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You are here: Home Bulletins 2012 spring A hardware endorsement hunch

A hardware endorsement hunch

by Free Software Foundation Contributions Published on Oct 12, 2012 03:51 PM
By Joshua Gay and Donald Roberston, III, licensing and compliance team

We have a hunch, but we need your help to see if it is right!

OK, here's the back story ...

In the fall of 2010 the FSF announced "Respects Your Freedom," a computer product endorsement program with the goal of promoting the creation and sale of hardware that will do as much as possible to respect your freedom and your privacy, and that will ensure that you have control over your device.1

While at the time of writing this article we do not yet have a product to endorse, but there are a lot of factors that leave us feeling hopeful that pretty soon we'll begin to see products shipping with a "Respects Your Freedom" logo. For starters, we've been pleased to see an increase of the number of hardware devices that work with computers running fully free operating systems. Check-out H-Node for a database of hardware that works with free software operating systems.

Another thing that makes us hopeful that we'll have products to endorse is the increase in DIY electronics being done by makers and hardware-hackers around the world. It seems like every day a new hackerspace is popping-up somewhere in the world, and more and more we are seeing people creating hardware that not only ships with free software and free documentation, but that very often comes with hardware designs also released under a free license.

... so, our hunch is that from this culture, we will also find more and more small companies forming with the goal of producing products that carry freedom to the user; computer products the FSF can endorse, that Respect Your Freedom.

We need your help in discovering these companies (big or small) that are selling, or even seriously thinking about selling computer products (of any kind!) that respect your freedom. If you have any leads, send an email to


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