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Fight PRISM through the Free Software Directory

by Joshua Gay Contributions Published on Jun 13, 2013 04:15 PM
To protect their freedom and privacy, the FSF urges everyone to avoid Software as a Service, and to support projects working for a better, safer world. One small way you can help support free software projects and encourage use of free software is to help maintain and improve the Free Software Directory.

Last Friday, in response to the PRISM-leaks, Free Software Foundation executive director John Sullivan issued the following statement:

Massive privacy intrusions like this are to be expected when people shift from storing their media locally and using local software, to storing them on other people's servers and using hosted (Web) applications. Giants like Microsoft, Facebook and Google are vulnerable to government requests for user data, and there are better, more secure ways to share information online. Free software projects like GNU MediaGoblin, StatusNet, Diaspora,, Tahoe-LAFS, FreedomBox and SparkleShare are hard at work creating a less centralized world where users retain control over both their media and the software used to access it, while still getting the social and convenience benefits of the giant centralized — and compromised — services.

The software listed above is just a short list of many free software programs that people can use and support. The FSF maintains the Free Software Directory in order to provide an up to date and continually maintained archive that lists detailed information about free software packages. We use categories, semantic properties, and dynamically generated lists to help people find and discover free software programs. We need your help to in organizing and categorizing free software projects so that users can more easily find software that gives them greater control over their computing and data.

So, I ask you, please join the FSF and friends Friday, June 14th, from 2pm to 5pm EDT (19:00 to 22:00 UTC) to help improve the Free Software Directory by adding new entries and updating existing ones. We will be on IRC in the #fsf channel on freenode.

If you are looking to get started, we have created a placeholder page,, where you can begin adding "related projects" or by editing the talk page. On Friday, after we create new category pages and semantic properties, we will create a search results page similar to those linked to from the front of the site.

About the Free Software Directory

Tens of thousands of people visit each month to discover free software. Each entry in the Directory contains a wealth of useful information, from basic category and descriptions, to providing detailed info about version control, IRC channels, documentation, and licensing info that has been carefully checked by FSF staff and trained volunteers.

While the Free Software Directory has been and continues to be a great resource to the world over the past decade, it has the potential of being a resource of even greater value. But it needs your help!

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