Policy Advocacy Activities
As a non-profit, non-governmental organisation, Free Software Foundation Europe works to create general understanding and support for Free Software and Open Standards. The following activities are concrete actions that we take in the areas of public awareness, policy advocacy, and legal support.
Since its foundation in 2001, the FSFE has been working every single day to further Free Software in Europe and beyond. With our concrete activities, based upon the three pillars of our work, we focus on protecting and extending user rights. Some of our actions run for many years, some are aimed at short-term developments, but all are part of our mission: empower users to control technology.
Another major part of our work consists of continuous engagement and background work. We are present at dozens of conferences per year, support and maintain an excellent community, and provide it with helpful resources. Furthermore, we are a prominent contact point for all questions and enquiries around software freedom, Open Standards, and user rights. We also provide basic education resources on Free Software legal and licensing issues.
We need political change to strengthen Free Software. Learn more about how we achieve this.
Why is software created using taxpayers' money not released as Free Software? We want legislation requiring that publicly financed software developed for the public sector be made publicly available under a Free and Open Source Software licence. If it is public money, it should be public code as well. Code paid by the people should be available to the people!
It should go without saying that in our society we should be able to freely choose technical devices for use in our homes. But some Internet service providers in Europe dishonor this principle by dictating which device their customers have to use in order to connect to the internet, or they discriminate against the owners of alternative devices. This undermining of our basic freedom of choice is strongly opposed by the FSFE and many other organisations, projects, and individuals. Router Freedom is not merely a topic for experts. It affects all of us.
An EU regulation may make it impossible to install a custom piece of software on most radio devices like WiFi routers, smartphones, and embedded devices. It requires hardware manufacturers to implement a barrier that disallows users to install any software which has not been certified by them. We are working to avoid the expected negative implications on user rights and Free Software, security, fair competition, the environment, and charitable community initiatives.
What better time is there to ask politicians about their stance on Free Software and Open Standards than in the time before an election? We believe that we can and should make these topics an issue in all elections, be it on a European, national, regional, or local level. Depending on the electoral system and culture, there are different strategies and tools we use: Ask Your Candidates a set of questions, the Digital-O-Mat online tool, the Freedomvote online platform, and the Let's Promise pledges.