Promising news from Belgium and Dortmund +++ IT Security +++ Job opportunity
In January’s Newsletter: Dortmund embraces Free Software, and Belgium is working to ensure Router Freedom. A cryptographer analyzes IT security. A digital health ecosystem licenses files with the REUSE tool. We are looking for an office coordinator. We look forward to seeing you in FOSDEM and I Love Free Software events.
Belgium Ready to Tick All Boxes for Router Freedom
Collaboration with supporters and volunteers brings us closer to victory. We addressed Router Freedom to privacy groups, consumer organisations, regulators, and telecommunications industry representatives. We want the upcoming legislation in Belgium to protect the right of all internet users to choose and use a private modem and router. We were not alone. 260 people from Belgium answered our survey which we could use to show potential barriers to Router Freedom.
The Belgian telecommunications regulator drafted a framework that ensures Router Freedom for all connections, including optical fiber which was often excluded in other countries. Enforcement of the current proposal will mark a win for digital rights in Belgium.
Dortmund Becomes Exemplary Municipality for Free Software
By embracing Free Software, Dortmund becomes an example for other municipalities. The City of Dortmund, together with Berlin and Munich, is initialising the "Open Source Big 3" and setting up a "Coordination Office for Digital Sovereignty and Open Source". This Office in Dortmund will cooperate with the Municipal Joint Office for Administrative Management (KGSt) on Free Software governance. The involvement of KGSt makes this development relevant for all other municipalities in Germany.
We will inform you about the developments in an online event on 11 January 2023, organised in cooperation with the Do-FOSS initiative and the Offene Kommunen.NRW. Register to join us!
Podcast Episode: What Makes a Program Secure?
Achieving optimal security is a challenge for the average user; we need to decide what level of privacy we need and what we are comfortable with. Cryptographer and privacy specialist Cryptie explains what makes a program secure: it has to be audited, checked, and corrected. Free Software allows more people to audit as more people are allowed to read the code and discover vulnerabilities.
Ultimately Free Software creates a culture in which people are ready to answer to criticism on systems and software. However there is also Free Software that is not audited, so its security is not confirmed. Conclusion: the best and most secure software is Free Software, but not all Free Software is secure. Listen to our new podcast episode with Cryptie.
Digital Health Ecosystem Licenses Files With REUSE Tool
The combination of two ideas, universal access to healthcare and Free Software, gives us GNU Health. Created by GNU Solidario, a non-profit dealing with technology and social medicine, GNU Health is a community-driven Free Software project. While visiting schools in Latin America twenty years ago, the founder, Dr. Luis Falcón, realised that technology needs to support social changes.
To make the licensing clear, the project has recently adopted the REUSE specification 3.0 in its components Hospital Management System (both server and client) and Thalamus (the message server for the GH Federation). Luis presented the project and the process of the REUSE implementation in a video interview.
“Thank You for Your Support” Raffle
The FSFE needs your help to keep on working towards software freedom. Support us until February 12! We want to thank you for your support during these difficult times with a raffle. If you donate, or donated in the past year, more than €128 you might receive a signed copy of ‘Ada & Zangemann - A Tale of Software, Skateboards, and Raspberry Ice Cream' Feeling lucky?
Celebrate I Love Free Software Day with a Meetup
On Tuesday 14 February let’s join to say thank you together to the awesome Free Software community; let’s express our love to the contributors behind Free Software. Their work is irreplaceable and does not go unnoticed.
We invite you to organise a thematic meetup with friends, colleagues, or FSFE local groups, and share your pictures with us. We also invite you to share a warm thank you message to your favourite Free Software project in a video or an image.
Join our team and take care of our office
We are looking for an office coordinator for an open-ended 25-35 hours per week position in our Berlin office.
Join us in one of our events
- 💻 Online: Do you want to organise a workshop on how to flash phones? We are here to help with an online train-the-trainers workshop. Learn about the Upcycling Android campaign, what to consider when organizing a workshop, and how we can help in promoting and implementing a workshop. F-Droid lead maintainer Hans-Christoph Steiner and microG main developer Marvin Wißfeld will present these two cornerstone projects. The workshop will take place in English on 19.01.2023 from 6-8pm (CET) online in a BBB room.
💻🇧🇪 Online & Brussels, Belgium: FSFE goes to FOSDEM 2023! On Saturday 4 February come to our Legal and Policy Devroom, and our talk on TEDective. On Sunday 5 February checkout our talks on REUSE and ‘Public Money? Public Code!' policy and community stories. If you are in Brussels, come over to our booth, anytime in the weekend.
🇩🇪 Cologne, Germany: Upcycling Android is coming up on 20 January. You can extend the life of your phone by flashing it with a Free Software operating system. We will bring sample phones so participants can tinker around with Free Software operating systems and we will also help participants to flash their own devices. Please register.
What we have done
- We had another fun Upcycling Android workshop in Berlin, this time in a library makerspace. Several people came to Pablo Neruda library for the event, and many dropped by out of curiosity. We flashed phones and, getting into the holiday spirit, we had biscuits and coffee.
Denmark: Local group Aarhus is meeting on 12 January.
Germany: Local group Berlin had its online edu meeting and local group Hamburg had its monthly meeting. Local group Bonn met on 9 January.
Greece: The FSFE country team Greece had its first meeting in December, with many participants and a lively discussion about Mastodon that lasted for hours. The meeting started with a long introduction round to get to know each other. Then the group discussed Mastodon tips. Nikos Roussos presented the Greek mastodon instance Libretooth. Fani Partsafyllidou, FSFE Communications Project Manager, gave updates from the FSFE. The group voted for ‘Translations and Documentation in Greek’ as the topic of the next meeting on 12 January.
Netherlands: The FSFE country team Netherlands met online just before the holidays and discussed how to deal with proprietary educational tools and whether a meeting should be arranged during FOSDEM. Also, they talked about the public registry of AI systems in Amsterdam, the innovation of Open Hardware in Delft, and communication problems with Neutrinet VPN. Fani shared updates from the FSFE.
Switzerland: The Zurich group is meeting on 19 January to plan an I Love Free Software meetup and discuss the ongoing campaigns.
Women: The Women’s group’s next meeting will be held on 20 January.
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 firstname.lastname@example.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.
Happy New Year!
Your editor, Fani Partsafyllidou