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AI Act and Interoperability +++ Router Freedom Survey +++ Podcasts, YH4F & Ada


The June issue brings updates on the Interoperable Europe Act and the AI Regulation, and the publication of the conclusions of our European Router Freedom survey. We were invited to two podcast episodes and were the focus of Edri's 'Member in the spotlight'. Check out a study on net neutrality regulation and read a lovely story about Ada arriving in rural India.

Picture collage with images inside circles of the Router Freedom sticker, a human head draw in a blue background surrounded by the EU stars and the Public Money, Public Code campaign image surruonded by headphones

EU Policy: InteroperableEurope Act

In May, the Committee of the Regions failed to recognise the importance that Free Software has for interoperability and thus for digitalisation and innovation while the European Parliament's responsible committees voted by a large majority to protect Free Software in the AI regulation. The Committee of the Regions adopted its opinion on interoperability through the Interoperable Europe Act, failing to substantially improve the original text and bring up more solid and necessary measures on the role of Free Software, forgetting a ’Free Software first’ approach.

Read more about this

EU flag with a gavel in the background and the word FAIL stamped over it

EU Parliament wants to protect Free Software in AI regulation

The European Parliament's lead committees on AI legislation, the Committee on Internal Market and Consumer Protection (IMCO) and the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (LIBE), voted by a large majority in favour of protecting Free Software in the AI Regulation. Non-profit organisations and small Free Software projects up to the size of micro-enterprises will be largely exempted from this regulation.

Read more about this

Survey: European citizens demand Router Freedom

In the most comprehensive survey to date, end-users from all over Europe shared their experience about ISPs’ commercial practices regarding terminal equipment and how Router Freedom is affected. The responses have highlighted several obstacles to Router Freedom, such as lack of freedom of choice, provider lock-in and promotion of equipment running exclusively proprietary software. Read more about it

Router Freedom as priority for the future of Net Neutrality regulation

The EU Commission has published a study on the future of Net Neutrality regulation, confirming Router Freedom as a priority for the future implementation of Open Internet in Europe. (Recommendation 2, p. 91). The study referred to work done by the FSFE (p.11), supporting the conclusions we at the FSFE have been advocating in recent years. In particular, national regulators should prioritize end-users’ rights and safeguard freedom of terminal equipment for all network types, including fiber (FTTH).

A router device with three lights on, an on and off button, and two antennas behind. Two big white wings emerge from the router. On top of it there is a wifi signal, with a dot and three concentric circle segments.

Making the telecom sector more sustainable with Free Software

As part of the book ‘Shaping Digital Transformation for a sustainable society’, that puts together 28 contributions from the second Bits & Bäume conference on digitization and sustainability, Lucas Lasota and Erik Albers explain how Free Software is key for a more sustainable telecom sector by empowering end-users to have more control over devices, especially regarding software and hardware artificial obsolescence.

Two podcast episodes to listen to

'Youth Hacking 4 Freedom' projects

The second edition of the Youth Hacking 4 Freedom contest is in its last weeks. We cannot wait to see what the participants have developed. Meanwhile, this month we talk with Konrad, who created a learning platform for the amateur radio service exam.

Check out the rest of the projects from the first edition. Want to know more about this cool competition? Watch Bonnie Mehring explaining it in German at LIT 2023

Illustration of three teenagers in a room with different technological devices

'Ada & Zangemann’ travels to rural Rajasthan

The story 'Ada & Zangemann' has travelled from LibrePlanet in Boston to India! Check out this blog post explaining a storytelling session about software and ice cream in rural Rajasthan.

Get your own copy in German, online or at your favourite book store. The English version is currently available in the US from the publisher and at the FSF online store and can be pre-ordered in the rest of the world.

'EDRI’s Member in the Spotlight interview

Since 2018 the FSFE has been part of the EDRi, the European network defending rights and freedoms online. In their May newsletter we had the chance to present ourselves and our work. Read the interview.

Chaos Communication Camp and more events

Come and camp with us in the Chaos Communication Camp, from 15 to 19 August 2023. The Free Software Foundation Europe is part of this year's 'Bits & Bäume' village. And if you're interested in applying, please submit your talk or workshop proposal to the official Call for Participation by June 9.

Over 180 participants had the opportunity to learn about and discuss Free Software in more than 20 sessions during the last edition of FOSS-North. In case you missed the event, here is a short overview of some of the topics that were discussed

Our team and our community participate in many Free Software events. Check our events page to be up to date about what is going on. Subscribe to our feeds to stay current about events and do not forget to sign up for our local group and country mailings to receive updates about what is going on in your region.

Get Involved - Join our local groups!

Connect with our community by joining the local group meetings! Our community is organised in local groups, country teams, and thematic groups. Some of these are casual and have ongoing discussions in chats. Others are task-oriented and plan their own campaigns. Some meet face-to-face and others meet online. Whether you are a long-time Free Software enthusiast or a newcomer, our groups are waiting for you!

Quote of the Month

"I believe that Free Software can help us change our society fundamentally for the better and I believe the best way to do so is together with other volunteers from all over Europe!"

Alexandra Busch, IT specialist

Follow us in the Fediverse… and elsewhere

We want to reach to our whole society and get our messages and demands heard by those who are not part of the Free Software Community. That is why you can find us both in federated and decentralized social networks but also in proprietary ones. You can find us in Mastodon and Twitter, in LinkedIn and in PeerTube and Youtube. In this last one we have reached 1000 followers, hopefully helping people to learn more about software freedom who have not heard about it before.

Contribute to our Newsletter

We would love to hear from you. If you have any thoughts, pictures, or news to share, please send them to us at newsletter@fsfe.org. You can also support us, contribute to our work, and join our community. We would like to thank our community and all the volunteers, supporters, and donors who make our work possible, with a special mention to our translators who make it possible for you to read this newsletter in your mother tongue.

Your editor, Ana Galán