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GNU turns 40 +++ Router Freedom, Fediverse & Ada

October starts after celebrating the 40th anniversary of the GNU project, that marked the beginning of our Free Software movement. The new political season has started, both at the EU and the national levels. Thanks for contributing to make our What is Free Software video available in more languages… and we had the first Ada reading in Italian!

Picture collage with an image of GNU 40, about the four freedoms and a last one with the Router Freedom sticker

Happy 40th Anniversary of Software Freedom!

For four decades the Free Software community has been working to empower users to control technology and to help our society understand how Free Software contributes to freedom, transparency, and self-determination.

On 27 September, the Free Software community celebrated the fortieth anniversary of the announcement of the GNU Project with a hacker gathering in Biel/Bienne, Switzerland, which brought together many of our movement's key players of the past decades.

Router Freedom: German telcos want to exclude fiber

German network operators have requested the national regulator Bundesnetzagentur to start procedures to exclude Router Freedom from fiber networks. In a consultation, the FSFE picks apart all the telcos’ arguments and calls on the regulator to respect consumer rights.

Sovereign workspace openDesk: German Ministry of the Interior provides answers

The German Federal Ministry of the Interior (BMI) and the public IT service provider Dataport are working on administrative workspaces to enable digital sovereignty. But are both products Free Software? How are they related? We asked the BMI and publish the answers.

EU: Digital sovereignty & Interoperability. What about the role of Free Software?

Speaking about Digital Public Infrastructures at the G20 Summit, EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen pointed out that "the trick is to build public digital infrastructure that is interoperable, open to all, and trusted". What exactly does this mean? What is required to achieve such an accessible digital infrastructure that can help foster innovation and allow cooperation on a global scale? What role does Free Software play in this ambition?

Fediverse event in Cologne. Image showing participants raising their hand and the speaker with a presentation

Fediverse Symposium & FediGov

On 22 September, more than 70 Fediverse experts, activists, representatives of educational and public institutions, and individuals attended our Fediverse Symposium to discuss decentralised social networks and the future of the internet.

The Fediverse Symposium was hosted by FSFE together with the Centre for Civic Education of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia (LpB NRW) and the Adult Education Centre Cologne (VHS Köln). We will publish the recording of the event soon. In the meantime, check out our FediGov campaign and follow us on Mastodon and PeerTube!

Moreover, we have great news to share about our FediGov campaign! The Swiss Federal Chancellery has opened a Mastodon instance as a pilot project, which you can follow at @BK_KOMM@social.admin.ch. Read more about it (in German).

An important impulse for a free internet at the right time, the #fediversefachtag at the VHS Forum in Cologne. Many thanks for the great commitment of the organisers! This is a wonderful impulse for us in #mediaeducation. – @thowelsch@bonn.social

Software Freedom Day: Ada goes to Italy - ice cream and inclusiveness included!

We celebrated Software Freedom Day in Italy with the first reading of the story of Ada in Italian. The reading, co-organised with the Bergamo Linux User Group, took place in Nembro. After that, there was a workshop for the children, and everyone enjoyed homemade ice cream thanks to one of our volunteers!

Have you realized that one of the characters in the book has a 3D leg? (I am sure you are currently looking for it - I did too 😉-). Some kids at an impairment hospital in the Middle East noticed it and were really happy about it. Another example of how inclusiveness is important in tech… and in illustrations.

Our local group in Berlin also celebrated Software Freedom Day with a meeting. How did it go? Read about it (in German).

The Netherlands: Important points for the election

The Free Software Foundation Europe (FSFE) is committed to empower users to control technology to digital civil rights, transparency and control over technology. It does this by promoting Free Software (also known as Open Source Software). In addition, Free Software promotes innovation and prevents vendor lock-in. Digital sovereignty is only possible with Free Software.

What is #FreeSoftware video - Thanks for a successful campaign!

Thanks!! Your support for this initiative helped us to be able to translate this video into more languages. Thanks to your contribution we have the video currently in Albanian, Danish, Dutch, English, French, German, Greek, Italian, Polish, Portuguese, Spanish, and Swedish. You can find all of them here.

Our campaign has just ended but if you still want to contribute to have the video translated into even more languages, you can still support us with a contribution.

Take action! Ada Lovelace Day

Ada & Zangemann book reading

Ada Lovelace Day is an international celebration of the achievements of women in STEM, held every year on the second Tuesday of October. A perfect way to celebrate it is with an ‘Ada & Zangemann’ reading! We will be having one at a school in Berlin so if you want to celebrate it, take action and organise one (and let us know).

"I really like 'Ada & Zangemann'. At FrOSCon 2023 on short notice I got the chance to do a reading. I went for an interactive format with the audience helping to read the book. It was a wonderful collaborative experience. The slides are great and one for each picture in the book is a dead easy approach to understand. My daughter joined me on stage and she had a great time too! In case you are wondering if you should do a reading too: Grab the book, get the slides - it really is easy and a rewarding experience no less." Isabel Drost-Fromm, member of the Apache Software Foundation, co-founder and board member of the InnerSource Commons Foundation.

Plus, this day is a perfect occasion to get the book and give it to any girl you know to encourage her to study and work in STEM!

Save the date! SFScon

We are warming up for SFScon! The South Tyrol Free Software Conference in Bolzano will be this year on 10-11 November. We will be there with a booth and several talks so if you are planning to go, come and say hi!

The European SFS Award ceremony will take centre stage on the first day of the SFSCON conference. Nominate the Free Software Contributor of 2023 for the European SFS Award! Help us to find great Free Software contributors by telling us who should receive this award!

Until SFScon we will have more events! For example, in October we are having the Award Ceremony for the second edition of YH4F and a booth at an additional Veganmania edition in Vienna as this year it is celebrating its 25th Anniversary. (Read how it went this summer there).Stay tuned at fsfe.org/events!

Quote of the Month

“40 years ago, a group of hackers came together to do what seemed impossible -- write a fully free operating system that gave users full control over their computers. They proved that it could be done, by doing it. Everyone feeling hopelessness about the state of modern computing -- mobile surveillance devices in our pockets, black-box AI threatening the fabric of society, streaming and publishing companies trying to claim all human culture and knowledge as their own by virtue of their control over the digital distribution platforms -- should look to the example of GNU's origin to know that we *can* actually get out from under this, if we come together in support of each other and do our best to reject what's being forced on us.“ John Sullivan, Alliterative Advising LLC, former Free Software Foundation Executive Director

Check out more quotes about GNU's 40th anniversary

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