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You are here: Home Blogs Community New Hampshire residents: Voice your support for software freedom on Thursday, February 16

New Hampshire residents: Voice your support for software freedom on Thursday, February 16

by Greg Farough Contributions Published on Feb 15, 2023 11:19 AM

Editorial note: the bill number has been corrected from "327" to "617" in this post, which was last updated at 15:48 EST (20:48 UTC), February 15, 2023. The bill is 617-FN.

New Hampshire residents and those in surrounding areas have a rare chance to support software freedom on the legislative level. New Hampshire representative Eric Gallager will introduce a new piece of free software legislation into the New Hampshire state legislature on Thursday, February 16th at 13:00 EST.

You might remember Gallager from his efforts on House Bill (HB) 1273. Due to its narrower scope, the current bill, HB 617-FN, stands a better chance of being passed, but it won't pass without your help. We need free software supporters in and around New Hampshire to testify in support of the bill at the Legislative Office Building in Concord, NH.

If passed, HB 617-FN would prevent state agencies from requiring New Hampshire residents to use proprietary software in public interactions like remote court proceedings, tax filings, and the completion of public school coursework. This alone would be a huge advancement for the free software community in the United States, showing state and local governments around the country that it can be done. New Hampshire has the opportunity to lead the way when it comes to free software legislation in the United States. We hope you can attend the hearing or share your support of the bill online.

What you can do

To show your support for the bill, and software freedom in New Hampshire, you have to testify in person at the New Hampshire Legislative Office building at 33 N. State St. in Concord, NH at 13:00 EST tomorrow. A livestream link will be made available in advance of the proceedings. As it's usually streamed over YouTube, we recommend watching it via an Invidious instance.

It is possible that representatives of proprietary software companies will be giving testimonies of their own, so it is imperative that the free software community, especially those in New Hampshire and surrounding states, give a strong show of support to computer user freedom.

If you can't make it to the hearing, please be sure to spread the message. And if you do plan on attending the hearing, try and bring a friend! There's strength in numbers.

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