empowering users
to control technology

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News

News Archive for 2017

Radio Lockdown: Current Status of Your Device Freedom

12 December 2017 –

For more than two years the Free Software Foundation Europe has worked on the issue of Radio Lockdown introduced by a European directive which may hinder users to load software on their radio devices like mobile phones, laptops and routers. We have informed the public and talked to decision makers to fix critical points of the directive. There is still much to do to protect freedom and IT security in our radio devices. Read about the latest proceedings and the next steps.  

Dutch government publishes large project as Free Software

06 December 2017 –

The Dutch Ministry of the Interior and Kingdom Relations released the source code and documentation of Basisregistratie Personen (BRP), a 100M€ IT system that registers information about inhabitants within the Netherlands. This comes as a great success for Public Code, and the FSFE applauds the Dutch government's shift to Free Software.  

EU Copyright review: The FSFE joins more than 80 organisations asking the EU member states to reject harmful Article 13

30 November 2017 – Polina Malaja

A new copyright proposal is currently discussed by the EU co-legislators. Part of this proposal is Article 13 which can hamper our ability to collaborate with each other online as it imposes new monitoring obligations and installation of arbitrary upload filters on every code hosting and sharing provider. The Free Software Foundation Europe (FSFE) today raises its voice to save code sharing and joins 80 other organisations in an open letter towards the EU Council. 

Welcome supporters (and goodbye smartcard)

16 November 2017 – Jonas Öberg

Earlier this year, after a public consultation, we took the decision to change the name of our supporter program, the Fellowship of the FSFE, and talk about our supporters by their true name: Supporters. This is an exciting change for us, as it brings our Supporters much closer to the organisation, by making them an integral part of the FSFE. Today, with the change almost complete, we're also taking the opportunity to say goodbye to the Fellowship Smartcard, which has been a part of FSFE life for more than ten years.  

    2018 internship positions as student interns

    14 November 2017 – Jonas Öberg

    FSFE is a charity dedicated to empowering users to control technology. We are working to build freedom in digital society. We operate in a lively environment with volunteers from many countries. We are looking for students who can join our team in Berlin for three months or more as a mandatory part of their studies or before graduation. 

    Open position as office assistant

    14 November 2017 – Jonas Öberg

    FSFE is a charity dedicated to keeping the power over technology in your hands. We are working to build freedom in a digital society and operate in a lively environment with volunteers from many countries. We are looking for an assistance supporting the office manager with for instance:  

      32 European ministers call for more Free Software in governmental infrastructure

      09 November 2017

      On 6 October, 32 European Ministers in charge of eGovernment policy signed the Tallinn Declaration on eGovernment that calls for more collaboration, interoperable solutions, and sharing of good practices throughout public administrations and across borders. Amongst other things, the EU ministers recognised the need to make more use of Free Software solutions and Open Standards when (re)building governmental digital systems with EU funds. 

      General Assembly 2017: new members, new roles and new directions

      07 November 2017 –

      The members of the Free Software Foundation Europe held their General Assembly on October 15 in Edinburgh, Scotland. The annual meeting is held to discuss strategies for the upcoming year and set the course for the overall direction of the organisation. Amongst other things an overall Code of Conduct for the FSFE was adopted, Patrick Ohnewein was elected as the new Financial Officer, and six new members joined the association. 

      Call for sessions at the FSFE assembly during 34C3

      24 October 2017 –

      From December 27 to 30, the 34th Chaos Communication Congress will be held in Leipzig. As in recent years, the FSFE is happy to host an assembly that includes an information booth and a meeting point for all Free Software enthusiasts and our friends to come together. We offer a stage and look for interesting self-organised sessions for our community. This is the corresponding call for participation. 

      EU Copyright Review: Tell Legislators to Save Code Share

      05 October 2017 – Polina Malaja

      The FSFE, together with Open Forum Europe, asks the EU policymakers to Save Code Share in the current on-going EU Copyright review. Today we ask you to support our newest campaign Save Code Share by signing an Open Letter addressed to the EU policymakers.In this letter we request EU legislators to preserve the ability to collaboratively build software online in current EU Copyright Directive proposal. 

      Public Money? Public Code! 31 organisations ask to improve public procurement of software

      13 September 2017

      Digital services offered and used by public administrations are the critical infrastructure of 21st-century democratic nations. To establish trustworthy systems, government agencies must ensure they have full control over systems at the core of our digital infrastructure. This is rarely the case today due to restrictive software licences. 

      FSFE in 2020: Reaffirming our identity

      11 September 2017 – Jonas Öberg, Kristi Progri

      Our world is constantly changing, as are people's thoughts and perceptions. Since its founding in 2001, individuals engaged in the FSFE, from coordinators and volunteers to full-time employees, have come to develop their understanding of what FSFE is and what our shared values are. Sometimes the views expressed by individuals have been similar to one another, sometimes they have diverged.  

        European Copyright reform hampers Free Software development

        08 September 2017

        The FSFE and Open Forum Europe teamed up for an initiative to show the implications of the proposed EU copyright reform for the Free Software development ecosystem: Save Code Share. As part of this initiative, today we release our White Paper which highlights the ways in which the proposed Article 13 could unintentionally harm the communities and the businesses built around Free Software. 

        FSFE announces Software Licensing Best Practices

        06 September 2017 – Jonas Öberg

        The FSFE launches today its best practises in licensing for Free and Open Source Software project. Targeted at developers and companies, these best practices show you how to make it clear to others what license your software is being distributed under, in a way which both computers and humans can understand.  

          Digital-O-Mat: Compare your views on Internet policies with the parties for the German federal election 2017

          29 August 2017 –

          Although digital issues are becoming increasingly important, general election coverage often miss them out. That is why the "Koalition Freies Wissen" ("Free Knowledge Coalition") created the "Digital-O-Mat", an online tool for voter information for the German federal election of 2017. The FSFE asked the participating parties about their positions on Free Software. CDU/CSU, SPD and FDP avoid clear statements and thus confirm the status quo, the Greens and the Left in contrast present themselves as supporters of Free Software. 

          Open internship position as project assistant

          11 August 2017 – Jonas Öberg

          FSFE is a charity dedicated to keeping the power over technology in your hands. We are working to build freedom in a digital society and operate in a lively environment with volunteers from many countries. We are looking for an intern to join our remote team for three to six months, working with us on a project which seek to prepare the organisation for the next 15 years of work.  

          Estonian presidency in the EU: the FSFE asks for truly interoperable IT services in public sector

          10 July 2017 – Polina Malaja

          The FSFE submitted its comments for the upcoming Tallinn Declaration for e-government drafted by the Estonian presidency of the Council of the EU. Therein the FSFE asks the current Estonian presidency to promote greater inclusion of Free Software in delivering truly inclusive, trustworthy and interoperable digital services to all citizens and businesses across the EU. The Tallinn Declaration will be signed by EU ministers in October 2017, expressing member states' joint vision for e-government and political commitment to follow the goals set. The proposal for Tallinn declaration is open for public comments until 14 July. The FSFE is asking organisations, companies, and individuals to let EU ministers know how Free Software is important for transparent and accountable e-government. 

          Legal and Licensing Workshop 2017: Its 10th edition "restarts" debates in Free Software licensing

          19 June 2017 – Polina Malaja

          In April, the FSFE organised its annual Free Software Legal and Licensing Workshop (LLW): a meeting point for legal experts from all over the world to discuss issues and best practices surrounding Free Software licences. This year marks the 10th anniversary of the LLW which was celebrated with the record number of participants: 120 top legal experts and technologists came all the way down to Barcelona (Spain) to spend 3 full days discussing legal challenges around Free Software. 

          And the winner of the election for FSFE's Fellowship GA seat is ...

          25 April 2017 –

          Daniel Pocock! The election period for this year's Fellowship GA seat has ended on April 24, 2017. FSFE is proud to have such an interested and active community to have had seven outstanding candidates who were running for office this time. Now, Daniel Pocock is happy to take over the GA's Fellowship seat from former representative Nicolas Dietrich. 

          Digital-o-Mat: Campaigning for freedom in the state elections of North Rhine-Westphalia

          19 April 2017 –

          Digital-o-Mat
          North Rhine-Westphalia is Germany's most populated state which is having its next general elections on May 14, 2017. For this election, a "coalition of Free knowledge" developed for the first time a "Digital-o-Mat". The "Digital-o-Mat" is a tool to help those voters who are concerned about digital rights and freedoms, to decide about which party to vote for. Therefor, eight questions guide any user to choose his own preferences on important topics about the digital society - like questions about the use of Free Software, Open Data or Open Educational Resources. After filling them out, a user will see which party matches best with his own preferences and he can additionally browse detailed explanations on the party's positions. 

          Fellowship elections 2017 with eight candidates

          29 March 2017

          According to our constitution, two seats in the General Assembly are reserved for elected representatives of our Fellows. They serve two-year terms and one seat is up for re-election every year. The current representatives are Nicolas Dietrich and Mirko Boehm; Nicolas's term is coming to an end and his seat will be up for re-election this April.

          The election period runs from April 10 to April 24, 2017, with eight candidates eligible for election. The list of candidates, along with their manifestos and background, can be found at the election wiki page.

          In addition, a moderated hustings will be held on March 30, 5:30 PM UTC to 7:30 PM UTC in #fsfe at irc.freenode.net. Detailed schedule and instructions may be found at the election wiki page.

          All orderly Fellows eligible to vote will also receive detailed voting instructions by e-mail in due course. 

          Input about Free Software for German OGP action plan published

          28 March 2017

          Today the civil society "working group OGP (Open Government Partnership) Germany" (Arbeitskreis OGP Deutschland) published its input for a German OGP action plan. The goal of the Open Government actions is to increase transparency, citizen friendlyness, reporting, and effectiveness of governments and administrations. The input, which was already handed over to the German Government on 20 March, consists of 30 Open Government topics, including a section about Free Software. 

          #ilovefs Report 2017: Love and Activism

          15 March 2017

          On Tuesday 14th of February, the "I Love Free Software" day was celebrated for its eighth consecutive year, in what can now be called a tradition. This day has become a special day for people all around the world to declare their love and affection not only to their partner but also to the whole Free Software community. 

          What happened in Munich

          01 March 2017 –

          On 15 February 2017, the city council of Munich, Germany convened to discuss the future of their LiMux project. In its public session, the plenary voted to have the city administration develop a strategy to unify client-side IT architecture, building atop a yet-to-be-developed "Windows-Basis-Client". A translation of the complete decision is included further down.  

          Berlin sends a message for "I love Free Software" day

          14 February 2017

          In celebration of the "I love Free Software" day on February 14, the Berlin Reichtag has been illuminated with the message "Give Free Software A Chance" last weekend. On numerous buildings and symbolic places in Berlin other messages have been projected. "Build Free Software - Not Walls" could have been read on the Berlin Wall, and the Federal Ministry of Finances has been decorated by the slogan "Public Money, Public Code". Thereby, activists draw attention to the importance of larger appreciation of Free Software. 

          European Free Software Policy Meeting 2017

          14 February 2017 – Polina Malaja

          Building on the experience from last year's successful pre-FOSDEM meeting, the Free Software Foundation Europe and OpenForum Europe recently continued the tradition of bringing together active Free Software groups a day before the FOSDEM event, in order to discuss public policy related actions at both the EU and the national levels. This year, the meeting focused on encouraging exchanges of views between individual citizens and decision-makers, by providing practical first-hand information on topics relating to Free Software in public policy. 

          I love Free Software Day 2017

          09 February 2017 –

          It's time to say "thank you" on 14th of February, the "I love Free Software" Day 2017. The Free Software Foundation Europe asks all Free Software users to use the traditional day of love to think of the hardworking people contributing to the Free Software we all depend on. As every year there are many ways for people to participate in this campaign.  

          2017 internship positions as student interns

          18 January 2017 – Jonas Öberg

          FSFE is a charity dedicated to empowering users to control technology. We are working to build freedom in digital society. We operate in a lively environment with volunteers from many countries. We are looking for students who can join our team in Berlin for three months as a mandatory part of their studies or before graduation. 

          FSFE Annual Report 2016

          09 January 2017

          It has been a busy year for the FSFE. Upholding the principles of Free Software and protecting citizens' from being exploited are ongoing challenges we tackled from a variety of angles. We (and by "we", we mean the staff and volunteers at the FSFE) pored over hundreds of pages of policies and legislations, looking for loopholes through which Free Software could be attacked.