The European Parliament has approved funding for several projects related to Free Software and privacy. In the EU budget for 2015, which the European Parliament adopted on December 17, the Parliamentarians have allocated up to one million Euro for a project to audit Free Software programs in use at the Commission and the Parliament in order to identify and fix security vulnerabilities.
News Archive for 2014
April, France's leading Free Software advocacy organisation, was founded 18 years ago today.
April was set up in December 1996 by students in a Paris university as a not-for-profit group to promote Free Software in computer science research.
We shape tomorrow's world by what we do today. FSFE helps people to understand how technology affects their rights and freedoms, and empowers them to determine their own path in the digital world. See what we achieved in 2014, and where we're going next!
GnuPG is the world's leading privacy tool, with an estimated base of more than four million active users world-wide, and a thousand new users each day. It guards emails, files, and programs from snooping and spying on Windows, Mac, and GNU/Linux. This crucial program needs your help to keep going in 2015 and beyond.
A study released on Friday says that the European Parliament must adopt Free Software and Open Standards in order to fulfil its transparency obligations. The authors conclude that "the Rules of Procedure of the European Parliament should whenever possible make Free Software and Open Standards mandatory for all systems and data used for the work of Parliament."
Free Software Foundation Europe is a pan-European charity, established in 2001 to empower users to control technology. To enable the organisation to intensify its work with the European Commission and to let more people know about Free Software, the FSFE needs another €190,000 for its work in 2015. Next year, the FSFE will push harder than ever to weave software freedom into the fabric of our society.
At a meeting in the European Parliament, FSFE's president Karsten Gerloff highlighted several ways in which the Parliament could become more transparent, and make better use of Free Software and Open Standards.
In a short intervention, he urged the Parliament to finally make its live streams accessible to Free Software users. He asked the Parliament's IT administration to enable IMAP access on its mail servers to allow Free Software users to connect through standard protocols, and warned the Parliament to avoid lock-in as it progresses towards greater digitisation.
For the time being, the public development of the Free Software 'OpenJustitia' by the Swiss Federal Supreme Court has ceased because of a new legal opinion. The reason for this abrupt end is apparently the legal uncertainty regarding public contractors in Switzerland. The FSFE demands that the missing legal framework be created as soon as possible so that software developed with public funding in Switzerland in the future can also be released as Free Software.
Every year, the FSFE is organising the "Document Freedom Day", a global campaign to highlight the importance of Open Standards for our freedom of communication, interoperability and indepedence from vendor lock-in. For this campaign, FSFE's Berlin office is looking for an Intern PR / Campaigning in full time from January 1st until March 31st.
FSFE and Italian consumer association ADUC, along with Italian group ILS, are asking regulators to take concrete steps to protect Italians from being forced to pay for software they do not want or need. Italy’s High Court ruled in September that computer vendors must reimburse customers for the price of unwanted non-free software that comes pre-installed on PCs and laptops. Today, FSFE, ADUC and ILS have sent a letter to the Italian competition authorities, calling on them to ensure that vendors will comply with the High Court’s decision, and respect the rights of their customers.
On Tuesday, Munich's first mayor finally reacted to an inquiry by the Green Party (in German) related to rumours regarding a possible switch back to a Windows-based desktop environment. The answer to the inquiry shows that there is no factual basis for the claims made by first mayor and second mayor. An evaluation of the IT infrastructure and -processes is underway. FSFE calls on the city council to include vendor independence as well as interoperability as factors in the investigation, since they were central reasons for Munich to switch to Free Software in the first place.
Italy's High Court has struck a blow to the practice of forcing non-free software on buyers of PCs and laptops. According to La Repubblica, the court ruled on Thursday that a laptop buyer was entitled to receive a refund for the price of the Microsoft Windows license on his computer.
From 13 – 15 June 2014 FSFE had its German speaking team meeting in the Linuxhotel in Essen. The participants had some problems to travel there because of the chaos resulting from a heavy thunderstorm in the region. A lot of train lines where not functional, and the situation on the streets was also chaotic. But just because no ICE trains stop in Essen does not mean we will not continue our work for Free Software. In the end we were able to bring all volunteers to the Linuxhotel to plan further activities and discuss current issues.
The European Commission has recently renewed its commitment to a proprietary desktop and secret file formats.The Commission is refusing to get serious about breaking free from vendor lock-in, and is ignoring all available alternatives. In doing so, the EU's civil service fails to practice what it preaches.
Today our sister organisation, the FSF, published their e-mail self defence guide and their infographic in 6 new languages. It is now available in English, German, Brazilian Portuguese, French, Russian, Turkish, and Japanese. They explain the installation of the necessary programs for e-mail encryption under GNU/Linux, MacOS, and Microsoft Windows; the key generation; the web of trust; as well as the usage of those programs. All you need is a computer with an Internet connection, an email account, and about half an hour. Please give us feedback, so we can include that before printing the infographics, and help us to spread them.
Eine charakteristische Eigenschaft digitaler Kommunikation ist ihre vermeintliche Stofflosigkeit. Diese Stofflosigkeit ist es, die auch ein prinzipiell unbegrenztes Speichern und Archivieren aller elektronischen Kommunikation ermöglicht. Das, und die Möglichkeit diese Daten massenhaft und maschinell auszuwerten und zu analysieren, verleitet Geheimdienste rund um den Globus zum abhören und speichern unser aller Kommunikation. Als Gegenmaßnahme könnte man wieder vermehrt offline kommunizieren – oder aber eine starke Verschlüsselung durch Freie Software verwenden..
The European elections have brought 33 Free Software supporters into the new European Parliament. Candidates across the political spectrum signed the Free Software Pact, promising to support Free Software and Open Standards during their time in Parliament. Out of 162 signatories, 33 were elected
On today's "Day against DRM", the Free Software Foundation Europe (FSFE) has sent an open letter to the European Commission, asking the EC to prevent Digital Restrictions Management technology from being closely integrated with the HTML5 standard.
Open Standards were celebrated to the ends of the earth for Document Freedom Day 2014, with 51 events in 22 countries. The campaign for interoperability was enacted from Tokyo to Rio, and Birmingham to Taipei.
Today the Linux Foundation announced the "Core Infrastructure Initiative" to fund and support Free Software projects that are critical to the security of Internet users. The first project to receive funding will be OpenSSL, which is used for secure data transportation by millions of websites. FSFE welcomes this initiative.
After multiple public hearings and political debates, the German Federal Network Agency (BNetzA) presented a set of proposed regulations (German) that would eliminate compulsory use of particular routers and improve the transparency of telecommunication firms for customers. Compulsory routers tie customers to a device provided by the ISP. The Free Software Foundation Europe (FSFE), Chaos Computer Club (CCC), and the project leadership of IPFire and OpenWrt, as well as other experts, reviewed these regulations and gave comments to the BNetzA (German)
In an open letter to the European Parliament and the European Commission, Free Software Foundation Europe and Open Forum Europe are asking the European institutions to improve their support for Open Standards. The letter is directed to Giancarlo Vilella, the president of the European Parliament's DG ITEC and chair of the Inter-Institutional Committee for Informatics.
Over the following 24 hours Open Standards will be celebrated to the ends of the earth. The Document Freedom Day campaign for interoperability is being enacted from Tokyo to Rio, and Birmingham to Taipei. 41 Events are taking place in 18 countries so far.
The revelations from Edward Snowden concerning massive surveillance of communications demonstrates the need for each person to be able to control their computers and phones. Yet computer and telephone manufacturers and retailers typically impose on users programs that jeopardise their privacy.
Free Software Foundation Europe (FSFE), Open Invention Network (OIN), and The Linux Foundation announced today the launch of the Asian Legal Network. The Asian Legal Network was established to provide a leading forum for sharing knowledge and best practices regarding Free Software legal affairs, particularly those that relate to market participants in Asia.
From May 22 to 25 in 2014 European citizens will vote for candidates standing for the European Parliament. This is an ideal time to engage with politicians with why Free Software matters. Help us to get the candidates across Europe to declare their support for Free Software.
…Stefan "Penny" Harmuth! The election period for this year's Fellowship GA seat has ended on February 28. There was just one candidate running for the Fellowship GA seat this time. The more we are happy that still 20,3% of our Fellows took their chance to support Stefan Harmuth in his run for the seat.
On February 14th, people all around the world expressed their gratitude and appreciation not only to their partner but also to Free Software and its contributors. With our yearly #ilovefs we asked you to thank your favourite developers and projects and were overwhelmed by the resonance in blogs, social networks, and mailing lists.
This Tuesday is a day to fight back against mass surveillance, and here at FSFE we're proud to be part of the struggle.
On 14th February, the Free Software Foundation Europe asks all Free Software users to think about the dedicated hard-working people in the Free Software community and to show them their appreciation like last year.
The Italian government has made Free Software the default choice for public administrations. In a document published last Wednesday, the Italian Digital Agency issued rules saying that all government organisations in the country must consider using Free Software before buying licenses for proprietary programs.