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Newsletter

Free Software in France +++ Hackerspace in Albania +++ Job

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In this issue, we discuss the rising awareness for Free Software in France. We share our plans for monitoring the implementation of Device Neutrality principles. A hackerspace in Albania shares the ‘Public Money! Public Code’ demand. We are looking for a working student to be our next system administrator assistant.

Free Software in France gains attention

What is the status of Free Software in France? According to Hugo Roy, there is rising awareness in the last decade, but France still needs a bold political stance supporting Free Software. Public procurement should require the right to produce unlimited amounts of a copy of the software. This requirement does not favour any company or business model, and can be a part of a public procurement. Hugo Roy is a lawyer and a Free Software supporter. Hugo appreciates the welcoming environment of the FSFE for volunteers and likes CalyxOS because it offers a ready-to-use environment on a phone and it is reliable. Listen to his interview in our new Software Freedom Podcast episode.

Portrait of person outside wearing sunglasses
In our new Software Freedom Podcast we discuss with Hugo Roy, lawyer and Free Software supporter.

On a sidenote we think it is worth noting that we received more signatures in our open letter for the right to install any software on any device from organisations throughout France than from any other country. This might support Hugo’s observation of increased awareness towards software freedom in France.

FSFE monitors the implementation of Device Neutrality

Imagine unboxing your new tablet and finding out you can install new apps only via the manufacturer’s own apps store. On top of that, your device boots only a specific operating system, fully or partly proprietary. In other words, you cannot install a different OS to overcome such limitations. Your tablet deserves better.

Device Neutrality is a policy concept to enable end-users to bypass gatekeepers in order to run Free Software and use services independently of the control exercised by hardware manufacturers, vendors, and platforms. To help understand this policy concept, we published an article clarifying the requirements of Device Neutrality. So far we engaged in the field of device neutrality during the adoption of the Digital Markets Act (DMA), the European Union’s largest initiative to regulate gatekeepers in digital markets. We saw a major win in 2022, as several components of Device Neutrality were included in the DMA.

Device neutrality logo

Our efforts are not over: now we have to make sure that the regulation is enforced in practice. Monitoring the implementation and enforcement of the DMA, conducting device-related activities, and promoting software freedom require a lot of resources. Please consider donating to the FSFE so we can continue to work for device neutrality.

Hackerspace in Albania explains why privacy matters

Massive leaks of personal data in Albania revealed personal information of citizens last year. Hackerspace OpenLabs, an associated organisation of the FSFE, raises awareness on privacy in workshops and offers trainings on the safe use of technology. As members of OpenLabs point out in an interview with Le Courrier de Balkans, OpenLabs supports the use of Free Software in public administrations and spread the message of the ‘Public Money? Public Code!’ campaign in Albania. Tirana City Hall was the first capital city in the Western Balkans to switch to larger remote Free Software solutions. Still, the country has to close the digital gap among citizens.

Person giving a presentation

Job opening: Assistant system administrator

We are looking for a working student to support our work to empower people to control technology. The work is 10 hours per week from our Berlin office, but home office work will be possible later. The person will support the FSFE’s technical infrastructure by working with our system administrators. Apply until 16 October.

Children’s book available to pre-order in English

Ada & Zangemann - A Tale of Software, Skateboards, and Raspberry Ice Cream has been translated into English. We made it! The book will now be published and an e-book is already available. Of course, the e-book format contains no Digital Restrictions Management. If you are from the US you can pre-order the hardcover from No Starch Press, get 25% off with the coupon code “Hacking4Freedom”, receive the ebook now, and get the book sent from the US starting in December. If you live outside the US you should be able to pre-order the book from your local bookshop by the end of the year.

Illustration of three pieces. On the left side, an illustration showing a girl typing on a keyboard connected to her phone among tools and open books. On the right side, a grumpy old man types in front of ultra luxurious screens in the middle of furnitures with golden details. At the bottom, the text Ada & Zangemann is accompanied with the book cover.

Save the date!

Past events

FSFE groups

Belarus: Minsk GNU/Linux and Free Software enthusiasts have not enjoyed in-person meetings for a long time. On 29 October they will revive the tradition to meet in person and the FSFE local group Minsk will be there! Contact vics@fsfe.org if you are interested in joining!

Germany: The FSFE local group Berlin celebrated Software Freedom Day on 17 September at BeLUG. The group gave four talks: ‘A critical introduction to Free Software’ by Erik Grun, ‘FLOSS video production with a focus on video tutorials’ by hoergen, ‘Dokuwiki - a lightweight and extremely versatile wiki software’ by c47, and ‘A sustainable approach to software as a resource’ by Tobias. The FSFE local group Hamburg has its next meeting on 10 October.

Italy: The FSFE local group Sicily gave a talk on modernising public administration with Free Software on 9 September in Caltanissetta, Italy. The topic received a lot of attention as many people attended the event. Many participants did not know about Free Software before, and people wanted to know how they can contribute.

Person giving a presentation.
Francesco Bonanno presenting the ‘Public Money? Public Code!’ initiative. Caltanissetta, Italy, September 2022.

Netherlands: The FSFE country team Netherlands hosted an FSFE booth at the NLLGG meeting in Utrecht on 17 September. Nico Rikken showed the possibilities of installing a custom ROM with Free Software on a phone. Participants shared their experiences on flashing phones and discussed the available Free Software options for phones. A few days after, the Netherlands team met online.

Switzerland: Volunteers decided to start a new local group in Basel. The first meeting was on 3 October. The group plans to be meeting on the first Monday of every month.

Women: The FSFE Women group planned next year’s activities during their online meeting at 29 September.

In memory of Damiano

The FSFE honours the memory of Damiano Conte, an important member of the Free Software movement in Italy, and shares condolences to his family. Damiano was a teacher of thousands of students in Bassano del Grappa (VI) Italy during the last 20 years, and encouraged the use of GNU/Linux and Free Software and hardware. In 2008 Damiano co-founded the Bassano del Grappa Linux User Group (GrappaLUG). Since 2006 he had been organising the Linux Day and giving talks. GrappaLUG sent a symbolic donation to the FSFE in memory of Damiano. We thank Damiano for his long-term contribution to software freedom.

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