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Novinska brošura

Rising demands for Dutch digital autonomy +++ REUSE Booster +++ Torsten Grote


Dutch digital public services rely increasingly on monopolistic companies; the FSFE Dutch team actively demands digital rights. In June, we launched REUSE Booster to share legal advice with Free Software projects on copyright. We interviewed Torsten Grote, a member of the FSFE, who stressed the need to Free our Androids early on.

Dutch Digital Autonomy is undermined; demands for Free Software are rising

The Netherlands is becoming dependent on a digital infrastructure that is dominated by a small number of monopolistic companies. Although the Dutch Cyber Security Council recognises the consequent risk, their report neglects focusing on Open Standards and Free Software, the proven best practices to face this problem. The FSFE calls on the Dutch government to stand firm and get a grip on their digital security and autonomy by adhering to Open Standards and Free Software, in line with their earlier commitment to use Free Software by default.

Our team emphatically defends digital rights in the Netherlands. In 2018, Jos van den Oever noticed that the 'Debat Direct' app could not be downloaded to his Firefox OS phone. In other words, the official application for parliamentary debates was not available under a Free Software license. Jos' request to get the app's source code was denied, and he brought the case to court. The Council of State ruled on 31 March 2021 that the Parliament does not have to publish the source code. As a result, the participation app remains closed to those who wish to use only Free Software apps.

Jos van den Oever, the person behind this initiative, is a FSFE volunteer and part of our country team Netherlands. Its members kept in touch even during the pandemic, when they had to replace booths for online meetings. Nico Rikken, one of the two coordinators, shares his experiences about this transition in a blogpost, and calls anyone interested to join the FSFE community based in the Netherlands.

FSFE spot in a non-profit hacker-camp. The Netherlands, 2017.

REUSE Booster supports Free Software projects with licensing

REUSE has facilitated the licensing of Free Software projects. Developers are given standardised ways to mark all files in a project with their chosen license and copyright notice. A tutorial, a set of FAQs, a helper tool, and an API have been made available to lower the threshold and save time.

With REUSE Booster, the FSFE takes this initiative a step further. Free Software projects can seek tailored support with licensing and copyright by legal experts now. Each project will be evaluated individually and the recommendations will apply to its particular situation. Register until 8 July to get your Free Software project on board.

20 Years FSFE: Envisioning free operating systems in smartphones with Torsten Grote

In our fourth birthday publication we reminisce about the emergence of the first smartphones. We are interviewing Torsten Grote, who explored Free Software alternatives for smartphones as early as 2012. A programmer as well as a Free Software activist, Torsten shares his memories of the developments of alternative operating systems and applications for smartphones. Finally, we would not miss this chance to ask him what options there are today for liberating our phones.

This year the FSFE celebrates its 20th anniversary. Support our work for the next 20 years to come

Internal: The FSFE is migrating its IRC presence to Libera Chat.

Learn how to join us. We are moving from Freenode to Libera Chat, following the migration of its network of volunteer staff. We share our thoughts that led the FSFE to migrate its IRC presence.

What we have done

Get active

Pack your T-shirt and educate those around you on the definition of Free Software during your summer holidays. If we have the right to use, study, share, and improve it, then it is Free Software. Our T-shirts are made of 100% organic cotton, and our collection includes a variety of colours and slogans.

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 newsletter@fsfe.org. We're 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

The biggest financial impact the FSFE faces in these times of physical distancing is the cancellation of Free Software conferences, including our own events. To keep the software freedom movement solid and alive, please consider donating a part of your conference budget to Free Software organisations, including the FSFE.