Respects Your Freedom in 2017: The best year yet!
It is not easy to make a device that meets our standards. Each device goes through a rigorous review process, and not everyone who applies is able to gain certification in the end. The source code and documentation must all be distributed under a free license. This requires a deep understanding of all the ways that code can hide on a device, and the ability to modify things as needed.
Since our first certification in 2012, the RYF program has slowly gained steam. The program itself is still developing; we've worked to put in place best practices that applicants can follow. The good news is that the foundation laid out over the past five years paid off in a big way in 2017.
In March we saw the certification of three new devices from Vikings. The devices, the Vikings D16 Mainboard, the Vikings X200 libre-friendly laptop, and the Vikings USB Stereo Sound Adapter, expanded the program not just in terms of breadth, but also presented for the first time a mainboard that is certified to Respect Your Freedom.
Then in June, Technoethical (formerly Tehnoetic) launched fifteen new devices! The launch included laptops, peripherals, a mainboard, and more, bringing the total of currently available devices in the RYF program to nearly thirty. With the help of Vikings and Technoethical, we were able to more than double the number of devices that users can trust in just one year. That is a massive leap forward.
2017 thus far has been a big year, but now that we know what is possible, it's time to aim our sights even higher: RYF has to grow if we are to achieve our goal of making freedom-respecting devices easily and widely available. If we want to scale RYF up to that task, we have to keep adapting and streamlining the work that we do. The RYF team is currently just a few staff members and some volunteers, so building the program to a global scale is no small task.
We hope to end the year with more big announcements, so keep an eye out. Until then, you can see all the amazing RYF devices currently available at fsf.org/ryf.