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FSFE Newsletter - September 2015

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FSFE supports users' control over their online data

Nowadays we use online services for everything and increasingly provide our data to them. However we also lose the control of our own data more than ever. Together with other organisations FSFE supports the publication of the User Data Manifesto 2.0 which promotes users' basic rights to control their data while using online services. According to the manifesto, users must control the access to their data, they have to know if their data is stored by the online services, and they have to be able to freely choose a platform without being forced to vendor lock-in. The manifesto is a good starting point for the debate about users' rights online, and FSFE looks forward to other organisations joining the effort to stand for online services that respect users' fundamental rights.

Compulsory routers: Another one bites the dust

The router, although often a device covered with dust in some corner at home, is an important part of your local network and phone. A lot of users in Germany do not own this device, although it stands in their home and they pay for its power. At least that is still the case. On August 12th, the German Federal Ministry of the Economy (BMWi) passed a reworked draft bill that would free users from compulsory router lock-in. The draft ensures that internet users in Germany can use whatever routers they want to connect to the internet.

The bill now has to be adopted by the Federal Parliament (Bundestag) and the Federal Assembly (Bundesrat). So far the comments concerned only a small formal ambiguity, but we have to make sure this law passes without any negative changes and that it is afterwards implemented. We have a detailed update which also describes how you can help us in Germany at the moment! Besides that we summarised the issue and we are constantly updating our timeline so in case this topic comes up in your country, you can reuse our arguments.

New German Coordinators and dissolving the German association

In his blog post your editor outlined the process of streamlining the FSFE by dissolving the last remaining country chapter, known as the FSFE Chapter Germany e.V. This step was decided last year in November with the goal to remove some bureaucratic burdens associated with maintaining a legal entity. However as you can read in the article, dissolving an organisation is not as easy as it may sound; but we hope to complete this process in April of next year.

FSFE is happy to announce that Max Mehl and Björn Schießle became the new coordinators of the German team last month, and from now on will hopefully not spend many hours per year dealing with bureaucracy. Both have been a part of FSFE for a long time now and have been helping us to achieve our goal to empower people to control technology. Just recently, Björn wrote an article on the German blog Netzpolitik.org about the User Data Manifesto (see above in English), and Max just published an update on compulsory routers as mentioned above, along with an article on Netzpolitik.org about it.

Something completely different

Get active: translate and improve translations of our mission statement

"Free Software Foundation Europe is a charity that empowers users to control technology. Software is deeply involved in all aspects of our lives. It is important that this technology empowers rather than restricts us. Free Software gives everybody the rights..." That is how FSFE's recently updated mission statement starts. We hope that it will help us to get more people to understand what we are doing. We already have translations into Albanian, Dutch, English, Finnish, Greek, Italian, Portuguese, and Turkish.

Please help us to get more translations, and to check the exisiting translations for easy readability for everybody.

Thanks to all the volunteers, Fellows and corporate donors who enable our work,
Matthias Kirschner - FSFE