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FSFE Newsletter - March 2011

Revolution failed: Facebook not available in Egypt

"On 27th January facebook was shut down in Egypt. For the moment this stopped the protests. Media assumes that this is due to the influence of Mubarak's granddaughter who is Mark Zuckerberg's girl-friend." Of course this is not true. But with software which is controlled by one company, something like this can happen. What if the owner of the social network would have been an Egypt company? Would this company have been able to resist state pressure?

For a long time dedicated people have been working on decentralised Free Software solutions, to make sure there is no vulnerable single point of control. We as citiziens should be in control of our tools, and as most of those tools today are comprised of software we do need decentralised software. That's why FSFE organised a related track at FSCONS, and our staff as well as dedicated volunteers like Torsten Grote gather information, give talks or interviews.

Karsten Gerloff gave a talk on "Power Software Freedom" (there is a good summary by Brian Gough) at FOSDEM this month, and one of the event's keynotes "Why Political Liberty Depends on Software Freedom More Than Ever" by Eben Moglen targetted this topic as well, especially the so-called "Freedom Box" which started to receive good media coverage in turn, and will hopefully push this topic even further.

More than 75 lawyers, for 2 days, in 1 room -- and all of this organised by the FSFE. What is it about? We do this to ensure that the best possible legal knowledge about Free Software is shared between everyone, no matter whether individuals, businesses or initiatives.

As part of this, FSFE facilitates an annual event called European Legal Network Conference to allow legal experts to discuss the future of Free Software law and governance. This has become the world's premier event for debating, discussing and sharing knowledge around Free Software legal affairs.

This year it will be held at the NH Barbizon Palace, Amsterdam, between the 7th and 8th of April, and will feature speakers like Carlo Piana from FSFE, Mark Shuttleworth from Canonical, Eben Moglen from SFLC, and Harald Welte from gpl-violations.org.

Something completely different

Get active - Activities for Document Freedom

Document Freedom Day (DFD) is a global day for document liberation. March 30th will be a day of grassroots effort to educate the public about the importance of Free Document Formats and Open Standards in general. This is how you can help:

Regards,
Matthias Kirschner - FSFE

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