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FSFE is hiring a working student as an assistant system administrator

15. September 2022 um 01:00

FSFE is hiring a working student as an assistant system administrator

We are looking for a working student to support our work in empowering people to control technology. The person will support the FSFE's technical infrastructure by working with our system administrators. The work is 10 hours per week in the Berlin office and home office is possible at a later stage.

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, 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. 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. The assistant system administrator's job will strengthen the technical backbone of our operations.

Main responsibilities

  • Working closely together with technical staff and volunteers.
  • Regularly maintaining some of our systems, e.g. upgrades, health and security checks, or Docker image updates.
  • Helping staff and volunteers in case of technical problems, especially for the systems you regularly take care of.
  • Running and assisting with defined projects for the improvement and modernisation of our systems.

Qualifications

  • Enthusiasm for software freedom and its great community
  • Experience with the installation and maintenance of GNU/Linux systems
  • A practical understanding of software development with version control systems
  • Ability and willingness to learn new tools
  • Experience with one or more of the following technologies are an advantage: mail servers (e.g. Postfix), LDAP and SSO (e.g. OpenLDAP and Keycloak), DNS (e.g. Bind), Matrix (e.g. Synapse), mailing lists (e.g. Mailman), web servers (e.g. Apache Nginx or Caddy), Docker, Ansible, Proxmox.
  • Being able to communicate with others in the team in English.

Attitude

We are looking for a reliable, well-organised member of our technical teams who is keen to learn about old and new technologies. You have fun working with volunteers and staff to support the whole organisation in its mission for software freedom. Long-term thinking, efficiency and effectiveness are more important to you than the newest cool technology on the block.

Working time and compensation

The desired working time would be 10 hours per week but can be discussed. You will start working in our Berlin office to get a feeling for the organisation and the faces behind it, but at a later stage, home office is possible. The salary is based on the currently applicable minimum wage in Germany but can be higher depending on your experience. A mandatory requirement is that you are enrolled as a student at a university in Germany.

Learning outcomes

During your internship you will become familiar with our fully Free Software technical infrastructure. You will gain insights around our solutions. You will receive effective supervision and feedback on your work, which will help you spot where there is room for improvement and what your strengths are. You will learn to organise your workflow and prioritise your tasks.

How to apply

To apply, please send a maximum one-page cover letter -- including the desired hours per week -- and a maximum two-page CV (only PDFs are accepted) by email to jobs@fsfe.org, with the subject "sysadmin student". 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 16 October 2022.

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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SFP#16: Free Software in France with Hugo Roy

09. September 2022 um 01:00

SFP#16: Free Software in France with Hugo Roy

In this episode of the Software Freedom Podcast, Bonnie Mehring speaks with Hugo Roy about his long involvement with the FSFE. Hugo is also very active in the French Free Software community and gives us an overview of the standing of Free Software in France.

Hugo has been a volunteer for the FSFE for over 10 years now. Have you ever wondered what people inside the FSFE think about the organisation and how they see its development? In this podcast episode, Hugo and Bonnie talk about Hugo’s experiences as an intern and as a volunteer. Hugo has been a long-time activist for Free Software in France. Hugo and Bonnie talk about the understanding of Free Software in the public sphere and how it developed in recent years. This episode of the Software Freedom Podcast gives some insights into the framework of Free Software in France.

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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Librem 5: a PC in your pocket +++ Booths are back

06. September 2022 um 01:00

Librem 5: a PC in your pocket +++ Booths are back

In this issue we look into the software development of Librem 5 phone and of Phosh, the popular graphical environment for Linux phones. And booths are back! We are happy to discuss Free Software in person again.

A PC in your pocket: Librem 5, a Free Software phone

Librem 5 runs the fully convergent PureOS, which means you can take a mobile desktop with you within your phone. Its dedicated graphical environment, Phosh, is becoming a popular option for Linux phones. Guido Günther, FSFE supporter and one of Purism’s main developers, reveals details of Librem’s software development with us in our interview. Convergence, the ability to have almost the same OS in phones and laptops, benefits software development. Guido explains: “Using mostly the same components across devices helps avoid developing the same things twice, one for mobile and one for desktop. It allows people with knowledge of desktop Linux to find their way around right away [… and] to contribute more easily as it is the same technology stack.”

You can disassemble Librem 5 using just a screwdriver. An easy to repair phone is a sustainable option.

The FSFE is advocating for the publication of source code of drivers, tools, and interfaces for the ecodesign and sustainability of products. Over one hundred entities support this demand, and Guido confirms its importance for hardware sustainability: “Finding or writing Free Software drivers can be very challenging, especially when it comes to complex things like the GPU, as these are very complex devices. Similarly for software components in the camera stack. But having free drivers is a requirement for sustainability.” Finally, Guido recalls FrOSCon as a highlight of the FSFE local group Bonn.

Save the date

  • On Friday 9 September, Francesco Bonnano, software developer, and Professor Michele Calà will present the ‘Public Money? Public Code!’ campaign in Caltanissetta. Join if you are nearby, or spread the word!

  • From 30 September to 2 October, the FSFE, together with 11 other civil society organisations, is co-organising the Bits & Bäume 2022 (“Bits and Trees”) conference, the conference about digital sustainability. Besides technically organising the conference, the FSFE is also involved in creating content. Lucas Lasota speaks about “Device Neutrality: a sustainable way to safeguard control over digital devices”, Erik Albers about “4 Demands towards a sustainable European ecodesign”, and Matthias Kirschner gives a book reading on “Ada & Zangemann: A tale about software, skateboards and raspberry ice cream”. The FSFE local group Berlin supports our activities with an information booth there. Tickets are available now; drop by to discuss software freedom and sustainability!

  • On Saturday 1 October, Lina Ceballos, FSFE Project Manager, will present REUSE at Akademy in Barcelona.

Back to the booths!

After a long time of restrictions in social gatherings, we were finally able to have two booths in the weekend of 20-21 August. The FSFE had a booth in the Open House event of the German Federal Ministry of Environment in Berlin. It was a booth full of people and energy, thanks to the overwhelming participation of the FSFE local group Berlin. More than five volunteers were on the spot throughout the weekend, explaining Free Software to the audience. At the booth we were presenting upcycled Android phones and explained how Free Software can help overcome software obsolescence. One highlight was the visit of State Secretary Rohleder to the booth. We demonstrated old phones that can still operate securely with Free Software.

State Secretary Rohleder visiting the FSFE booth where we demonstrated that old phones can still operate securely with Free Software. CC-BY-SA-4.0 BMUV/Christopher Wehrer. August 2022

During the same weekend the FSFE had a booth at one of Germany’s largest GNU/Linux conferences, FrOSCon in St. Augustin, Germany. The FSFE Women group joined and met there and discussed with members of the Open Office booth the process of converting software into Debian packages. Lina Ceballos presented REUSE in a talk.

The FSFE Women group had a booth in FrOSCon and discussed with the audience of the conference. August 2022

Our groups and community

Aarhus: During their August meetup, the FSFE local group Aarhus followed the recent developments in Denmark regarding potential Free Software usage in schools. The Danish Data Protection Agency has, in reaction to a complaint from a parent, found that the use of Chromebooks and Google Classroom in schools in the municipality of Helsingør is unacceptable and unlikely to comply with General Data Protection Regulation.

The group also discussed the EU chat directive, translations into Danish, and types of conferences where ‘Public Money? Public Code!’ can be presented. The group will meet again on 22 September.

Hamburg: The FSFE local group Hamburg had its monthly meeting and will meet again on 12 September.

Netherlands: The FSFE country team Netherlands is starting an international coalition about Free Software in Education, coordinating its efforts with organisations who work on education IT. The team will meet again on 21 September.

Translators: The FSFE translators group met online in August. Bonnie Mehring gave a tutorial on using Git and guided new contributors into making their first pull request. Luca Bonissi demonstrated the webpreview tool. At the end of the meeting the participants enjoyed many rounds of charades, pondering upon confusing sketches.

In August we published the first pages translated into Turkish: Our general page about Free Software and why Democracy requires Free Software.

Vienna: The FSFE local group Vienna held an information stall at Veganmania on the Donauinsel, enjoying interesting conversations with people who wanted to learn about Free Software.

Zurich: The FSFE local group Zurich met in August and discussed the activities in the educational sector and division of responsibilities. The group will meet again on 8 September.

Get active

Since the launch of the “Public Money? Public Code!” initiative, it has grown a lot and experienced increasing support. Now there is a new and fun way of showing your support for “Public Money? Public Code!”. Create your own SharePic! It is easy: choose a picture of yourself, go to the SharePic generator, and add your support message. Ta-da: your personalised SharePic. Share the picture on your favourite social media using #PublicCode.

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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Bündnis fordert eine nachhaltige Digitalisierung im Dienste der Gesellschaft

05. September 2022 um 01:00

Bündnis fordert eine nachhaltige Digitalisierung im Dienste der Gesellschaft

Ein breites Bündnis von 13 Organisationen aus Umweltschutz, Digitalpolitik, Entwicklungszusammenarbeit und Wissenschaft veröffentlicht einen Forderungskatalog zur Gestaltung einer nachhaltigeren digitalen Gesellschaft. Dies als Auftakt zur bevorstehenden Konferenz für Digitalisierung und Nachhaltigkeit „Bits & Bäume“.

Ein breites Bündnis von 13 Organisationen aus Umwelt- und Naturschutz, Digitalpolitik, Entwicklungszusammenarbeit und Wissenschaft fordert: Die Digitalisierung muss mehr in den Dienst der Gesellschaft und des sozialen und ökologischen Wandels gestellt werden. Darauf beharren die Organisationen anlässlich der bevorstehenden Konferenz für Digitalisierung und Nachhaltigkeit „Bits & Bäume“, die vom 30. September bis 2. Oktober 2022 in Berlin stattfindet. Heute veröffentlichen die selben Organisationen einen Forderungskatalog für die Gestaltung einer nachhaltigeren digitalen Gesellschaft.

Globaler Zugang zu Technologien im Dienste der Gesellschaft sind die Bedingung für eine nachhaltigere Zukunft. Freie Software ist dafür ein entscheidendes Kriterium.

Digitale Technologien sind zweischneidig. Immer deutlicher wird, wie sie weltweit zu einem steigenden Ressourcenbedarf sowie sektorenübergreifend zu Monopolisierungstendenzen beitragen. Andererseits können sie mit Hilfe der Verwendung Freier Software auch zu gleichberechtigter Teilhabe an Technologien und damit zur Verbesserung von Lebensbedingungen und des Umweltschutzes weltweit beitragen.

Die Organisationen fordern, dass die Politik die strategischen Rahmenbedingungen für die Digitalisierung am Natur-, Klima- und Ressourcenschutz sowie am Erhalt der Biodiversität ausrichtet. Damit einhergehend müsse die Digitalisierung ein weltweit gerechtes und nachhaltiges Wirtschaftssystem unterstützen, dass allen eine partizipative Teilhabe ermöglicht und lokale Gemeinschaften sowie zivilgesellschaftliche Gruppen bei der Gestaltung der globalen Digitalwirtschaft und -politik aktiv mit einbezieht.

Diskutiert werden die großen Fragen der Digitalisierung, darunter die Gesellschaftliche Teilhabe, sozial-ökologische Transformation, Ernährungssouveränität, Wirtschaftsordnung, Gemeingüter sowie eine globale Friedensordnung. Freie Software ist dabei eine Grundlagentechnologie für die aufgestellten Forderungen des Bündnisses, weil sie maßgeblich für die Langlebigkeit und Wiederverwendungsmöglichkeiten von Hardware ist, Nutzerinnen und Nutzern die Kontrolle über ihre Technologie gibt und weil sie eine rechtssichere internationale Kooperation und Wiederverwendung gewährleistet bei gleichzeitiger lokaler Anpassungsmöglichkeit.

Die Forderungen bilden den Auftakt für die bevorstehende Konferenz für Digitalisierung und Nachhaltigkeit „Bits & Bäume“, die vom 30. September bis 2. Oktober 2022 in Berlin stattfindet. Die FSFE ist Teil des Trägerkreises und damit Mitveranstalter. Das soeben veröffentlichte Programm bietet spannende Themen rund um Freie Software und Allmende und der Ticketverkauf hat begonnen.

Mehr zum Thema

  • Wie in unserer jüngst erschienenen Studie über die Nachhaltigkeit Freier Software aufgezeigt wird, ist der Zugang und die Verwendung Freier Software maßgeblich für die Langlebigkeit von Hardware. Je länger wir diese Hardware benutzen, desto weniger Ressourcen benötigen wir für die Neuproduktion von Hardware.

  • Unsere Upcycling Android Initative hilft Nutzerinnen und Nutzern die Kontrolle über ihre Telefone zurück zu gewinnen und ihre Telefone länger zu verwenden.

  • Auch in der internationalen Entwicklungszusammenarbeit wird zusehends von der Nachhaltigkeit Freier Software profitiert. Wie in unserem Grundlagenartikel dargestellt ist Freie Software eine unabdingbare Grundtechnologie die eine rechtssichere internationale Kooperation und Wiederverwendung gewährleistet sowie eine globale Skalierung bei gleichzeitiger lokaler Anpassungsmöglichkeit ermöglicht.

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Support “Public Money? Public Code!” with a SharePic

23. August 2022 um 01:00

Support “Public Money? Public Code!” with a SharePic

Since the launch of the “Public Money? Public Code!” initiative, it has grown a lot and experienced an increase of support. Now there is a new and fun way of showing your support for “Public Money? Public Code!”. With the new SharePic-Template, everybody can show their support of the campaign.

For almost 5 years now the “Public Money? Public Code!” initiative has demanded that software for the public sector must be released under a Free Software license. Since 2017 a lot has happened. The Open Letter has been signed by over 210 organisations, by six public administrations, and over 33.000 individuals. Besides the support of the Open Letter people have also shown their support by translating the material of the initiative; the webpage, has been translated into 21 languages. Similarly, the “Public Money? Public Code!” brochure, which was just recently translated by a team of volunteers into Italian, so far has been translated to German, Czech, Brazilian Portuguese, and Spanish.

The “Public Money? Public Code!” initiative has grown immensely, and with the increasing support we have also created more and more promotional material for it. Among this are the brochure, stickers, and the ”Public Money? Public Code!” video. The newest addition to the material is the new “SharePic-Template” for “Public Money? Public Code!”. The SharePic, designed by Markus Meier, is now online on the FSFE’s Sharepic-generator. The SharePic can be used to show your support of “Public Money? Public Code!” in a fun way on your favourite social media channel.

To create your own SharePic is easy. All you need to do is to choose a picture of yourself and go to the SharePic-generator. There you can fill in all the information and your support message and then you are done and the SharePic is ready to go live. Start showing your support of “Public Money? Public Code!” by creating and sharing your own SharePic and most importantly have fun while doing so. Please use #PublicCode for sharing the picture on your favourite social media channel.

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The FSFE is looking for an intern to support policy activities

14. Juli 2022 um 01:00

The FSFE is looking for an intern to support policy activities

We are looking for a reliable and driven intern to support the FSFE's policy activities and contribute to our work to empower people to control technology. The person will work 35 hours per week with our team in the FSFE Berlin office for a six month period.

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, 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 for our policy 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 how to carry out lobbying activities, as well as 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 month period.

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

Main responsibilities

  • Support FSFE policy projects like Public Money? Public Code! , among others;
  • Conduct background research in the fields of politics, administrations, and economy;
  • Assist our policy team with formulating policy positions on various issues;
  • Communicate with contacts from the FSFE community, NGOs, industry, and public administrations;
  • Work together with volunteers and others in the work on various projects;
  • General office tasks.

Qualifications

  • Background in economics, finance, political science, or related field;
  • An interest in fiscal and economic policy topics, such as budget and tax policy;
  • A good understanding of the European market and its regulation is an advantage;
  • Industry specific knowledge of the ICT sector is an asset;
  • Excellent spoken and written English, other European languages are considered an asset;
  • Very reliable, well-organised, and supportive of colleagues.

Attitude

You care about social and political change for the next generations and you are interested in acquiring practical experience by learning from our different policy activities. We are looking for a reliable and well-organised team player who is interested in supporting the organisation in making the world better for future generations.

How to apply

To apply, please send a maximum one-page cover letter and a maximum two-page CV in PDF format by email to jobs@fsfe.org, with the subject "Intern position". 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 at 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.

Support FSFE

A PC in your pocket: Librem 5, a Free Software phone

12. Juli 2022 um 01:00

A PC in your pocket: Librem 5, a Free Software phone

Librem 5 runs the fully convergent PureOS, which means you can take your desktop with you within your phone. Its dedicated graphical environment, Phosh, is becoming a popular option for Linux phones. Guido Günther, one of Purism’s main developers, reveals details of Librem’s software development in this interview.

Pure OS offers convergence, the ability to have almost the same OS both on your phone and your laptop.

Having a Free Software phone gives you control over your device. You can gain a higher level of privacy protection, and you can finally avoid apps you were stuck with before. It also means you can often keep your device for longer, and protect the environment by reducing e-waste.

When deciding on your switch to a Free Software operating system, your options are installing a new system on your current phone or acquiring a phone with a Free Software operating system pre-installed.

The latter is clearly the easier route, and Purism’s Librem 5 may be the solution for you. By default, it runs PureOS, a Free Software operating system that comes with Phosh, its polished graphical environment. Projects like postmarketOS, Mobian, and Debian have picked up Phosh too, putting it into use on other devices and contributing patches.

Guido Günther is one of the main developers of Phosh (and an FSFE supporter!) and he kindly agreed to tell us about the software, how it fits within the Librem 5 ecosystem, and its advantages.

Fani Partsafyllidou: I would like to start with a basic question, what do you do at Purism?

Guido Günther: That is not easy to answer, but here goes: I am mostly working on the Librem 5 phone. I was involved with the initial board bringup of making Linux work on the device by writing device drivers and user space components. Since we needed a graphical shell and compositor, I worked with others on the team on that too. That is how Phosh was born.

I also work on improving PureOS, the Debian based Linux distribution that runs on the phones and on the laptops. Our aim is to improve the Free Software ecosystems for mobile devices (like smartphones) in general, and the Librem 5 in particular.

Fani: Librem 5 runs PureOS, right?

Guido: Yes. Like all of Purism's products, the Librem 5 runs PureOS, which is a Debian-based operating system that is customized to fit Purism's devices so it is convenient for end users. It also has FSF’s endorsement

Fani: And what does Phosh do?

Guido: Phosh is the graphical shell, the environment you interact with on the phone. It is built up from multiple components:

  • the Wayland compositor, phoc, is responsible for drawing things on the screen, it leverages the wlroots library for that;
  • then there is an on-screen keyboard called squeekboard;
  • finally there is the shell itself, which is responsible for things like the lock screen, notifications, the GUI elements on the top and bottom bar, quick settings, etc. It is based on the gimp toolkit and other components of the GNOME desktop. Here is an overview.

Initially we were only going to call the graphical shell itself “Phosh”, but the community latched on to the name and identified the whole mobile experience that it is based on (phosh + phoc + squeekboard + all the GNOME components) as “Phosh”, so the name stuck.

Fani: Which phones run Phosh?

Guido: While Phosh was initially developed for the Librem 5, it is also being used by all kinds of mobile devices that can run Linux, like the original Pinephones and the Pinephone Pro. It's also used on devices that formerly ran Android but can now also run Linux, like the OnePlus devices. People are also using it on tablets and laptops running Linux. The main use case is certainly smartphones running Linux, though.

It is worth noting that Phosh is not restricted to PureOS. PostmarketOS, for example, ships it. It is in Debian, and, as far as I know, also in Fedora, Manjaro, and many other Linux distributions.

Very often when you see screenshots of phones running Linux, they will be running Phosh. Here is someone running it on a cutiepie, and here's someone running Phosh (using postmarketOS) on a Poco F1, which was an Android phone before.

Phosh is very often used by people who use their Linux-based phones as a "daily driver", basically as their only smartphone. We are very happy about that.

You can disassemble Librem 5 using just a screwdriver. An easy to repair phone is a sustainable option.

Fani: I have seen references about sustainability in Librem5. At the FSFE we are also dealing with sustainability in software. What do you understand as a sustainable technology? What do you see as its main challenges?

Guido: For me, technology that has been produced with sustainability in mind allows the user to replace software and parts, as well as repair the device over a long period of time without special equipment.

There are multiple challenges. For example, on the software side, you need to make sure your kernel and userspace do not include any non-free components, which is also worthwhile for privacy reasons. Otherwise you might hit the end of life of your product because you are not able to update to the newer, security-supported versions. This happens every so often to Android devices. Users find they cannot move to a newer kernel as the non-free, binary-only bits that are needed to run the device are only available for older kernels.

Finding or writing Free Software drivers can be very challenging, especially when it comes to complex things like the GPU, as these are very complex devices. Similarly for software components in the camera stack. But having free drivers is a requirement for sustainability.

On the hardware side, you want to make sure parts are easily replaceable, that as little as possible is glued in and parts can be replaced with mostly a screwdriver. This is true in Librem 5.

There are limits to sustainability. For example, to decode videos in a power-efficient way your hardware needs to support this, as doing it on the CPU takes way too much battery. When a new video standard emerges on the web, you cannot always decode it in an efficient way. The device will keep working but it might just not be as useful.

With kill switches, you can physically disconnect the WiFi, Bluetooth, cellular signal, microphone and camera.

Fani: Moving back to Librem 5 users and software adaptability: What are the best hacks people came up with when using a Librem5 phone?

Guido: The thing that comes to mind is not something I would call a hack, as it is an intended use case, but one of the most amazing things is that you can turn it into a "laptop" by using a dock. So basically you carry your phone and can attach it to a projector -- I have given talks at conferences like that. Or you can hook it up to a "dock" and it becomes a laptop-screen+keyboard, then you can add a usb-c monitor and turn it into a "full" PC.

People have used their Librem5 as a mobile hotspot to supply the whole house when there was an outage on their cable line, or as a loudspeaker as their laptops had bad audio quality, and have rerouted the laptop audio to the phone via pulseaudio.

Since you're not restricted by any means and you can install any software, there are unlimited possibilities. I'm so used to everything being possible that I currently have a hard time thinking of "cool" things as everything feels so natural already.

Fani: How does convergence, that is, the ability to have almost the same OS in phones and laptops, as in PureOS, benefit software development?

Guido: Since we are reusing lots of existing components, we benefit from the stability of already existing Free Software solutions, as well as being able to contribute back. For example, the libhandy and libadwaita libraries are now part of GNOME and used by lots of applications.

Using mostly the same components across devices helps avoid developing the same things twice, one for mobile and one for desktop. It allows people with knowledge of desktop Linux to find their way around right away, especially when it comes to configuration. It also allows them to contribute more easily as it is the same technology stack.

Developers, users, and sysadmins can use the very same trouble-shooting tools they know, such as wireshark, perf, and sysprof, across devices. And, if you find a bug and fix it on one side, the "other" side benefits directly. It is really the same software coming from the same source tree. As for users, switching becomes very easy, as they will already be familiar with the software.

Debian Groupware meeting.

Fani: On a side note I would like to ask you about Bonn. You have been active in the FSFE Bonn local group for many years. Do you recall any fun local activities there?

Guido: In fact, one of the recent fun things is when we switched to BigBlueButton meetings due to the pandemic. We had old friends from Düsseldorf in the meetings who otherwise would not have made it to the local meetings due to the distance.

The FSFE booth in FrosCon, a social event often staffed with people from the Bonn group, is usually a highlight. I am glad this FrosCon is on site again. However, I am not super active in the local group at the moment, mostly due to time constraints.

The local FSFE meetings often had a short talk about different topics which is usually the best part since it pulls in more people, and very often brings in new people. I hope we resume these when the pandemic situation has settled down. Many people, including myself, feel less inclined to prepare talks when it's "only" online.

Fani: You work in Free Software development, and you are involved with the FSFE. What keeps you motivated when it comes to supporting software freedom and the FSFE?

Guido: It is really motivating for me that we can get to a point where people can use a Free-Software-only device as their main phone or laptop. Improving that keeps me motivated on the development side. We cannot have free democracies without Free Software, hence doing anything else is not time well-spent. It is also a reason why the FSFE is important, as telling people about it and nudging decision makers to embrace it is key.

Free Software initiatives for phones

If you would like to explore more options on Free Software phones, check out:

Support FSFE

Sustainability podcast +++ Job opportunity +++ Partial Router Freedom in Greece

05. Juli 2022 um 01:00

Sustainability podcast +++ Job opportunity +++ Partial Router Freedom in Greece

In this issue we share an uplifting podcast episode on the progress of the Upcycling Android campaign. We have a work position in the FSFE staff. Greece is about to secure Router Freedom except for fiber connections. Community news comes from Aarhus, Barcelona, Berlin, Hamburg, Vienna, Zurich, Belgium, Italy, Netherlands, Translators, and Women.

Sustainability podcast

In recent years the FSFE has highlighted software sustainability, launched a campaign encouraging people to reclaim their phones with Free Software, and made recommendations for the EU Ecodesign criteria. Erik Albers, who is working for the FSFE on those activities, tells the thrilling story of the Upcycling Android campaign. The campaign has been a big success. It offered workshops, shared policy recommendations, and has made it to press with these activities.

Erik Albers presenting software sustainability. Bolzano, November 2021.

Our open letter for the right to install any software on any device was well received. 90 entities signed, including the Nature And Biodiversity Conservation Union (NABU), EDRi – European Digital Rights, and the European Right to Repair Campaign. Volunteers translated it into 9 languages: Catalan, German, Greek, Spanish, French, Italian, Dutch, Portuguese, and Polish. Erik talks about the progress of Upcycling Android in the new podcast episode with Bonnie Mehring. You will find out that it is ‘a happy podcast with a happy employee’.

Job opportunity

The FSFE is hiring a Senior Project Manager Communication for 20-25 hours per week in our Berlin office. Help us support software freedom, so that every human can use, study, share, and improve software and thereby support other fundamental rights like freedom of speech, press, and privacy. Do you know of anyone who might be interested? Share the news!

Greece takes one step to secure Router Freedom but leaves fiber out

Greece is one step closer to securing Router Freedom, but the regulator is excluding fiber (FTTH) connections from the legislation. A coalition of organisations is now requesting the regulator, EETT, to reconsider this and thus safeguard the freedom of all users. The FSFE coordinated the work of the coalition.

The EETT has taken a courageous position to set the position of the network termination point (NTP) at the passive point for common networks. It should equally guarantee the free choice of terminal equipment for the next generations and emerging technologies. Users who are connected to the internet using fiber connections should not be excluded from choosing their own router.

By the way, we just released our Router Freedom sticker. Order it for free and show everybody that you have a liberated router!

Save the date!

On Wednesday 13 July the FSFE will participate in a session at the 1st International Congress on Democratic Digital Education and Open Edtech in Barcelona. The session ‘First was the code’ covers the topics of digital rights, auditing, and interoperability in education.

Past activities

Carmen Bianca Bakker on licensing metadata. June 2022. Visitor during the reading of the children’s book Ada & Zangemann, Volker Wissing, Minister of Digitisation in Germany.
  • On 9 June Matthias Kirschner, President of the FSFE, gave an author reading of the children’s book Ada & Zangemann (DE) in a hackerspace bus in the re:publica 22 conference.
  • On 18 June Lucas Lasota gave a talk about Device Neutrality at OSCAL 2022, in Tirana, Albania. Alexander Sander gave a talk on ‘Free Software and Artificial Intelligence in the European Union’ at the same event.
  • On 20 June the FSFE submitted feedback to the European Commission about the Sustainable products initiative, a proposal for a regulation that will revise the Ecodesign Directive.
  • On 22 June Gabriel Ku Wei Bin, FSFE Senior Legal Project Manager, gave a talk on “Free Software and our Fundamental Rights” in Gothenburg, Sweden.
  • On 22 June Erik Albers, FSFE Program Manager for digital sustainability, gave a talk on "Free software saves lives - of hardware" at the University of Applied Sciences in Berlin.
  • On 24 June Alexander Sander gave a talk on "What role did Free Software play during the corona crisis?" at the esLibre conference in Vigo, Spain.
  • On 24 June Matthias Kirschner gave an author reading of the children’s book Ada & Zangemann to over 150 third-graders in the largest cinema room in the city of Offenburg, Germany.
  • On 24 June Lina Ceballos, FSFE Project Manager, gave a talk on "REUSE" at the esLibre conference in Vigo, Spain.
  • On 25 June, Lina Ceballos and Alexander Sander gave a ‘Public Money? Public Code!’ workshop at the esLibre conference in Vigo, Spain.
  • On 30 June, Lina Ceballos gave a talk on REUSE at the OpenExpoEurope2022 conference in Madrid, Spain.
  • In June cURL became REUSE compliant. cURL now follows the REUSE best practices that make licensing and copyright information unambiguous and perfectly human- and machine-readable.

FSFE groups

Aarhus | The Aarhus local group had its first meeting after a long time. The group decided to focus on outreach and ‘Public Money? Public Code!’ topics. The group will meet again, and is meanwhile is having discussions in the discourse forum.

Barcelona | The Free Software Barcelona group had the first in-person event since 2020. Five lightning talks presented various Free Software interests: PDF Annotations and Fonts: The Evil, BetterCounter, Penpot, Steam Deck and KDE, and a primer to Intel's Xe architecture.

Belgium | In Belgium the regulator BIPT will soon host a consultation on Router Freedom. Supporters from Belgium and the Netherlands work together with support from FSFE to prepare to ultimately achieve Router Freedom for Belgium. This topic is discussed in the Netherlands get-together meetings.

Berlin | The FSFE Berlin local group had its regular monthly in-person meeting. Also, a group member, Tunda, gave a lecture on things Free Software and Free Seeds have in common.

Hamburg | The FSFE local group Hamburg had its regular monthly meeting and will meet again on 14 July.

Volunteers present ‘Public Money? Public Code!’ in Italy. Trento, June 2022.

Italy | FSFE supporters in Italy held two events. In Trento the event focused on Free Software in Education. In Bologna the event focused on ‘Public Money? Public Code!’ efforts. Members of the local government attended. Three concrete proposals emerged from these events: Coderdojos in public schools, local Coding Gyms, and a public hearing to bring the topic of ‘Public Money? Public Code!’ in the town council. The FSFE local group Sicily is planning a similar event in Caltanissetta in September. Sign up for updates.

Netherlands | The FSFE country team the Netherlands had its regular monthly meeting and will meet again on 20 July.

Translators | The FSFE Translators team is meeting in the first half of August. Bonnie Mehring and Luca Bonissi will share how to translate the FSFE pages. It is a great place to start if you would like to begin contributing to the FSFE by translating our news. Date TBC, please join the translators’ mailing list to stay informed.

Volunteers in FSFE booth in Austria. June 2022.

Vienna | The FSFE local group Vienna had an information booth at the Veganmania street festival providing email encryption advice, an overview of 10 different Free Software distributions, and introduction to software freedom. Leaflets came in handy. The next information stall will be at another Veganmania festival on the Danube island in August.

Women | The FSFE Women team made an introduction to content management systems. CMS Garden joined the monthly meeting. The CMS Garden e. V. is an active association of the communities of 11 FOSS content management systems. Meike Jung from Drupal, Petra Hasenau from Typo3, and Kati Faude from CMS Garden gave presentations. Stay tuned in the mailing list for the next meeting.

Zurich | The FSFE local group Zurich discussed the options for the next steps for the ‘Learn like the pros’ activity and noted upcoming conferences in their monthly meeting. The next meeting is on 14 July.

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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Greece about to secure Router Freedom but leaves fiber out

28. Juni 2022 um 01:00

Greece about to secure Router Freedom but leaves fiber out

Greece is one step closer to securing Router Freedom, but regulators are excluding fiber (FTTH) connections from the legislation. A coalition of organisations, allies of the FSFE, is now requesting that lawmakers reconsider this and thus safeguard the freedom of all users.

Since 2021, the regulatory process that defines the network termination point (the NTP) in Greece has been carried out by the Hellenic Telecommunications and Post Commission (EETT). Defining the NTP is necessary to determine whether users have the right to choose their own router and modem or if their Internet Service Providers (ISPs) have the final say over network equipment.

In April 2022, we welcomed that the Greek regulator proposed legislation safeguarding Router Freedom for common networks, such as DSL and coaxial. This is a leap forward in safeguarding consumer rights. However, in the same proposal, EETT has explicitly excluded fiber connections (FTTH), a decision that has the potential of negatively impacting end-users’ rights. The proposed regulation sets the NTP for fiber connections in a position that would make the optical terminal equipment part of the ISPs’ networks, making home network access equipment the property of the ISP.

The FSFE assisted a coalition of organisations to respond to the EETT’s public consultation, supporting the regulator to implement Router Freedom for all types of internet connection, including FTTH.

The network termination point should be the passive physical point.

Why securing Router Freedom for fiber is a must

Backed up by empirical data gathered from our Router Freedom Survey, we demonstrated in our submission that defining the NTP at the passive point also for fiber represents the best and only future-proof regulatory solution that achieves striking the balance among consumer protection, fair competition of terminal equipment markets, privacy, and security, as well as sustainability of the telecom sector.

Regarding FTTH, the survey responses report the following issues:

  • Proprietary devices. Generally ONT devices are proprietary and owned by ISPs. Because the devices are proprietary, end-users are not allowed to inspect the source code of drivers and firmware running on the devices, raising the level of insecurity and uncertainty as to which functions the device is performing.
  • Undeveloped ONT market. The ONT market has still not developed in Europe. ONT devices are not easily available at retail stores and alternatives are not openly available. There are routers that have ONT built-in, but these alternatives are currently "semi-closed", and come with proprietary firmware.
  • Unlawful technical and commercial hurdles. Even in countries where free choice of terminal equipment is a reality – like Germany and the Netherlands – ISPs still impose several barriers to force use of their own equipment on end-users. Within these jurisdictions, network topologies would allow the connection of personal equipment without any serious issues, ISPs make it cumbersome to replace their terminals by not providing login data or other access credentials, not offering technical support for the network as well as threatening end-users with contract termination. These barriers reportedly discourage end-users from deploying their own equipment and are in flagrant non-compliance with telecommunications laws.

Router Freedom: striking a balance between ISPs' and end-users' interests

Determining the position of the NTP has a direct impact on divergent interests of end-users and ISPs. While major ISPs seek to cover their high investments in the deployment of new-generation networks, end-users suffer with commercial practices that restrict their legitimate rights to exercise digital freedoms. Therefore, we have urged EETT to safeguard end-users' interests by counterbalancing the very restrictive arguments of ISPs on device security and network integrity with the real technological necessities encountered in real life.

Looking through the historical perspective, the approach taken by telecom operators follows a consistent pattern when new technologies emerge. Since 2001 we have experienced this argumentation pattern being raised by ISPs. Network security and integrity are the “scapegoats” for every emerging technology by which end-users could have higher degrees of freedom. The same restrictive behaviour and argumentation used to limit free choice of terminal equipment in fiber networks were previously used when DSL and coax technologies were being laid down. However, as our data demonstrates, ISPs' concerns do not resound in reality, as the number of disruptions caused by end-users is insignificantly low. This situation clearly shows that there is no objective technological necessity to exclude FTTH from the standard passive position of the NTP.

Digital rights should not be compromised just because a product, the optical network terminal, is not yet widely available on the market. Keeping the network termination point at the passive physical point for fiber networks will legally make sure that people can use their own equipment. Securing the right to Router Freedom in next-generation networks will foster innovation in the terminal equipment market.

Supporting Router Freedom for all types of network connections in Greece

As we said in our submission, more than 90% of the survey respondents manifested support for regulatory policies safeguarding the right to choose and use routers and modems.

Fiber networks are the connections of the future. The EETT has taken a courageous position to set the position of the NTP at the passive point for legacy networks, but we reinforce the urge for guaranteeing the free choice of terminal equipment for the next generations and emerging technologies. End-users recognise the need to maintain a safe, open, and secure internet connection. Allowing them to choose and use their own equipment is a fundamental step in this direction.

The new round of the public consultation about the definition of the network terminal point was concluded in June 2022. Our position (EN), (EL) was also supported by key stakeholders in the field of digital rights, consumer protection, and business representation:

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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SFP#15: All about Upcycling Android

17. Juni 2022 um 01:00

SFP#15: All about Upcycling Android

In November 2021 the FSFE has launched the new campaign "Upcycling Android". If you haven't already upcycled your phone or you are curious to learn more about the campaign listen to our new Software Freedom Podcast episode with the campaigns manager Erik Albers.

Erik Albers has been employed at the FSFE for 10 years now. Since Erik found a connection between Free Software and sustainability, he hasn't stopped working on getting the word out about software sustainability through software freedom. But how is this connected to upcycling Android and installing a Free Software Operating System on your phone? Well, there is only one way to find out: By listening to our new Software Freedom Podcast episode. You will learn all about the importance of upcycling your own phone as well as gain a deeper insight into the "Upcycling Android" campaign.

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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The FSFE is hiring a Senior Project Manager Communication

15. Juni 2022 um 01:00

The FSFE is hiring a Senior Project Manager Communication

We are looking for a Senior Project Manager Communication for 20-25 hours per week in our Berlin office. This is a great opportunity to help amplify the importance of software freedom, so that every human can use, study, share, and improve software and thereby support other fundamental rights like freedom of speech, press, and privacy.

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, 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.

Main responsibilities

  • Help shape and continuously improve the FSFE’s communication strategy.
  • Ensure consistency and continuity in the implementation of the communication strategy (design, language & content) throughout different channels (website, press releases, leaflets, social media).
  • Evaluate outreach, outcome, and impact of our communication activities and improve our communication strategies based on these findings.
  • Manage media inquires and secure the FSFE’s coverage in leading press outlets.
  • Maintain and expand a robust network of media and press contacts and relationships in collaboration with colleagues and volunteers in the organisation.
  • Work closely with other staff and volunteers to support them writing news items, press releases, mailings, newsletters, website pages, leaflets, reports, and other publications about our work for software freedom.
  • Empower volunteers and staff in different European countries to communicate the FSFE’s work to media and the public in streamlined processes.
  • Lead the coordination of other communication projects/events when relevant.

Qualifications

  • Strong project management and organisational skills to lead projects to improve our outreach and necessary processes.
  • Excellent spoken and written English, with drafting and editing skills.
  • A creative mindset that can switch communication style according to channel and audience.
  • Knowledge of evaluation tools and methods that help to measure impact.
  • Minimum of 3 years of proven work experience in journalism, communications, media relations, public relations, or related field.
  • Experience working in a non-profit organisation or in coordinating movements for social change, including working with volunteers, is an advantage.
  • Graphic design skills are an advantage.
  • Other European languages are considered an asset.

Attitude

We are looking for a reliable, well-organised, fast and strategic team player who wants to amplify the FSFE’s work and thus support the organisation in making the world better for future generations.

You care about social and political change for the next generations. You want to efficiently help our staff and volunteers all over Europe to communicate why it is important for our society to have the freedom to use, study, share, and improve software.

How to apply

To apply, please send a maximum one-page cover letter and a maximum two-page CV and three writing examples (in one PDF file named Lastname.pdf) by email to jobs@fsfe.org, with the subject "Senior Project Manager Communication". 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, 7 August 2022. The position is for a permanent employment and the candidate would ideally be available from September 2022 onwards.

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.

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Municipalities using Free Software +++ PMPC tour in Italy

07. Juni 2022 um 01:00

Municipalities using Free Software +++ PMPC tour in Italy

In this issue, read about nine administrations innovating and saving money with Free Software, a Dutch coalition calling for fair digital education, and how a sustainable telecom sector is attainable with Free Software. Volunteers organise ‘Public Money? Public code!’ tour in Italy.

9 administrations innovate and save money with Free Software

In 2020, the city of Bühl in Germany launched "Palim! Palim!", a video conferencing platform based on the Free Software "Jitsi Meet". The city offered the platform to citizens who needed it, and the initiative was well received. Two years later clubs, citizens, and the city itself use "Palim! Palim!" daily.

Interview with German administrations which use Free Software. May 2022.

Other municipalities have also shown interest in the solution. An association of nine administrations that use 'Palim! Palim!' have jointly modernised the administration, based on Free Software. Re@di – regional.digital is an inter-communal cooperation of nine southern German cities. Their common needs are met through synergy effects in collaborative development. In an interview, Alexander Gabriel and Eduard Itrich shared that the administrations could use their resources cost-efficiently thanks to cooperation and sharing Free Software.

Dutch coalition calls for fair digital education

Students should not have to use proprietary software to participate in the educational process. The FSFE joins the Dutch coalition ‘Fair Digital Education’ supporting privacy-respecting solutions involving Free Software in schools. The coalition signed a manifesto calling for more control and fairness in the digital solutions used for education. Students should be taught skills instead of products. Free Software increases code literacy and shows the value of cooperation.

How to attain a sustainable telecom sector

The right to install any software on any device, Free Software licensing, and Device neutrality serve digital sustainability as well as consumer protection measures. When users can install any software on any device this can make the difference in order to repair the device or reuse it and this way prevent it from becoming e-waste. Users’ right to install any software they want, manufacturers’ obligation to publish the full source code, and Device Neutrality are all necessary to reclaim devices. These principles should guide future policies on product design in the EU. The FSFE made this point answering a public consultation about the impact of the telecommunications sector on the environment.

Save the date!

Past and ongoing activities

Alexander Sander and Lucas Lasota at the FSFE booth at make-it.saarland in Saarbrücken, Germany, May 2022. Photo credit: Cuvée
  • On 3 June Florian Snow, Technical Advisor of the FSFE, gave an Upcycling Android workshop in Cologne.
  • On 2 June, Matthias Kirschner offered an author reading of the children’s book Ada & Zangemann in Cologne.
  • On 19 May our Policy Consultant Alexander Sander discussed the challenges of ethical AI in the KIDD-Fachkonferenz panel in Berlin.
  • On 14-15 May the FSFE had a booth at make-it.saarl and in Saarbrücken, Germany, and Alexander Sander gave a talk "Innovation needs Free Software".
The FSFE participated in the General Assembly of European Digital Rights (EDRi). May 2022.
  • As a member of European Digital Rights (EDRi), the FSFE participated in the General Assembly on 13-14 May to exchange ideas with other actors. The EDRi network is a collective of 45+ NGOs’ numerous experts working to defend digital rights. Erik Albers gave a workshop on how to utilise the European Ecodesign to ask for the universal right to install any software on any device.
  • On 4 May, Key stakeholders debated the future of Router Freedom in Austria in an online session organised by the FSFE and the Alliance of Telecommunication Terminal Equipment Manufacturers (VTKE). The video (DE) is available.

FSFE groups

Aarhus | A group relaunches after seven years. The FSFE local group Aarhus restarts with the aim to raise awareness of Free Software in Denmark. The first meeting will take place on 9 June.

Berlin | The FSFE local group Berlin decided to have the regular monthly meetings in person again from now on, and also met at Linux Works LUG. The group also had the regular online monthly meeting dedicated to Free Software in Education.

Greece | The FSFE country team Greece translated the FSFE’s answer to the consultation round of the Hellenic Telecommunications and Post Commission about the position of the Network Termination Point. Join the Greek-speaking FSFE Matrix room to discuss impossible translations of technical terms and other software freedom topics you like.

Hamburg | The FSFE local group Hamburg had its monthly meeting.

André Ockers and Nico Rikken at the FSFE booth in the NLLGG in Utrecht, The Netherlands, May 2022.

The Netherlands | The FSFE country team the Netherlands organised an FSFE booth in the NLLGG meeting in Utrecht, and had its regular online meeting.

Women | The FSFE Women group met for the first time in person in Berlin. They discussed search engines, chats, and password managers that make lives easier.

Zurich | The FSFE local group Zurich organised a hackathon to prepare an initiative supporting federated communication for public authorities.

Get active in Italy!

Volunteers will present the ‘Public Money? Public code!’ campaign in Italy. Meet the people behind the Italian translations of the FSFE and learn how the digitalisation of the Italian public sector can be improved. The events are in Trento on 7 June, in Bologna on 8 June, in Caltanissetta on 18 June.

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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Deutsche Verwaltung ist re@di für den Einsatz von Freier Software

02. Juni 2022 um 01:00

Deutsche Verwaltung ist re@di für den Einsatz von Freier Software

Ein Netzwerk von neun Städten in Deutschland zeigt die Vorteile von 'Public Money? Public Code!'

2020, inmitten der Corona-Pandemie, startete die Stadt Bühl eine Videokonferenzplattform namens "Palim! Palim!", die auf der Freien Software 'Jitsi Meet' basiert. Ausgehend von dem Bedürfnis der städtischen Musikschule, auch in Zeiten der Pandemie Gruppenunterricht anbieten zu können, stellte die Stadt die Plattform zur Verfügung.

Inzwischen nutzen viele Vereine, Bürger und die Stadt selbst die Plattform täglich. Auch andere Kommunen haben Interesse an der Lösung. Der Zusammenschluss von neun Verwaltungen, die 'Palim! Palim!' und viele andere Anwendungen Freier Software nutzen, versucht Verwaltung auf der Grundlage Freier Software gemeinsam zu modernisieren. Unter dem Namen re@di - regional.digital hat sich die interkommunale Zusammenarbeit der süddeutschen Städte Baden-Baden, Bretten, Bruchsal, Bühl, Ettlingen, Gaggenau, Rastatt, Rheinstetten und Stutensee organisiert.

Durch diese Zusammenarbeit werden gemeinsame Standards und Schnittstellen realisiert. So muss das Rad nicht immer wieder neu erfunden werden. Der gemeinsame Bedarf wird durch Synergieeffekte in der Entwicklung, aber auch durch kontinuierlichen Erfahrungs- und Informationsaustausch, thematisiert und gedeckt. So können Ressourcen effektiver und kosteneffizienter eingesetzt werden. Traditionelle Verwaltungsthemen wie die elektronische Verwaltungsakte oder Bauanträge werden in verschiedenen Projektgruppen von re@di bearbeitet. Es werden aber auch Bürgerdienste zur Verfügung gestellt und eine Engagement-Plattform zur Unterstützung von ehrenamtlichem Engagement und Vereinen entwickelt.

Im Interview mit Alexander und Eduard erfahrt ihr mehr über die ersten Schritte und die tägliche Arbeit an re@di und welche Vorteile es für die für die Verwaltungen, aber auch für die Bürgerinnen und Bürger bringt.

Ein Netzwerk von neun Städten in Deutschland zeigt die Vorteile von 'Public Money? Public Code!'

Support FSFE

Volunteers organise ‘Public Money? Public code!’ tour in Italy

31. Mai 2022 um 01:00

Volunteers organise ‘Public Money? Public code!’ tour in Italy

Code paid by the people should be available to the people! Volunteers will present the ‘Public Money? Public Code!’ campaign in Trento, Bologna, and Caltanissetta. If you live in Italy, now you have a perfect chance to learn more about the initiative and support it.

We want legislation requiring that publicly financed software developed for the public sector be made publicly available under a Free Software licence. If it is public money, it should be public code as well. More than 30.000 people and 200 organisations adopt this position. Public administrations that use Free Software do not have to reinvent the wheel in programming similar applications, so they can share costs and save taxpayers’ money. The use of Free Software serves the public and promotes innovation too, as users can utilise the code found in the public digital infrastructure. The FSFE explains the benefits of Free Software and shares best practices in the dedicated ‘Public Money? Public Code!’ brochure for public administrations. Volunteers translated the brochure into Italian.

Italian tour

Join the presentation of the ‘Public Money? Public Code!’ brochure. Meet the people behind the Italian translations of the FSFE, talk with people who substantially contribute to software freedom in Italy, and learn how the digitalisation of the Italian public sector can be improved. Find out how you, too, can support ‘Public Money? Public Code!’ in Italy.

Trento

Tuesday, 7 June 2022 at 18.00 Location: Faculty of Sociology - Room 7, Via Verdi 26, Trento For Covid-19 standards, reservation required. Please let us know you are coming.

Presenters:

  • Patrick Ohnewein - Italian FSFE vice-coordinator
  • Marco Ciampa - FSFE translator and Free Software activist
  • Raul Masu - FSFE translator, Nova University of Lisbon
  • Lorenzo Angeli - UNITN researcher

Moderators:

  • Maurizio Marchese
  • Vincenzo D'Andrea - UNITN

Bologna

Wednesday, 8 June 2022 at 18.30 Location: Sala fondazione 2000, piazza dell'Unità 4, Bologna

Presenters:

  • Massimo Bugani - Digital Agenda Bologna - M5S
  • Pina Civitella - UI Application and Data Manager of Bologna Municipality
  • Leda Guidi - Fondazione Innovazione Urbana (Urban Innovation Lab. )
  • Raul Masu - FSFE translator, Nova University of Lisbon
  • Marco Trotta - Bologna Civic Coalition

Moderator:

  • Simone Jacca - Innovation and Digital Transition Manager - PD Bologna

Keep in touch

The FSFE volunteers plan to organise presentations of the ‘Public Money? Public Code!’ campaign in other cities too. As the tour is organised by volunteers, we encourage you to directly get the news from them by subscribing to the mailing lists and chat rooms of Italian local groups Milano and Sicily. The next event is in Caltanissetta on June 18th.

Get the brochure

Download the brochure from here.

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FSFE signs Dutch manifesto calling for education improvements

20. Mai 2022 um 01:00

FSFE signs Dutch manifesto calling for education improvements

Students should not have to use proprietary software to participate in the educational process. The FSFE joins the Dutch ‘Coalition Fair Digital Education’ supporting privacy-respecting solutions involving Free Software in schools.

The Dutch education system increasingly relies on digital systems for teaching. Currently most of these tools are proprietary software. As a result, students, parents, and teachers have lost control over their sovereignty and privacy. The strongly integrated solutions for online collaboration, school management, computer hardware, and educational content are a stranglehold that is nearly impossible to escape. It has become a precondition for education to get a user account at a big-tech company where one is tracked and has to use proprietary software.

Concerned parents, teachers, computer engineers, and defenders of digital rights joined forces to improve the situation. In a Manifesto Free children from the digital stranglehold, the ‘Coalition Fair Digital Education’ describes the situation and calls for changes on multiple fronts. Privacy of students should be guaranteed, sovereignty of schools should be restored, students should be taught skills instead of products, and systems should embrace Privacy by Design and Free Software.

Education is an area of concern for the Free Software Foundation Europe; the situation in the Netherlands is not unique. The FSFE supports ‘Free Software in Education’. The FSFE local group Zurich runs an awareness campaign, ‘Learning like the pros’, that tackled similar problems in the Swiss educational system.

The FSFE is one of the initial signers of the manifesto. The manifesto is the starting point of this coalition. Through contacts with teachers, schools, policymakers, and IT vendors, the group is promoting practical improvements within the Dutch educational system. The FSFE will continue supporting this new Dutch effort to lead a change that will benefit future generations. You, too, can give your support by signing the manifesto.

Support FSFE

Wichtige Interessengruppen diskutieren Zukunft der Routerfreiheit in Österreich

16. Mai 2022 um 01:00

Wichtige Interessengruppen diskutieren Zukunft der Routerfreiheit in Österreich

Gemeinsam mit dem Verbund der Telekommunikations-Endgerätehersteller (VTKE) organisierte die FSFE die Online-Veranstaltung "Die Zukunft der Routerfreiheit in Österreich", bei der Entscheidungsträger mit Akteuren aus der Industrie und der Zivilgesellschaft über die zukünftigen Entwicklungen der Routerfreiheit in Österreich diskutierten.

Die Free Software Foundation Europe (FSFE) und der Verbund der Telekommunikations-Endgerätehersteller (VTKE) organisierten eine Online-Sitzung über die Zukunft der Routerfreiheit in Österreich. In dieser Sitzung hatten die wichtigsten Interessengruppen die Möglichkeit, zu diskutieren und Argumente für die freie Wahl von Endgeräten für die Internetverbindung vorzubringen.

Der Termin fand im Zusammenhang mit der der Reform des Telekommunikationsrechts in Österreich statt, bei der die nationale Regulierungsbehörde RTR mit der Festlegung des Rechtsrahmens für die Abgrenzung zwischen den Netzen der Internet-Diensteanbieter und den Heimnetzen der Endnutzer beauftragt ist. Dabei können die neuen Vorschriften die Freiheit der Endnutzer bei der Wahl und Nutzung privater Router und Modems beeinträchtigen. Je nachdem, welche Position die Regulierungsbehörde einnimmt, wird es entweder den Internet-Diensteanbietern weiterhin erlaubt sein, ihren Kunden ihre eigenen Router/Modems aufzuzwingen, oder die Internet-Nutzer können ihren bevorzugten Router/Modems für den Breitbandanschluss wählen. Die Podiumsteilnehmer hatten daher die Gelegenheit, aufzuzeigen, warum die Routerfreiheit nicht nur für die Verbraucherrechte, sondern auch für einen funktionierenden und wettbewerbsfähigen Router- und Modemmarkt von grundlegender Bedeutung ist.

Die Podiumsdiskussion wurde von der Journalistin Barbara Steinbrenner moderiert und setzte sich aus Entscheidungsträgern, Vertretern der Industrie und Interessenvertretern der Zivilgesellschaft zusammen. Die Podiumsteilnehmer waren: Dr. Natalie Ségur-Cabanac, Head of Regulatory and Data Protection Officer, Hutchison Drei Austria GmbH; Mag. Christian Drobits, Abgeordneter zum Nationalrat (SPÖ), Bereichssprecher für Datenschutz und Konsumentenschutz; Kira Terstappen-Richter, MSc, VTKE-Koordinatorin und Max Mehl, FSFE-Programmleiter. Sie können sich die Aufzeichnung der Debatte unten ansehen.

Die Initiative für Routerfreiheit

Routerfreiheit ist das Recht der Kundinnen und Kunden von Internetanbietern, ein eigenes Modem und einen eigenen Router zu wählen und zu nutzen, anstatt der Geräte, die der Internetanbieter zur Verfügung stellt. Seit 2013 engagiert sich die Free Software Foundation Europe erfolgreich für Routerfreiheit und unterstützt die Freiheit der Endnutzerinnen und Endnutzer in vielen europäischen Ländern. Schließen Sie sich uns an und erfahren Sie mehr über die verschiedenen Möglichkeiten, sich einzubringen. Vielleicht möchten Sie uns auch etwas spenden; damit unterstützen Sie unser langfristiges Engagement und unseren professionellen Einsatz für die Verteidigung der Rechte der Menschen, Technik selbstbestimmt einzusetzen.

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46 unterzeichnen den offenen Brief zu OS-Freiheit +++ Fair-Market-App +++ Deine digitalen Rechte

10. Mai 2022 um 01:00

46 unterzeichnen den offenen Brief zu OS-Freiheit +++ Fair-Market-App +++ Deine digitalen Rechte

In dieser Ausgabe: Eine Allianz von 46 Organisationen - und es werden immer mehr - unterstützt das universelle Recht, jede Software auf jedem Gerät zu installieren. Freie Software wird für die Aufnahme in die EU-Erklärung zu digitalen Rechten in Betracht gezogen. Die App der FSFE für Transparenz im öffentlichen Beschaffungswesen erreicht das Finale des EU-Datathons. Italienische FSFE-Freiwillige bereiten eine Rundreise vor.

46 Organisationen fordern von der EU das Recht auf Wiederverwendung von Hardware

Die EU ist dabei, ihre Ökodesign-Kriterien für umweltfreundliche Elektronik neu zu definieren. Die FSFE hat sich daran beteiligt und einen offenen Brief veröffentlicht, in dem sie das Recht fordert, jede Software auf jedem elektronischen Gerät zu installieren. Dieses Recht würde es uns ermöglichen, unsere Geräte länger zu nutzen, aber es erfordert von den Herstellern die Einhaltung bestimmter Regeln. Zum Beispiel müssen die Hersteller verpflichtet werden, die Bootloader aller Geräte, einschließlich Computern, Tablets und Telefonen, zu entsperren; außerdem müssen sie die vollständigen Spezifikationen für jede Komponente des Geräts veröffentlichen. So können wir und andere Personen unsere Geräte besser reparieren und sogar Teile von ihnen wiederverwenden. Die Verwendung freier Standards ist auch notwendig, damit Geräte miteinander kommunizieren und funktionieren können.

Ursprünglich stimmten 38 Organisationen der Notwendigkeit dieser Bedingungen zu und unterzeichneten den offenen Brief vor der Veröffentlichung. Es ist immer noch möglich, den Brief zu unterzeichnen und mehr als 45 Organisationen haben inzwischen unterschrieben. Es spricht Bände, dass Tech-Unternehmen, Right-to-Repair-Initiativen und wichtige Umweltorganisationen das Recht unterstützen, jede Software auf jedem Gerät zu installieren.

App-Prototyp der FSFE in der engeren Auswahl für das Finale des EU-Datathons

Die Systemhacker der FSFE haben einen Anwendungsprototyp entwickelt, der öffentlich zugängliche Ausschreibungs- und Unternehmensdaten miteinander verbinden und eine Analyse dieser Daten ermöglichen soll. Das Ziel der App ist es, Bürgern und Experten zu ermöglichen, verdächtige Marktaktivitäten von öffentlichem Interesse zu überwachen. Die Projektidee war ein Erfolg und schaffte es unter die besten sechs von 26 Beiträgen im Wettbewerb "Transparenz im öffentlichen Auftragswesen" des EU Datathon 2022. Unser Team wurde nun eingeladen, die App weiterzuentwickeln.

Update: Erklärung zu digitalen Rechten

Die EU ist dabei, die Erklärung zu digitalen Rechten und Grundsätzen zu diskutieren. Das Europäische Parlament hat sich jetzt auf einen gemeinsamen Text geeinigt, in dem Freie Software als Mittel zur Gewährleistung von Transparenz bei Algorithmen und künstlicher Intelligenz anerkannt wird. Der vereinbarte Text betont auch die Notwendigkeit von 'vertrauenswürdigen Standards und, wo immer möglich, von Open-Source-Standards'. Er ermutigt zu 'nachhaltigem Design digitaler Technologien, die langlebig, reparierbar und interoperabel sind, sowohl auf Hardware- als auch auf Softwareebene, und verbietet Praktiken, die zu vorzeitiger Obsoleszenz führen'. Die FSFE beobachtet den laufenden organübergreifenden Dialog, um sicherzustellen, dass der Vorschlag des Parlaments bestehen bleibt.

Update: KI-Beschluss verabschiedet

Das Europäische Parlament hat mit großer Mehrheit eine Resolution zur Künstlichen Intelligenz (KI) verabschiedet. Laut dem Beschluss sollte bei der öffentlichen Auftragsvergabe gegebenenfalls Freie Software eingesetzt werden, um die grenzüberschreitende Zusammenarbeit zu fördern. Das Parlament erkennt an, dass Freie Software die Investitionen in KI-Technologien in der EU steigern und Innovationen fördern kann. Die FSFE fordert das Parlament nun auf, seine eigene Position in die KI-Verordnung zu übernehmen.

Termine

  • Am 12. Mai hält die FSFE-Gruppe Berlin Gruppe ihr monatliches Treffen ab.
  • Am 14. Mai wird die FSFE mit einem Stand auf der make-it.saarland in Saarbrücken vertreten sein und unser Politikberater Alexander Sander wird am Samstag und Sonntag einen Vortrag zum Thema "Innovation braucht Freie Software" halten. Am 19. Mai wird Alexander auf der KIDD-Fachkonferenz in Berlin über die Herausforderungen und Perspektiven von ethischer und diversitätssensibler KI im europäischen Kontext diskutieren.
  • Am 20. Mai trifft sich die FSFE Frauengruppe zu ihrer monatlichen Sitzung. Bei der letzten Sitzung diskutierte die Gruppe über die rechtliche Struktur und das Blogging-Netzwerk der Organisation.
  • Am 2. Juni findet eine Autorenlesen von Ada & Zangemann in Köln statt.
  • Am 14. Juni hält die FSFE-Gruppe Hamburg ihr monatliches Treffen ab.
  • Lucas Lasota, Juristischer Projektmanager der FSFE, leitet im Sommersemester ein Seminar über digitale Souveränität an der Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin.

Abgeschlossene und andauernde Aktivitäten

  • Am 4. Mai haben wir eine Online-Sitzung über die Zukunft der Routerfreiheit in Österreich abgehalten. Die Aufzeichnung wird bald in unserer Peertube-Instanz verfügbar sein.
  • Max Mehl, FSFE-Programmmanager, schrieb einen Blogeintrag über eine Python-Anwendung, die er für die FSFE-Infrastruktur entwickelt hat, um Reverse-Proxies für Docker-Container zu automatisieren: Docker2Caddy.
  • Wir haben ein kurzes Video veröffentlicht: Was ist Freie Software (Open Source)? EN, DE. Matthias Kirschner, Präsident der FSFE, hat in einem Blogeintrag erklärt, wie das Video zustande gekommen ist. Um möglicherweise neue Zielgruppen zu erreichen, haben wir das Video auch auf die proprietären Plattformen EN, DE hochgeladen, wo du es gut bewerten kannst, damit neue Menschen etwas über Softwarefreiheit erfahren.
  • „Nur ein Jahr länger…“ – Politik und Software rund um’s Smartphone [DE], der Vortrag von FSFE-Programmmanager und Nachhaltigkeitsexperte Erik Albers auf dem Digital Social Summit 2022, ist jetzt auf unserer Peertube-Instanz verfügbar.

FSFE-Gruppen

Italien | Das italienische Übersetzungsteam hat an der PMPC-Broschüre gearbeitet und sie ist jetzt auf Italienisch verfügbar. Freunde des Teams haben die Broschüre freundlicherweise Korrektur gelesen.

Die italienischen Freiwilligen bereiten außerdem eine Sommertour durch das Land vor, um die Menschen darauf aufmerksam zu machen, dass von der Öffentlichkeit finanzierter Code auch öffentlich zugänglich sein sollte. Der erste Halt der Rundreise ist Trento am 7. Juni. Erfahre mehr über die Pläne auf den Mailinglisten oder in den Chats von Milano und Sizilien. Triff die Ehrenamtlichen auf der Rundreise und hole dir ein Exemplar der frisch übersetzten PMPC-Broschüre!

Zürich | Die FSFE-Gruppe in Zürich arbeitet daran, die öffentliche Verwaltung davon zu überzeugen, auf föderierte soziale Netzwerke umzusteigen. Die Gruppe diskutiert die Idee seit Anfang April und das Projekt bekam Auftrieb, als viele Personen und Einrichtungen, darunter die Europäische Union, Mastodon beitraten. Die Gruppe wird sich am 18. Mai 2022 zum nächsten Mal treffen.

Niederlande | Aufbauend auf der Idee der Züricher Gruppe hat das niederländische Team in einem Brainstorming technische Lösungen entwickelt, um die Nachrichten der niederländischen Gemeinden automatisch auf Mastodon zu veröffentlichen. "Was wäre, wenn wir die RSS-Feeds von 345 niederländischen Gemeinden sammeln und in ein Mastodon-Konto einspeisen würden?", war eine Frage, die Aufmerksamkeit erregte. Fani Partsafyllidou, Projektmanagerin bei der FSFE, nahm an der letzten Sitzung teil. Das nächste Treffen ist am Mittwoch, den 25. Mai um 20:00 Uhr MESZ.

Werde aktiv

In der FSFE wollen wir Menschen beim selbstbestimmten Umgang mit Technik unterstützen. Aber Freie Software hilft auch dabei, ökologische Nachhaltigkeit zu erreichen. Deshalb haben wir uns dem Organisationskomitee der Konferenz Bits & Bäume 2022 angeschlossen, die vom 30. September bis 2. Oktober stattfindet.

Du interessierst dich leidenschaftlich für nachhaltige Freie Software-Lösungen? Bitte lass es uns und alle anderen auf der Konferenz wissen! Reiche einen Vortrag, einen Workshop oder ein schönes Kunstwerk bei Bits & Bäume 2022 ein. Der Aufruf zur Teilnahme ist bis zum 7. Juni geöffnet.

An unserem Newsletter mitwirken

Wenn ihr Gedanken, Bilder oder Neuigkeiten mit uns teilen wollt, schickt sie uns bitte. Unsere Adresse lautet wie immer newsletter@fsfe.org. Wir freuen uns darauf, von euch zu hören! Wenn ihr außerdem uns und unsere Arbeit unterstützen wollt, tretet unserer Community bei und unterstützt uns mit einer einmaligen oder monatlichen Spende. Unser Dank gilt der Community und den Freiwilligen, Unterstützern und Spendern, die unsere Arbeit möglich machen. Und ein Dank geht an die Übersetzer, die es möglich machen, dass ihr den Newsletter in eurer Muttersprache lesen könnt.

Eure Redakteurin, Fani Partsafyllidou

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FSFE calls for digital sustainability in the telecom sector

10. Mai 2022 um 01:00

FSFE calls for digital sustainability in the telecom sector

As a contribution to a consultation organised by the European telecom regulator, BEREC, the FSFE calls for increasing the level of digital sustainability in the telecommunications sector by safeguarding device neutrality and establishing the right to install any software on any device.

Last month BEREC, the European telecommunications regulator, organised a public consultation on a report about the impact of the telecommunications sector on the environment. The report is an initiative to assess and better understand the impact of the digital sector, including electronic communications networks and services, on the environment and to set an outline for BEREC activities in support of environmental sustainability of the sector.

The FSFE took part in the consultation as a civil society stakeholder with years of experience in digital sustainability. Our position offered recommendations that could be further used to improve environmental transparency and data accuracy on the telecom sector’s environmental footprint by developing regulatory frameworks to safeguard and promote software and hardware sustainability. FSFE's position in this consultation was aligned with the publication of the Open Letter "The universal right to install any software on any device", co-signed by more than 45 organisations, demanding the universal right to install any software on any device. Publication of source code of drivers, tools, and interfaces is fundamental for extending devices’ lifespan.

Router Freedom: a sustainability case study for the telecom sector

The FSFE highlighted how it is possible to develop policies for consumer protection which have a significant positive impact on the environment. Our Router Freedom activity is a perfect example of how to enable consumers' rights to choose and use their own internet devices as a close and direct connection with sustainability by mitigating e-waste and increasing the lifespan of terminal equipment.

Router Freedom mitigates e-waste and empowers users to control their own internet devices.

However, we also raised the point that the current EU regulatory framework negatively impacts sustainability by restricting freedom of terminal equipment. This directly impacts the sustainability of the whole telecom sector. Based on our experience, we encouraged BEREC to consider other regulatory ways directed to software and hardware re-use in telecom markets that would enable sustainable approaches and safeguard end-users' rights. We also called for strict collaboration with national regulators in achieving a favourable regulatory landscape for terminal equipment, including routers and modems, which would positively affect the more efficient use of internet devices and equitable use of public networks.

Free Software, device neutrality and right to repair are important for the environment

The FSFE acknowledged the regulator's initiative to raise concerns on how the telecom sector impacts the environment and recommended including in the agenda for future work the policy principles that can have a profound impact on digital sustainability and consumer protection.

  • Software design and Free Software licensing are key to enabling repairability and extending usage lifetimes of electronic devices. Free Software is key to avoiding software obsolescence and protecting end-users' ability to install any program on their devices, thereby reducing e-waste and prolonging the lifespan of devices.
  • The universal right to install any software on any device and the publication of source code of drivers, tools, and interfaces are fundamental for extending devices’ lifespans. The right to repair is crucial for extending the lifespan of devices, which directly affects sustainability. Therefore, for the ability to reuse and repurpose resources in a creative and sustainable way, the universal right to install and develop any operating system and software is key. Legal, technical, commercial, or other obstacles to reuse of these devices for any purpose should be discouraged.
  • Device Neutrality is necessary for a non-discriminatory environment for digital services and software applications in devices. The sustainability of the telecom sector has much to gain with Device Neutrality, a concept that has been introduced to describe a non-discriminatory IT environment in that all service and software applications are treated equally within the running operating systems, their dominant platforms, and their respective hardware companies by fostering more competition in device markets, consumer choice, and innovation.

FSFE: several initiatives for digital sustainability

The FSFE has been deeply involved in working to protect and enhance freedoms of technology users in Europe and defending the rights of end-users to choose and use terminal equipment for internet connection. In recent years, the FSFE has developed and conducted several initiatives oriented to the sustainability of software and hardware, including technologies with direct impact on the telecommunications sector, for instance:

  • The comprehensive study On the Sustainability of Free Software, focused on the analysis of how Free Software impacts the sustainability of IT infrastructures, including policy recommendations for a more sustainable digital society.
  • The Router Freedom activity, aimed to protect end-users' rights in regard to terminal equipment and sustainability and competition on router markets.
  • The Upcyling Android campaign to overcome software obsolescence and to extend the lifespan of hardware - mainly smartphones - with the help of Free Software.
  • The Radio Lockdown Directive initiative, which was intended to safeguard Free Software on radio equipment. It has positive consequences for the environment.

Join us to support our work in engaging with telecom regulators all around Europe to influence legislation and raise awareness for software and hardware sustainability with a financial support.

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EU Declaration of Digital Rights: Free Software included by European Parliament

04. Mai 2022 um 01:00

EU Declaration of Digital Rights: Free Software included by European Parliament

Early this year, the Commission proposed a draft for an EU Declaration on Digital Rights and Principles that aims to guide the digital transformation in the EU. Now the European Parliament has agreed on a text and Free Software makes part of it.

The European Commission has presented its proposal for the EU Declaration on Digital Rights and Principles which will serve as reference point in the future and as a common vision of our digital rights in Europe. After receiving the contributions to the text from different committees and finding a compromise, the European Parliament has now agreed on a common text. The FSFE welcomes that the text by the European Parliament now includes Free Software as a way to ensure transparency in the use of algorithms and artificial intelligence. It further highlights the importance of promoting "trustworthy standards and, wherever possible, open source standards".

"The EU Declaration of Digital Rights and Principles will be an important guideline to our fast pace digitalisation. Therefore, we welcome the agreed text from the European Parliament for acknowledging the role that Free Software has on trustworthy technologies, specially with regard to AI. Now we expect the ongoing-discussed AI regulation to be consistent with these principles" says Lina Ceballos, FSFE Project Manager.

Furthermore, in Chapter VI of the agreed text named "Sustainability", there is the commitment to support the "development of sustainable by design digital technologies, that are durable, repairable, and interoperable, both on a hardware and a software level, and banning practices leading to premature obsolescence".

"The European Parliament's call for the development of sustainable technologies, that are durable, repairable, and interoperable is in fact a call for the development of Free Software." as Erik Albers, FSFE Digital Sustainability Programme Manager, emphasizes. From here on we expect future legislations aligned to these principles and making use of the crucial role that Free Software plays for an eco-friendly design and the sustainability of our hardware"

The FSFE has published an open letter co-signed by meanwhile more than 45 organisations and companies from the environmental, economic, and technological sectors. In the letter, the broad alliance asks EU legislators for the right to install any software on any device, including full access to hardware. These rights support reusability and longevity of our devices.

The FSFE keeps monitoring the ongoing inter-institutional dialogue trying to make sure that the Parliament proposal remains. So that the final text of Declaration of Digital Rights and Principles can become a milestone for software freedom.

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European Parliament votes for Free Software in AI resolution

03. Mai 2022 um 01:00

European Parliament votes for Free Software in AI resolution

Today the European Parliament passed a resolution on Artificial Intelligence (AI) with a huge majority of 495 votes in favor, 34 against and 102 abstentions. There are many references to the advantages of Free Software included in the text - the FSFE now urges the Parliament to transfer its own position into the AI regulation.

The resolution states that in public procurement Free Software should be mandated, where appropriate, with the goal to encourage cross border collaboration. The parliament also highlights the importance of Free Software as a way to enhance investments and boost innovation in AI technologies in the EU.

Artificial Intelligence starts with machine learning "We welcome the assessment and the demands of the European Parliament. With this resolution, the Parliament recognises the importance and relevance of Free Software for AI." explains Lina Ceballos, FSFE Project Manager.

The FSFE demands with its "Public Money? Public Code!" Initiative that publicly financed software made publicly available under a Free Software licence. It is also important to rely on Free Software in AI as it helps to foster innovation, boosts local economy, ensures transparency and thus helps to protect fundamental rights.

“We ask Members of the European Parliament to take into account their position they voted on today and make sure this important position on Free Software and AI will be also included in regulation.” demands Alexander Sander, FSFE Policy Consultant.

In the upcoming weeks the European Parliament will get closer to its position on the AI regulation, until end of May members can table amendments to the commission text from which the position of the Parliament is formed. The FSFE recently shared a dedicated document for decision-makers, with elaborated arguments on the use of Free Software in AI technologies, which highlights the benefits that Free Software can offer to this crucial regulation.

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38 Organisationen fordern Recht auf Zugang und Wiederverwendung von Hardware

27. April 2022 um 01:00

38 Organisationen fordern Recht auf Zugang und Wiederverwendung von Hardware

Die FSFE veröffentlicht einen an die EU Gesetzgeber gerichteten und von 38 Organisationen und Unternehmen mitgezeichneten offenen Brief, in dem sie das universale Recht fordert jede Software auf jedem Gerät zu installieren. Dieses Recht dient der Wiederverwendbarkeit und Langlebigkeit unserer Geräte.

Im Zuge mehrerer Legislativvorschläge ist die Europäische Union dabei, die aktuellen Ökodesign-Kriterien für Produkte innerhalb der EU neu zu definieren. Darunter finden sich beispielsweise die Initiative für nachhaltige Produkte, die Circular Electronics Initiative und eine Initiative um das Recht auf Reparatur. Ziel der Neuregulierung ist eine Verlängerung der Nutzungszeit von Hardware und Fortschritte zu Gunsten einer zirkulären Nutzung elektronischer Geräte. Die aktuellen Vorschriften zum Ökodesign stammen aus dem Jahr 2009 und enthalten keinerlei Kriterien bezüglich der Art und der Lizenzierung von Software als einem wichtigen Faktor für die Nachhaltigkeit elektronischer Produkte. Dabei beeinflusst Software direkt, wie lange Verbraucherinnen und Verbraucher ihre Geräte weiterhin verwenden können.

Nutzerinnen und Nutzer, die ihre Geräte länger benutzen oder ihre Hardware auf kreative Weise wiederverwenden möchten, werden heutzutage durch eine Vielzahl an Software-Barrieren daran gehindert: von der allgemeinen Obsoleszenz zu einem überraschenden Ende des Supports, von der Ersatzteilserialisierung bis zum gesperrten Bootloader. Die meisten künstlichen Einschränkungen der Weiternutzung und Wiederverwendung von Hardware wird eigentlich durch Software auferlegt. Oft können weder Verbraucherinnen und Verbraucher, noch professionelle Drittanbieter diese Barrieren überwinden. Das fängt bereits mit den Nutzungseinschränkungen proprietärer Softwarelizenzierung an. Freie-Software-Lizenzen hingegen lösen viele dieser Problematiken auf. Diese werden damit essenziell wichtig für ein umweltfreundliches Design elektronischer Produkte und die Nachhaltigkeit unserer Hardware; das ist die Kernbotschaft eines Offenen Briefes, der heute von der Free Software Foundation Europe veröffentlicht und von 37 europäischen Organisationen und Unternehmen mitgezeichnet ist.

Unter den Erst-Unterzeichnenden finden sich große Reparaturbündnisse, beispielsweise die Europäische Recht-Auf-Reparatur-Kampagne, der Runde Tisch Reparatur und das Netzwerk Reparatur Initiative - die zusammen bereits Hunderte von Initiativen und Verbände der europäischen Reparaturbranche repräsentieren. Gemeinsam mit iFixit, Fairphone, Germanwatch, Open Source Business Alliance, Wikimedie DE, Digitalcourage, European Digital Rights Initiative und weiteren, fordert die Allianz von insgesamt 38 Organisationen die europäischen Gesetzgeber auf, eine nachhaltigere digitale Wirtschaft zu gestalten indem Nutzerinnen und Nutzer das Recht auf die freie Wahl von Betriebssystemen, Software und Dienstleistungen zugesprochen wird. Der Brief unterteilt dieses Recht dazu in vier Kernforderungen:

Das universelle Recht, jede Software auf jedem Gerät zu installieren

Nutzerinnen und Nutzer besitzen das universelle Recht, jedes Bestriebssystem und jede Software auf all ihren Geräten zu installieren und entwickeln zu können. Juristische, technische oder andere Maßnahmen, welche eine Wiederverwendung dieser Geräte zu jeglichem Zweck einschränken, sind nicht erlaubt.

Freie Wahl des Online-Diensteanbieters

Die Verwendung bestimmter Hardware darf nicht zugleich vorschreiben, welche Online-Dienste dafür verfügbar sind. Eine Verpflichtung für Online-Dienste zur Verwendung Offener Standards soll Nutzerinnen und Nutzer stattdessen in die Lage versetzen, aus verschiedenen Online-Diensten auszuwählen. Das beinhaltet die Dienste verschiedene Hersteller sowie selbst gehostete Dienste und jegliche Dienste, die durch Drittparteien gehostet werden.

Interoperable und kompatible Geräte

Die Verwendung bestimmter Hardware darf nicht bestimmen welche andere Hardware zu kaufen sei, nur um die Geräte miteinander vernetzen zu können. Hersteller müssen alle Daten welche notwendig sind um ein Gerät vollständig zu betreiben in Offenen Standards anbieten und damit die Interoperabilität ihrer elektronischen Geräte gewährleisten. Künstliche Inkompatibilität von Geräten darf nicht erlaubt sein.

Veröffentlichung des Quellcodes von Treibern, Tools und Schnittstellen

Nutzerinnen und Nutzer haben das Recht jegliche Komponenten ihrer Geräte zu reparieren, zu ersetzen, oder anderweitig wieder zu verwenden. Das erfordert, dass Nutzerinnen und Nutzer den Quellcode für alle notwendigen Treiber, Tools und Schnittstellen für das Gerät und all seiner Komponenten zur freien Verfügung haben. Hersteller müssen dazu den Quellcode von Treibern, Tools und Schnittstellen jeglicher Komponenten der Hardware eines Gerätes unter einer Freien-Software-Lizenz veröffentlichen.

Die Erstunterzeichnenden dieses Offenen Briefes bilden eine Allianz aus verschiedenen Zivilgesellschaftlichen Organisationen aus dem Umwelt-, Wirtschafts- und Technologiesektor. Genauso werden diese Forderungen auch von zahlreichen Firmen unterstützt, die damit zeigen, dass eine nachhaltige digitale Gesellschaft und wirtschaftlicher Wachstum kein Widerspruch sind. Die Liste der Erstunterzeichnenden in alphabetischer Reihenfolge ist:

  1. /e/ Foundation
  2. Associação Nacional para o Software Livre (ANSOL)
  3. European Open Source Business Association (APELL)
  4. Back Market
  5. Barcelona Free Software Group
  6. Citizen D
  7. Deutscher Naturschutzring
  8. Digitalcourage
  9. Digitale Gesellschaft CH
  10. Document Foundation
  11. Environmental Coalition on Standards
  12. Epicenter.works
  13. European Digital Rights (EDRi)
  14. Elektronisk Forpost Norge
  15. European Right to Repair Campaign (repair.eu)
  16. Fairphone
  17. Forum InformatikerInnen für Frieden und gesellschaftliche Verantwortung e.V. (FifF)
  18. Free Software Foundation Europe (FSFE)
  19. Germanwatch
  20. Greek Open Technologies Alliance (GFOSS)
  21. Heinlein Support
  22. iFixit
  23. KDE
  24. Mailbox.org
  25. Mouvement Ecologique
  26. Naturschutzbund Deutschland (NABU)
  27. Netzwerk Reparatur Initiativen
  28. Nextcloud
  29. Nitrokey
  30. Norwegian Unix User Group
  31. Oekozenter Pafendall
  32. Open Kowledge Foundation DE
  33. OPNTEC
  34. Open Source Business Alliance (OSBA)
  35. Runder Tisch Reparatur
  36. Shift
  37. Vrijschrift
  38. Wikimedia DE

Unterstützt eure Organisation oder Firma auch das Recht auf freie Wahl des Betriebssystems, von Software und Online-Diensten? Dann wendet euch bitte an contact [at] fsfe [dot] org um den Brief mitzuzeichnen und Teil unserer Allianz zu werden.

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CfP geöffnet für Bits & Bäume 2022 zum Thema Digitalisierung und Nachhaltigkeit

25. April 2022 um 01:00

CfP geöffnet für Bits & Bäume 2022 zum Thema Digitalisierung und Nachhaltigkeit

Die Bits & Bäume-Konferenz bringt Expertinnen und Experten aus dem Techsektor und der Nachhaltigkeitsbewegung zusammen. Dieses Jahr ist die FSFE Teil des Trägerkreises. Wir suchen nach spannenden Beiträgen darüber, wie Freie Software zur Verwirklichung einer nachhaltigeren digitalen Gesellschaft beitragen kann. Einreichungen möglich bis 7. Juni.

In der Free Software Foundation Europe (FSFE) unterstützen wir Menschen im selbstbestimmten Umgang mit Technik. Wir betrachten dies als Grundlage für eine freie Gesellschaft, genauso aber auch als grundlegend für eine gerechtere und nachhaltigere Gesellschaft. Wir können selbst bestimmen wie lange wir Freie Software benutzen und damit Softwareobsoleszenz umgehen. Mit Freier Software können wir außerdem Hardware reparieren und wiederverwenden, dessen Lebensdauer verlängern und damit unsere natürliche Ressourcen schonen. Nur mit Hilfe Freier Software können wir wirklich langlebige und nachhaltige IT-Infrastrukturen aufbauen.

Freier Software und ökologische Nachhaltigkeit müssen zusammen gedacht werden. Letztes Jahr haben wir bereits eine Studie zu diesem Thema veröffentlicht. Seitdem setzen wir Theorie in die Praxis um, indem wir die Nutzerinnen und Nutzer dazu ermutigen, ihre Android-Telefone mit Hilfe Freier-Software-Betriebssysteme upzucyclen. Dieses Jahr schließen wir uns zudem dem Trägerkreis der Bits & Bäume 2022 an, einer bekannten Konferenz zum Thema Digitalisierung und Nachhaltigkeit, und zugleich eine Bewegung.

Am 30. September startet die Bits & Bäume 2022 ihre dreitägige Konferenz. Expertinnen und Experten aus verschiedenen Umwelt- und Technikbereichen sind eingeladen, ihre Beiträge einzubringen. Die FSFE ermutigt insbesondere dazu Vorträge über nachhaltige Lösungen mit Freier Software einzureichen. Die Leitfragen der diesjährigen Konferenz lauten::

  1. Wie kann die Digitalisierung so gestaltet werden, dass sie zu einer nachhaltigen und demokratischen Transformation der Gesellschaft beiträgt?
  2. Wie sieht eine global, wirtschaftlich, sozial und ökologisch gerechte Zukunft in der digitalisierten Welt aus?
  3. Was können Tech-Community (Bits) und Gerechtigkeits- und Umweltbewegung (Bäume) voneinander lernen? Und wie können sie als Zivilgesellschaft in einen organisierten Austausch mit sozial-ökologischen Vorreiter-Unternehmen, Wissenschaft und Politik treten?
  4. Wie können wir gemeinsam politisch aktiv werden?

Wenn Du dich mit diesen Themen befasst, ist dies die perfekte Gelegenheit dein Wissen zu teilen. Mögliche Formate dafür sind Diskussionsrunden, Lightning Talks, Projektpräsentationen, Kampagnenplanung, (Mitmach-)Workshops, Infotische, Installationen, Filmscreenings, Hackathons, Design-Thinking-Sessions, Interviews, Live-Podcasts, Kleingruppenarbeit, Kulturformate, Welt-Cafés, Handwerksworkshops, Kunstaufführungen, Designelemente oder alles andere Kreative und Innovative, das euch einfällt! Die Vorträge der Konferenz sind auf Englisch oder Deutsch. Vorschläge können bis zum 07.06.2022 23:59 (Berlin) eingereicht werden..

Constanze Kurz auf der Bühne von Bits&Bäume 2018, Foto von Santiago Engelhardt. Lizenz: CC BY 4.0

Bits & Bäume is organised by Bund für Umwelt und Naturschutz Deutschland (BUND), Brot für die Welt, Chaos Computer Club (CCC), Deutscher Naturschutzring (DNR), Einstein Centre Digital Future / Technische Universität Berlin, Forum InformatikerInnen für Frieden und gesellschaftliche Verantwortung e. V. (FIfF), Free Software Foundation Europe (FSFE), Germanwatch e.V., Institut für ökologische Wirtschaftsforschung (IÖW), Konzeptwerk Neue Ökonomie, Open Knowledge Foundation Deutschland e. V. (OKF), Weizenbaum Institut e.V., Vereinte Dienstleistungsgewerkschaft (ver.di)

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Online-Diskussion: Die Zukunft der Routerfreiheit in Österreich

20. April 2022 um 01:00

Online-Diskussion: Die Zukunft der Routerfreiheit in Österreich

Österreich hat ein Reformgesetz für den Telekomsektor eingeführt, das sich auf die Möglichkeiten von Verbrauchern ihre eigenen Router/Modem auszuwählen und zu verwenden auswirken wird. Zusammen mit der Verbund der Telekommunikations-Endgerätehersteller (VTKE) organisiert die FSFE ein Event zum Thema "Die Zukunft der Routerfreiheit in Österreich".

Die Free Software Foundation Europe (FSFE) und die Verbund der Telekommunikations-Endgerätehersteller (VTKE) veranstalten eine Online-Tagung über die Zukunft der Routerfreiheit in Österreich. Die Veranstaltung bietet Ihnen die Möglichkeit, mehr darüber zu erfahren, warum Routerfreiheit nicht nur für die Rechte der Konsumenten, sondern auch für einen funktionierenden und wettbewerbsfähigen Router- und Modemmarkt von grundlegender Bedeutung ist.

Die Veranstaltung wird von Barbara Steinbrenner, einer österreichischen Technikjournalistin, moderiert und ist für alle kostenlos zugänglich. Die Veranstaltung findet auf Deutsch statt. Das Programm mit Information über die Podiumsteilnehmerinnen können Sie hier einsehen.

Wir möchten Sie einladen, Ihre Teilnahme anzumelden, da es uns hilft, einen Überblick über die Anzahl der Teilnehmenden zu bekommen und mit Ihnen für die nächsten Aktivitäten bezüglich Routerfreiheit in Kontakt zu bleiben.

Routerfreiheit in Österreich

Im Oktober 2021 verabschiedete das österreichische Parlament die Reform des Telekommunikationsgesetzes (TKG 2021) mit Bestimmungen, die sich auf die Möglichkeiten der Verbraucher auswirken wird, die Gerät ihrer Wahl für den Internetzugang zu verwenden. Aufgrund des neuen Gesetzes kann die österreichische Regulierungsbehörde (RTR) über den Standort des Netzabschlusspunktes (NTP) entscheiden, eine technische Definition des Punktes, der die Grenze zwischen dem öffentlichen Netz der Internetdienstanbieter (ISP) und dem privaten Netz der Verbraucher bestimmt. Je nachdem, wo der NTP liegt, dürfen die Internet-Diensteanbieter ihre Kunden weiterhin ihre eigenen Router/Modems aufzwingen, oder die Internetnutzer können ihren bevorzugten Router/Modem für den Breitbandanschluss selbst wählen.

Wenn den Netzabschlusspunkt auf Position A gesetzt wird, können die Endnutzer ihr eigenes Modem/Router einsetzen. Bildquelle: GEREK

Die FSFE forderte die österreichische Regierung auf, die Routerfreiheit in die Reform miteinzubeziehen. Die IT-Sicherheit, die Privatsphäre und die Wahlfreiheit der Verbraucher dürfen nicht zugunsten der Geschäftspraktiken von Internetanbietern aufgegeben werden. Außerdem ist die Routerfreiheit wichtig für einen freien Wettbewerb auf dem Markt, die Innovation von Geräten und deren Nachhaltigkeit. Es liegt nun an der österreichischen Regulierungsbehörde, die Chance zu ergreifen, Routerfreiheit in Österreich zu etablieren. Die Festlegung des NTP unter Position A wird die Rechte der Verbraucher schützen.

Die Initiative Routerfreiheit

Routerfreiheit ist das Recht der Kunden eines ISP, ein privates Modem und einen Router zu wählen und zu nutzen, anstatt Geräte verwenden zu müssen, die der ISP bereitstellt. Seit 2013 engagiert sich die Free Software Foundation Europe erfolgreich für Routerfreiheit und fördert die Freiheit der Endnutzer in vielen europäischen Ländern. Schließen Sie sich uns an und erfahren Sie mehr über die verschiedenen Möglichkeiten, sich einzubringen. Um langfristig unser Engagement und unseren professionellen Einsatz zu unterstützen überlegen Sie bitte ein FSFE-Spender zu werden. Damit unterstützen Sie unsere Arbeit und unseren Einsatz für die Verteidigung der Rechte eines jeden Einzelnen Kontrolle über die eigene Technologie zu haben.

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EU Declaration of Digital Rights & Principles: Free Software should be included

14. April 2022 um 01:00

EU Declaration of Digital Rights & Principles: Free Software should be included

On 26 January 2022, the European Commission presented its proposal for the EU Declaration on Digital Rights and Principles which will serve as a reference point in the future and as a common EU vision of our digital rights. The declaration is now being discussed in the European Parliament and Council, and Free Software should become part of it.

Built on the Berlin and Tallinn declarations, this proposal aims to lay the groundwork for a consistent framework that will serve as a guideline and a reference point for the ongoing and future digital transformation of Europe. These aforementioned declarations already refer to Free Software ("Open Source" in their text) when it comes to digital sovereignty and interoperability, while they also demand more use of "Open Source" and strengthening the requirement for its use.

At the moment, the text of the EU Declaration of Digital Rights and Principles is being discussed in the European Parliament and European Council. The FSFE has been following the process and making sure to share its input and demands so that the wording of the final text is in line with previous frameworks with regard to the use and promotion of Free Software.

Recently, the JURI and LIBE committees have agreed on including wording that is aligned with our demands in their amendments to the text. In Chapter II, covering solidarity and inclusion, the LIBE Committee has included a reference on the support of "Open source solutions whenever possible". In Chapter III about freedom of choice and Chapter IV, called Participation in the digital public space, the JURI Committee has included also the promotion of "Open source" standards and a reference to the need of interoperability and transparency of digital technologies via the promotion of "Open Source".

From now on, we will make sure these additions to the text will be defined and clarified, and that they find their way into the final position of the European Parliament. It is important that Free Software becomes part of this declaration because it may guide Europe's digital transformation into an empowering, transparent, and open environment.

For the last five years, the FSFE has been advocating for publicly financed software made publicly available under a Free Software licence. With its Public Money? Public Code! initiative, the FSFE has the goal, among others, to raise awareness of the benefits that Free Software can offer such as saving long-term costs, boosting the local economy, transparency, and more. Including Free Software in the EU Declaration of Digital Rights and Principles would be an important milestone for software freedom and for Europe's digital sovereignty.

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