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.
Although digital devices are ubiquotous today, the number of devices on which users cannot run Free Software is exponentially increasing. The consequence is an increased loss of control over users’ technology. Device Neutrality aims to enable end-users to bypass gatekeepers to have a non-discriminatory use of Free Software on their devices.
Device Neutrality is the policy concept to regulate monopoly over devices and re-establish end-user control over their digital equipment. The Digital Markets Act (DMA) regulates the economic activity of large digital platforms and introduces Device Neutrality in the EU legislation, fostering access to Free Sofware in Devices.
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.