or campaigning towards the implementation of Free Software, and also to criticise decision makers if necessary.

Your support allows us to create campaigns such as ‘Public Money, Public Code!’, to advocate for the use of Free Software in public administrations, and to promote best practise examples.

5. You can chip in to make Free Software usage and development easier

We are continuously working to make difficult topics easier to understand, such as usage of Free Software, as well as helping people to run Free Software on their devices.

Education is a key pillar in our work, from a “Legal Education Day” to activities targeting the young generation, for instance with a children’s book and the Youth Hacking 4 Freedom hacking competition. We are also supporting Free Software developers through Next Generation Internet Zero, helping European projects with their technical, legal and licensing needs.

If you want to learn more about our activities and campaigns as well as get a deeper understanding of our work during this past year, check our yearly report Software Freedom 2022.

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Unterzeichne unseren offenen Brief über das Recht, jede Software zu installieren

22. November 2022 um 00:00

Unterzeichne unseren offenen Brief über das Recht, jede Software zu installieren

Mehr als 100 zivilgesellschaftliche Organisationen haben bereits unseren offenen Brief über „Das universelle Recht, jede Software auf jeden Gerät zu installieren“ unterzeichnet. Jetzt, in der Europäischen Woche für Abfallvermeidung, öffnen wir den Brief für die Unterzeichnung durch Einzelpersonen. Mach mit und verschaffe deiner Stimme Gehör!

Die Europäische Union wird in den kommenden Monaten ihre Ökodesign-Kriterien für Produkte in mehreren Legislativvorschlägen neu definieren. Die Europäische Kommission hat bereits Vorschläge für eine „Initiative für nachhaltige Produkte“ sowie die „Richtlinie zur Stärkung der Verbraucher für den ökologischen Wandel“ veröffentlicht. Jetzt ist es an der Zeit, dass das Europäische Parlament und der Rat mit der Lesung beginnen und zu einer Übereinkunft kommen. Wir haben einen offenen Brief geschrieben, um Entscheidungsträgerinnen und Entscheidungsträgern zu helfen, die Dinge richtig zu machen. Jetzt nutzen wir die Europäische Woche zur Abfallvermeidung (EWWR), um unserer Stimme Gehör zu verschaffen!

Unterzeichne den Brief jetzt!

Wir möchten für alle Benutzerinnen und Benutzer „Das universelle Recht, jede Software auf jedem Gerät zu installieren“. Die Möglichkeit ein Freie-Software-Betriebssystem zu installieren kann dabei helfen, Software-Obsoleszenz zu überwinden und damit die Hardware-Lebensdauer zu verlängern. Damit wird das universelle Recht auf eine freie Wahl von Betriebssystemen, Software und Diensten entscheidend für eine nachhaltigere digitale Gesellschaft.

Hintergrund

Der Offene Brief über das universelle Recht, jede Software auf jedem Gerät zu installieren wurde von der FSFE verfasst und mittlerweile von mehr als 100 zivilgesellschaftlichen Organisationen unterstützt und unterzeichnet. Wir möchten, dass Benutzerinnen und Benutzer das Recht auf ihre Hardware haben und ihre Software so lange verwenden können, wie sie möchten. Gemeinsam fordern wir:

  • Das Recht auf die freie Wahl von Betriebssystemen und Software die auf unseren Geräten ausgeführt wird
  • Das Recht auf die freie Wahl von Online-Diensteanbietern für all unsere Geräte
  • Geräte sind interoperabel und mit offenen Standards kompatibel
  • Der Quellcode von Treibern, Tools und Schnittstellen wird unter einer freien Lizenz veröffentlicht

Weiterführende Informationen

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YH4F winners awarded in ceremony in Brussels

18. November 2022 um 00:00

YH4F winners awarded in ceremony in Brussels

The awards for the winners from the first edition of the Youth Hacking 4 Freedom competition, Stavros, Miquel, Artur, Ekaterina, Hector, and Mark were handed over in a ceremony in Brussels. We wish them a bright future, with many contributions to software freedom.

Four of the six winners of the first Youth Hacking 4 Freedom competition. From left to right: Ekaterina, Miquel, Hector, Stavros.

After five months of coding and the subsequent evaluation, the last and super exciting part of the competition finally took place at the beginning of October with a two-day trip to Brussels where the winners received the awards!

Watch the video of the two day trip to Brussels where the winners met, explored the city, and received their awards. For subtitles, watch it in our Peertube instance

The award ceremony was held at the lovely setting of the BELvue Museum in Brussels, where the winners went after a city tour. Reinhard Wiesemann, donor of the YH4F, opened the ceremony and shared a few words about his own experience of winning a hacking competition.

Artur presents Aspinwall, which won third place in YH4F competition.

The three winners – the Ultimate Hacker, the Elite Hacker and the Awesome Hacker awards – were given the chance to present their projects. Attendees got a glimpse of Artur’s Aspinwall project and the Smart Table Assistant robot created by Miquel. They watched Sign Track in action, the software coded by Stravos.

“After winning the YH4F, I have received a lot of support from my school, in particular from the Sign Language team, which is especially motivating me to further expand my project”, added Stavros.

Stavros demonstrating how Sign Track reads sign language in real time. CC BY 4.0 Stavros Piperakis

Next to those three awards the Youth Hacking 4 Freedom awarded three more prizes: the Youngest Hacker Award, the Special Hacker Award and the Ultimate Hacker Girl Award. These three rewards want to focus on the importance of equal opportunities and diversity in the technological field.

Unfortunately, Mark, the winner of the Special Hacker Award from Ukraine, could not travel to Brussels. But to highlight Mark’s work for the Youth Hacking 4 Freedom contest and to give everybody the chance to see his amazing project “Sharik”, it was presented by a member of the jury on his behalf.

The final two special-award-winners, Hector -Youngest Hacker award- and Ekaterina -Ultimate Hacker Girl- presented their projects, LibreHomework and Music Companion respectively. “I had no prior knowledge of coding and started learning after hearing the news about Youth Hacking 4 Freedom and deciding to take part”, explained Ekaterina to the audience.

Congrats to all the participants

We want to congratulate all the Youth Hacking 4 Freedom participants. The quality of all the projects was great and we hope that everyone enjoyed this experience, while further improving their hacking skills. We wish everyone a bright path in the field of Free Software.

Discover the projects

Miquel presenting Smart Table Assistant which won second place in YH4F competition. CC BY 4.0 Stavros Piperakis

Find more about the exciting winning projects, read about the experience of three of the participants and stay tuned for more interviews!

Compete next year!

The new edition of the competition just started! Join until 31 December and share the opportunity with your friends.

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FSFE wins EU Datathon +++ YH4F winners and new round +++ No to chat control

15. November 2022 um 00:00

FSFE wins EU Datathon +++ YH4F winners and new round +++ No to chat control

FSFE’s ‘TEDective’, a program helping to analyse public spending, wins first prize in the EU Datathon and our very own Youth Hacking 4 Freedom contest starts again. An EU draft law might end secure chats. Citizens in Sweden have a say with the Free Software Decidim and the FSFE Switzerland asks administrations to join federated social media.

FSFE’s open data app TEDective wins EU Datathon

The FSFE’s proposal ‘TEDective’ won the first prize in ‘transparency in public procurement’ challenge in the EU Datathon – the European open data competition. TEDective works with public EU tendering data. The prototype program helps us analyse how public administrations in the European Union spend their money. For example, it allows journalists to find out how much money the government spends on Microsoft licenses and products, but also it helps to compare that spending with other regions in similar cases or even in relation to other countries. Are you a data expert who wants to help? Email tedective@fsfe.org.

Alexander Sander and Linus Sehn, members of the TEDective team, receive EU Datathon award.

YH4F winners!

After a year of coding and evaluation, the Youth Hacking 4 Freedom competition came to an end, giving us amazing projects. Over a hundred people coming from 25 countries registered for the competition, making it a truly pan-European event. The six winning programs offer sign language transcription, a smart table robot, a personal assistant, a music tutorial, file sharing, and a homework manager. All Free Software.

Four winners, Ekaterina, Miquel, Héctor, and Stavros, with their awards. Brussels, October 2022.

Do you want to get to know some of the participants and their motivation? Check our interview! Alexia, Ekaterina, and Miquel introduce themselves.

Miquel demonstrates Smart Table Assistant. Get to know three of the participants in their interview.

YH4F competition starts again!

The registration for the second edition of “Youth Hacking 4 Freedom”, the FSFE’s hacking competition for teenagers from all over Europe, just started. This contest offers young people aged between 14 and 18 the opportunity to challenge themselves, meet like-minded people, and win cash prizes. Register until 31 December 2022 and share the opportunity with schools and young hackers!

EU draft law might end secure chats

The European Commission proposed a directive on mandatory chat control with the supposed aim to effectively tackle child sexual abuse. If the law is enforced, Internet service providers will have to monitor and scan all communications of citizens – including the securely encrypted end-to-end ones. It is a threat to all our private communication. On top of that, it is only big market players who can carry out this enforced necessity to scan every single message. It would hinder Free Software developers from writing and running their own versions of communication software, and may deprive us of open standard programming interfaces.

Podcast: Citizens participate in local administrations

Now it is easier than ever for a municipality to ask its citizens what building projects to prioritise, how to distribute a given budget, or other questions. In our latest Software Freedom Podcast, Petter Joelson, director of the Swedish NGO Digidem Lab, explains the power of the participation platform “Decidim” based on its implementation in Sweden. With Decidim, municipalities can design citizen processes in a modular way to fit their needs.

Petter Joelson is our guest in our New Software Freedom Podcast episode.

Swedish administrations use participatory budgets – budgets in which citizens participate. Citizens submit proposals and the administration examines whether the proposal is legal and feasible. Then, citizens vote on the approved proposals. With Decidim the process and the time taken to implement the project can be monitored by everyone and it is possible to check if something is not going according to plan. The software is designed and suitable for large-scale implementations. Many cities already use Decidim, for example New York, Barcelona, and Helsinki.

Fedigov: FSFE Switzerland asks administrations to join Mastodon

When public institutions share a message on social media they should not limit it to proprietary platforms. To effectively communicate with all citizens, including those who are rightfully concerned about their privacy, administrations should also use federated social media. The FSFE Switzerland and the GNU/Linux.ch explain this to local authorities. The Fedigov website (also available in DE, FR, IT) shows that ethical communication benefits the public sector. You can use the letter template and send a letter to your local authorities asking them to join Mastodon, Pixelfeld, and Peertube.

Save the date!

  • On Thursday 17 November Lina Ceballos, REUSE coordinator, will give a talk about REUSE and show the participants how indicating licensing and copyright information can be easier. Right after, Lina will give the GNUHealth project the well-deserved REUSE compliance award for its Hospital Management System component. The talk is part of GHCon and takes place in person in Las Palmas, Gran Canaria.
  • On Monday 21 November, we are giving an Upcycling Android workshop at the Umweltbundesamt in Dessau, Germany. The workshop includes an intro to F-Droid and microG. Register to attend!
  • On Saturday 26 November we are organising a booth and a talk at Campus du Libre in Lyon, France. Vincent Lequertier gives a talk ‘For an inclusive and ethical artificial intelligence’. Just drop by!

Past events

FSFE groups

Belarus: The FSFE Minsk group and GNU/Linux enthusiasts met in Minsk. It the first in person meeting after a long period of only virtual communications. Several topics regarding using and creating Free Software were discussed. Some of them were Intel TDX confidential computing, Lustre project state, Kubernetes clusters, OpenStreetMap, and Pine Phone user experience. The event finished with all the participants enjoying a barbecue.

Germany: Ana Galan, FSFE’s Senior Project Manager Communications, joined Berlin’s group October meeting. The group also organised a booth in FifFkon, and talked in the online monthly edu meeting about the OpenTalk videoconferencing tool. The Hamburg group meets monthly.

Italy: The FSFE celebrated Linux Day on 22 October in Milan. Marta Andreoli, Deputy Coordinator Italy, gave an overview of Free Software associations in Italy, Natale Vinto presented ‘Public Money? Public Code!’, and Stefano Costa talked about Router Freedom in Italy and EU.

Netherlands: Router Freedom consultation in Belgium is announced and the Netherlands group is working on formulating a stance on this and translating it to Dutch. The group met the FSFE team in Arnhem, where the FSFE had its general assembly. The group also discussed the exodus of developers leaving GitHub for codeberg.org and git.sr.ht because of Copilot.

Switzerland: Volunteers in Switzerland, including the local groups Basel and Zurich, launch the Fedigov campaign. After the recent developments on Twitter, now it is the right time to bring public communication onto the Fediverse. All local groups can join the Fedigov campaign! The code of the website is available, any group can fork and adapt it. And the FSFE Switzerland can help this initiative in other countries.

Women: In October’s online meeting, the group discussed calendar systems for websites and proposed to create an introduction of the members in the form of a game.

Contribute to our Newsletter

If you would like to share any thoughts, pictures, or news, please send them to us. As always, the address is newsletter@fsfe.org. We're looking forward to hearing from you! If you also want to support us and our work, join our community and support us with a donation or a monthly contribution. Thanks to our community and 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 native languages.

Your editor, Fani Partsafyllidou

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Let’s talk with young hackers Ekaterina, Miquel and Alexia about YH4F

04. November 2022 um 00:00

Let’s talk with young hackers Ekaterina, Miquel and Alexia about YH4F

The first edition of the Youth Hacking 4 Freedom contest has ended. After 5 months of coding, over 35 young people came up with outstanding projects. Three of them will be introduced to you in this interview. Ekaterina, the mind behind Music Companion, Miquel who developed Smart Table Assistant and Alexia, the creator of a basic password manager.

The Youth Hacking 4 Freedom contest, is a competition organised by the FSFE that encourages young Europeans to start working on their personal technical project. As there are no limits to the possibilities of projects that could be submitted and every technical idea is welcome, the first edition ended up with a great number of diverse and inspiring projects, making it really hard for the jury members to choose the six winners.With all those well done projects we thought about a way how to best highlight the effort and work that was put into them. Hence, we are happy to present three of the contestants.

Ekaterina is 16 years old and currently living in the Republic of Cyprus. She has written her first program for the Youth Hacking 4 Freedom competition, Music Companion. Next, we have Miquel, who is from Spain and 17 years old. Miquel has worked on his Smart Table Assistant and had some experience with programming and tinkering before joining the competition. He is studying Industrial Engineering and is passionate about new technologies, entrepreneurship and discovering new things. His goal is to help our society by developing projects in the Science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) field. Last but not least, we are happy to introduce Alexia, who is living in Bucharest, Romania. Alexia also had some contact with programming before the competition and is enrolled in a technical school.

FSFE: Hello Ekaterina, Miquel and Alexia. Thank you for joining us for this interview.

FSFE: Before we start learning about your different projects, we would like to know a bit more about your technical background and how you started learning to program.

Alexia: The first programming language I was ever introduced to was C++. It was taught to me in my last year of primary school. I never enjoyed it as much as my classmates, but it enabled me to learn other languages such as Python and SQL which are more applicable in my everyday projects. I was lucky enough to have very passionate and supportive teachers throughout my school years. They taught me all the difficult principles of programming and always referred me to the best materials. I was indeed very fortunate in this regard.

Ekaterina: My first contact with programming was during my Computer Science GCSE which is when we started learning some basic programming concepts and coding in VisualBasic. Later in my Computer Science A-Level we started learning Python, which was when I started to learn programming by myself using SoloLearn and Stackoverflow.

Miquel: My first contact with programming was when I was about 12 years old with C++ and Arduino. I was already interested before, but I wasn't very good at the subject. I signed up for an introductory course for a few months and then started a self-learning process. I love being able to make what I imagine to come true, and through programming, 3d printing, 3d design and the desire to learn, some things are possible.

FSFE: Miquel, you have worked with hardware and have also submitted a hardware project. What was the first hardware project you worked on? How and why did you start making new devices?

Miquel: Honestly, no one in my family is professionally engaged in any field of technology or programming, but we have always been very interested in it. Since I was little, I have accompanied my brother and my parents on their little projects and our house construction. I like to work and have challenges. When I began to get more into the field of programming and robotics, my brain clicked. Since then I have had ups and downs in motivation, but I continue to undertake new projects.

FSFE: How and why did you decide to join YH4F? And what did you like the most about the contest?

Ekaterina: It felt like a big challenge. When I heard about the competition from my teacher I was very scared to even sign up. I did not have enough knowledge at that time to write something more complex than "if this condition is true, then output this" and so on. But five months seemed enough for me to learn programming and to write a program. As I was expecting, I would rush towards the end to finish the program, and when 1 week before the program was due I received an email from Alexander Sander saying "Don't worry, it's fine if you did not finish it yet. Send it anyway". It calmed me down so much that I actually finished it and submitted a few days earlier. The support was really necessary and I enjoyed it.

Alexia: I remember seeing a poster with details about the contest just outside the Computer Lab. My teacher encouraged me to participate, so I decided to join it and challenge myself. I decided to make something that would include a GUI since I never get the chance to implement it to the code I usually write.

I think the best thing about YH4F is that it promotes Free Software alternatives to people who haven’t had the chance to realize the benefits of such projects. I use Free Software software pretty frequently, especially when it comes to operating systems.

Miquel: I remember I was online with a friend, I think it was on Twitter, when I found an announcement of a free software contest. I got interested, and I looked at the information about how to participate. After a long time, when there were relatively few days left to finish the registration period for the contest, my friend reminded me to register. I told my parents and finally signed up.

This contest for me is a real wonder. I think that giving young people the opportunity to show others what they have thought, created and suffered doing is very nice. I have been very comfortable throughout the process, the mentors have been very kind and understood all the effort. It is a pleasure to share this experience with others who are interested in it.

FSFE: How did you came up with your project idea? What motivated you to do your project?

Alexia: I have a lot of close friends who think the Internet is like an endless playground where you’re anonymous and untouchable. Many of them suffered extremely painful consequences as a result of this. Even if we’re talking about stealing passwords or other types of sensitive data left unprotected, this type of negligence often brings the worst with it.

I remember wanting to make a tool with the purpose of raising awareness to the dangers of unprotected data. Or at least try taking an initiative. I thought that I could make an impact in my inner circle and inspire others to come up with similar ideas.

Ekaterina: Music has been a part of my life for about 10 years, so the idea came up kind of automatically. At first I thought about making it as a game, however later on I realized that some people wouldn't have enough knowledge about music to play it. This is how it became a small "glossary" about music.

FSFE: And what motivated you to carry out your project?

Ekaterina: Simply participating in this competition gave me motivation to realize it. I wanted to get to know programming more and try myself. The competition not only gave me knowledge on how to code in python, but also the experience of learning on the go and facing such challenges by myself. Music Companion is not a very complex app but at the same time a very educational one and I am happy that after conducting the knowledge I had about programming it turned out this awesome.

FSFE: And Miquel, how did you came up with your idea for the “Smart Table Assistant”?

Miquel: I have always wanted to be able to invent a product that helps society. Just before the registration period for the youth hacking contest my mother suffered immobility. I saw that she had some difficulty doing some tasks and I thought that a smart table would be a great idea to help her. The Smart Table Assistant is intended for those people who are affected by paraplegia. Paraplegia is a disease that immobilizes the legs and trunk, but not the arms. With this smart table, you can get to customize the furniture to help people with certain pathologies. I saw that with the opportunity of the competition I could motivate myself to develop a project of this scale and thus totally improve my knowledge.

FSFE: Ekaterina your project “Music Companion” has also won a prize at the competition. Do you think it is important for people to understand the basic of music?

Ekaterina: Yes, I think it is. For today I haven't met people who haven't somehow interacted with music or a musical instrument. But the number of students in music schools is slowly decreasing and this worries me a little bit. I believe music, especially classical, should be learnt and understood by people nowadays rather than ignored or considered old-fashioned.

FSFE: Did some of you encounter any problems during the coding period or the building period?

Miquel: Of course, in a project of this size, it is very easy to encounter obstacles along the way. I think the hardest part was at the beginning. It was difficult for me to start and organize all the ideas to be able to create something unique, innovative and efficient. The whole first period of analysing and acquiring knowledge was cumbersome but motivating. From the moment I started practising, I began to feel that excitement of the beginning of a very long journey. Also, in the programming, I found some obstacles but I got away with it. I also really enjoyed the design but I needed some help with the assembling of the robot.

I had some inspiration for the aesthetics of the product by the Sagrada Familia which is an emblematic basilica in Barcelona. With this, I was able to direct the design and thus, know what functionalities to be able to adapt in that aesthetics so that I could keep all the utilities of the robot thought in the beginning.

Ekaterina: Yes, I faced many problems. I think at least 5 times I said to myself "No, I am giving up, I don't know how to program". It was really stressful at first as I was only surfing around Youtube tutorials for about 2 months and only then I started programming. Many times the code wasn't running simply because one symbol or space was missing. And worth mentioning is that I was learning on the go as before I have never faced such complex tasks.

Alexia: I definitely encountered a lot of technical issues, and it really didn’t help that it was my first “major” project. I’ve never worked with interfaces before, so this was especially hard. I had no idea how to properly make the design, so pretty much all the effort was put into that. Thinking about it, I definitely over-prioritized it. Database management was even more frustrating as I had almost no structure and generally did things without fully thinking them through. In the end, I ended up putting more hours into debugging than actually writing the code. Nevertheless, I’m grateful for the experience that came along with all the hardship.

FSFE: Do you think you will continue working on your project and what would be some next steps you would like to carry out?

Miquel: I like being asked that. Referring to the Smart Table Assistant, I have improvements in mind and I'm sure there are still many more, but I also have other projects in mind. Just recently I had an idea of ​a device that would help rehabilitation or just massage people. These massages will be complemented with aromatic treatments and the setting of lights. This device would also be for domestic use and I would like to be able to make its aesthetics even more beautiful than this project (S.T.A). With more industrial and improved materials.

Alexia: I’m thinking of resuming the project at some point, along with my original initiative. The next step will definitely be encrypting the database itself, since without that the application isn’t really that functional. I’m also thinking of improving the interface, and maybe even switching to a better language (I’ve been using Python, but to be honest I haven’t been that satisfied with the end result). Either way, I’m happy that I went along with it, even if for now It’s left unfinished.

Ekaterina: I think I will try to implement a library for sounds and perhaps increase the number of possible notes that could be heard, scales and chords. However I really want to leave it as it is to remember it as my first ever written program.

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Der Programmierwettbewerb Youth Hacking 4 Freedom geht in die zweite Runde

04. November 2022 um 00:00

Der Programmierwettbewerb Youth Hacking 4 Freedom geht in die zweite Runde

Ab sofort können sich Jugendliche für den zweiten Durchgang von „Youth Hacking 4 Freedom“ anmelden, den Programmierwettbewerb der FSFE für junge Menschen aus ganz Europa. Dieser Wettbewerb bietet Jugendlichen zwischen 14 und 18 Jahren die Möglichkeit, sich einer Herausforderug zu stellen, Gleichgesinnte zu treffen und Geldpreise zu gewinnen.

Die Free Software Foundation Europe (FSFE), die sich für einen selbstbestimmten Umgang mit Technik einsetzt, startet zum zweiten Mal ihren Programmierwettbewerb „Youth Hacking 4 Freedom“ (YH4F). Registration is open Bis zum 31. Dezember 2022 ist die Registrierung möglich, danach beginnt die sechsmonatige Coding-Phase, die bis Ende Juni 2023 dauert.

YH4F möchte junge Menschen ermutigen, auf faire und unterhaltsame Weise an einem Softwareprojekt zu hacken und andere junge Entwicklerinnen aus ganz Europa zu treffen. Die Gewinner erhalten einen Geldpreis und eine zweitägige Reise nach Brüssel mit anderen jungen Hackern zur Preisverleihung.

Der erste Durchgang des Wettbewerbs war ein großer Erfolg mit einer breiten Beteiligung und gut umgesetzten Projekten. Über 100 Personen aus 25 verschiedenen Ländern meldeten sich für den Wettbewerb an und 35 von ihnen reichten nach einem knappen halben Jahr ihr Softwareprojekt ein. Die sechs Preise gingen an faszierende Projekte: ein Programm zur Echtzeit-Transkription von Gebärdensprache, ein intelligenter Tischrobotor, ein persönlicher Assistent, ein Musiktutorial, ein Filesharing-Programm, und ein Hausaufgabenmanager. Alle Programme sind unter Freie-Software-Lizenzen lizenziert, die jedem das Recht einräumen, sie zu nutzen, zu verstehen, zu teilen und zu verbessern.

Die Teilnahme an diesem Wettbewerb war für mich persönlich ein großer Schritt, da ich vorher noch nie etwas programmiert hatte und mich nicht damit auskannte. Während des Projekts habe ich viel mehr über Programmierkonzepte gelernt, über Module und allgemein die Programmiersprache Python“, erklärt Ekaterina, eine der Gewinnerinnen des ersten YH4F-Wettbewerbs.

Um am zweiten YH4F-Wettbewerb teilnehmen zu können, müssen die Teilnehmenden zwischen 14 und 18 Jahre alt sein, also zwischen 2004 und 2008 geboren sein, und in einem europäischen Land leben. Der YH4F-Wettbewerb umfasst eine Online-Auftaktveranstaltung, bei der das FSFE-Team den Wettbewerb vorstellen und Fragen dazu beantworten wird. Die Teilnehmenden können ihre Kreativität im Wettbewerb voll ausleben, da jede Art von Programm eingereicht werden kann, solange es sich um Freie Software handelt. Daher kann das Softwareprojekt ein eigenständiges Programm sein, das von Grund auf neu geschrieben wurde, oder eine Modifikation und Kombination bestehender Programme. Alles ist willkommen! Darüber hinaus haben die Teilnehmenden die Möglichkeit, die Arbeit der anderen zu verfolgen und sich auszutauschen.

Nach sechs Monaten Coding, von Anfang Januar bis Ende Juni, reichen die Teilnehmer ihre Projekte zur Bewertung durch eine Expertenjury ein.

In Kürze:
  • Die Teilnehmer müssen zwischen 14-18 Jahre alt sein und sich auf yh4f.org registrieren.
  • Die Registrierung ist bis zum 31 Dezember 2022möglich.
  • Die Coding-Phase läuft von 1. Januar 2023 bis 30. Juni 2023.
  • Sechs Gewinner erhalten Geldpreise cash prizes (4096€, 2048€ und 1024€) und eine Reise nach Brüssels.
  • Der Wettbewerb findet online statt. Die Preisverleihung findet in Brüssel statt.

Möglich wird YH4F durch die freundliche finanzielle Unterstützung von Reinhard Wiesemann, Linuxhotel, und Vielrespektzentrum.

Auf der Website yh4f.org finden sich alle Informationen zum Wettbewerb, wie der Ablauf, die Teilnahmebedingungen und FAQs. Zur Verbreitung der Wettbewerbsausschreibung steht auch unser Medienpaket mit Illustrationen zur Verfügung.

Über die Free Software Foundation Europe

Die Free Software Foundation Europe ist ein gemeinnütziger Verein, der Menschen im selbstbestimmten Umgang mit Technik einsetzt. Software beeinflusst sämtliche Bereiche unseres Lebens. Es ist wichtig, dass diese Technik uns hilft, statt uns einzuschränken. Freie Software gibt allen das Recht, Programme für jeden Zweck zu verwenden, zu verstehen, zu verbreiten und zu verbessern. Diese Freiheiten stärken andere Grundrechte wie die Redefreiheit, die Pressefreiheit und das Recht auf Privatsphäre.

Die FSFE hilft Menschen und Organisationen dabei, zu verstehen, wie Freie Software zu Freiheit, Transparenz und Selbstbestimmung beiträgt. Sie stärkt Nutzerrechte, indem sie Hürden für den Einsatz Freier Software beseitigt, Menschen zum Einsatz und zur Entwicklung Freier Software ermutigt, und Ressourcen für alle bereitstellt, die Freie Software in Europa voranbringen wollen.

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