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Hi, I'm Zak (one of the new campaigns managers)

by Zak Rogoff Contributions Published on Sep 24, 2012 05:10 PM
I just started here at the FSF, so I thought I'd introduce myself on the blog.

My background is in activism around digital rights and environmental issues, along with some plain old software engineering. I'll be doing activism and writing with the FSF, as well as working with the community. So far, I've spent my first two weeks deepening my understanding of free software philosophy, getting to know the awesome staff and volunteers at the FSF and learning about existing FSF campaigns. I've also written one other blog post, calling for an end to software patents in Europe.

I'm interested in free software because I think our economy is way too focused on using technology to manipulate people, when we should really be using it to make the world more productive and just. This issue became important to me when I was studying robotics engineering in college. It upset me to see the kind of life my fellow students looked forward to as professional engineers: do the work that's put in front of you, hope it's fun and makes you money, but give no serious thought to the effect that it has on the broader world. Technical skills bring such power, but our culture discourages us from thinking about the ethics of the ways they are used. I decided I'd make a career where I could use my technical background for something I thought people really needed. Though that decision has made it a lot harder for me to find a job, it led me into tech activism and eventually to the FSF. Here is a community of people who know their technical skills are needed to make our society more fair and our communities stronger.

My feeling is that the FSF's the kind of organization we need to open people's eyes in our high-tech society. We're living at a time of great technological change, and I think it's extremely important that we learn to make and use software in a way that is conscientious and principled. Thirty years from now, I want to see a world where people feel empowered by information technology and use it to solve the big problems of the 21st century, not a world where giant corporations use our personal computers to spy on us (any more than they do now). So basically, I'm here for a reason, and I'm excited to be a new FSF campaigns manager.

I can see that the FSF and the GNU Project have a wonderful community, and I'd love to meet to you all. Expect to see emails from me in the future, and please hit me up on Freenode's #fsf IRC channel under the name Zakkai or by email at with campaigns ideas and discussion or with anything else.

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