Cory Doctorow +++ Artificial Intelligence +++ New Staffer Fani Partsafyllidou
In our May Newsletter read about our time traveller Cory Doctorow who sends his wishes for 20 Years FSFE from utopian 2041, Router Freedom developments in Greece, Germany, and Austria as well as AI application benefits under Free Software licenses and as usual our other diverse community activities.
20 Years FSFE: Time traveller Cory Doctorow sends his wishes from utopian 2041!
Prolific Sci-fi author Cory Doctorow envisions the world in 2041 and informs us that humankind was able to solve major world problems thanks to collective work and mutual sharing of knowledge. Doctorow has been a vocal supporter of the FSFE for many years now. In his video he is celebrating the 20 year anniversary of the FSFE in his own fascinating way: Doctorow is travelling in time to greet us and congratulate us on our 40 year anniversary, talking to us from 2041.
His time travel allows him to see the critical importance of the FSFE in the transition to a digital society. In the author’s words ‘In those two decades we have seen massive decentralization of the internet thanks and part to deep reforms to our anti-trust and monopoly law, mandates for interoperability and open APIs’. This is why Doctorow is thanking the FSFE for our next 20 years of fostering freedom and decentralisation.
Rapid developments in Router Freedom in Greece, Germany, and Austria
Rapid developments in Router Freedom are being made in the EU countries as an EU reform of telecommunications law is being transposed into national jurisdictions. The implementation process has been complex and has led to different solutions which may negatively affect Router Freedom. The FSFE has been closely monitoring national legislation on telecommunications and actively taken part in public consultations together with local organisations to support legislative changes in favour of Router Freedom. For example, in Greece, the FSFE and six other organisations supported the preliminary decision of the Greek regulator for incorporating Router Freedom in the national legislation.
The next months will be crucial for Router Freedom in EU countries. There are challenges ahead. Differently from Greece, Germany has moved in a direction to reevaluate the consolidated framework, which can lead to more restrictions to end-users rights. In Austria, the fate of Router Freedom will be decided by the national regulatory agency RTR after the full implementation of the telecom reform.
Achieving accuracy and fairness in Artificial Intelligence (AI) applications using Free Software
Vincent Lequertier published an article stating the reasons why AI applications released under a Free Software license can prevent known pitfalls in AI, making its use both efficient and fair. Three elements of AI should be provided openly: the source code used to train the AI, the datasets, and the trained AI models. Being able to understand how AI works will enable us to correct unfair discrimination generated by AI and give the opportunity for everyone to improve its transparency. Furthermore, releasing AI as Free Software can help fostering innovation in this field.
Vincent also suggested in a blog post on FSFE's Planet that the successful imposition of checklists in crucial sectors can be used as an example of good practice in AI development.
This year the FSFE celebrates its 20th anniversary. Support our work for the next 20 years to come
Internal: Our new staffer Fani Partsafyllidou
We welcome our new staffer Fani Partsafyllidou! Fani holds a Master's Degree in Modern History and Political Science and after working with the European Association of History and Citizenship Educators she joined the FSFE communication team on the first of May. You will read more and more by her in the upcoming months, and -- except this very paragraph -- you are already reading the first newsletter brought to you by Fani.
Matthias Kirschner, president of the FSFE, and Bonnie Mehring, FSFE Coordinator of Translations, will talk at OpenSUSE Con about Public Money Public Code and the progress of the FSFE after 20 years of collective action. OpenSUSE Con will happen on 18 & 19 of June, the detailed schedule is still to be set.
What we have done
- In the Next Generation Internet Zero initiative, the FSFE has cooperated with other organisations in Europe to facilitate the use of Free Software licences by developers, by providing educational material as well as guidance. We recently published a report on how the FSFE Helps Free Software Developers Engineer a Better Internet
- On May 22 the FSFE participated in MERGE-it, a conference organised for Italian communities that work with Open Source and Free Software. Patrick Ohnewein, Financial Officer of the FSFE and the Deputy Coordinator in Italy, gave a talk about Free Software in the Public Administration, and Francesca Indorato, FSFE employee, moderated the session and the discussion.
- Matthias Kirschner gave an interview (DE) in Co-Vienna where he analysed the concept of Ethical Software and its relation to freedom of speech.
- On May 6 Alexander Sander, the FSFE's policy consultant, contributed to a session about how to advocate on the EU level for Digital Sustainability
- On May 5 Alexander Sander hosted a session on "Public Money? Public Code!" during an event of over 50 European civil society organisations who formulated several recommendations to political decision makers in the light of the upcoming federal election in Germany.
- Alexander also hosted a webinar on May 26 to highlight the benefits of using Free Software in public administration and to explain the process of implementation.
- Alexander Sander took part in a panel discussion on centralization to standardization with representatives of the German Government and local government associations. Alexander brought the perspective on Open Standards and Free Software to the panel
- Our Dutch country team organised an online get-together on May 19.
Our new call for local projects is open until the 25th of July! If you are a supporter of the FSFE and you have a project you have wanted to do for a long time, apply for funding by the FSFE and make it happen. If you are a supporter but you have no project in hand, look for a local group in your vicinity or create one. And if you are not a supporter yet - time to join the FSFE now.
Contribute to our newsletter
If you would like to share any thoughts, pictures, or news, please send them to us. As always, the address is email@example.com. We are looking forward to hearing from you!
If you also want to support us and our work, join our community and support us with a donation or a monthly contribution.
Thanks to our community and all the volunteers, supporters, and donors who make our work possible. And thanks to our translators, who enable you to read this newsletter in your native languages.
Your editor, Fani Partsafyllidou