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You are here: Home Free Software Supporter 2018 Free Software Supporter - Issue 121, May 2018

Free Software Supporter - Issue 121, May 2018

by Free Software Foundation Contributions Published on Apr 02, 2018 03:39 PM
Welcome to the Free Software Supporter, the Free Software Foundation's (FSF) monthly news digest and action update -- being read by you and 187,209 other activists. That's 610 more than last month!

The Free Software Supporter is now available in Brazilian Portuguese!

Software freedom is a worldwide issue, and we have a global mission to defend the rights of all software users everywhere. As such, we make every effort to get Free Software Foundation (FSF) and GNU Project materials translated into as many languages as possible. Thanks to the suggestion of one of our wonderful volunteers, we're launching an edition of the Free Software Supporter monthly newsletter translated into Brazilian Portuguese! If you want to receive your emailed version of the Supporter in Portuguese, click here and simply update your language preferences. (Note -- do not share this link, as it will allow others to modify your account.)


  • Richard Stallman: "No company is so important its existence justifies setting up a police state"
  • RMS in The Guardian: “A radical proposal to keep your personal data safe”
  • “The printer story” redux: a testimonial about the injustice of proprietary firmware
  • Meet the latest Digital Restrictions Management (DRM) drones
  • Private Internet Access: VPNs, education, and software freedom
  • Trisquel 8.0 LTS Flidas
  • Registration is open for GNUHealth Con 2018!
  • AMD promises firmware fixes for security processor bugs but won't fix the fundamental problem
  • Microsoft services agreement bars offensive language
  • Free Software Foundation announces crowdfunding campaign to buy Facebook (April Fools!)
  • Appliance companies are lobbying to protect their DRM-fueled repair monopolies
  • More entries for the "Catalog of Missing Devices," courtesy of Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) supporters
  • GnuCash 3.0 released
  • TorBirdy 0.2.4 is released
  • GPL benefit sale: Refurbished LulzBot 3D printers
  • Free Software Directory meeting recap
  • Join the FSF and friends in updating the Free Software Directory
  • LibrePlanet featured resource: FreedSoftware
  • GNU Spotlight with Mike Gerwitz: 14 new GNU releases!
  • GNU Toolchain update: Support GNU Toolchain
  • Richard Stallman's speaking schedule
  • Thank GNUs!
  • GNU copyright contributions
  • Take action with the FSF!

View this issue online here:

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El Free Software Supporter está disponible en español. Para ver la versión en español haz click aqui:

Para cambiar las preferencias de usuario y recibir los próximos números del Supporter en español, haz click aquí:{contact.contact_id}&{contact.checksum}

Le Free Software Supporter est disponible en français. Pour voir la version française cliquez ici:

Pour modifier vos préférences et recevoir les prochaines publications du Supporter en français, cliquez ici:{contact.contact_id}&{contact.checksum}

O Free Software Supporter está disponível em Português. Para ver a versão em Português, clique aqui:

Para alterar as preferências do usuário e receber as próximas edições do Supporter em Português, clique aqui:{contact.contact_id}&{contact.checksum}

Richard Stallman: "No company is so important its existence justifies setting up a police state"

From April 18 by Noah Kulwin

In this interview, part of the "The Internet Apologizes" series, FSF president Richard Stallman (RMS) discusses privacy rights, Facebook, the misuse of data (and thus why data shouldn't be collected in the first place), and more.

RMS in The Guardian: “A radical proposal to keep your personal data safe”

From April 9

Something needs to be done to halt the overall abuse of data, and in today's issue of The Guardian, RMS offers a bold proposal: that systems need to be legally required to not collect data in the first place. "The basic principle is that a system must be designed not to collect certain data," he writes, "if its basic function can be carried out without that data." He demands that this change go far beyond Facebook, as well.

"The printer story" redux: a testimonial about the injustice of proprietary firmware

From April 26

As part of his explanation of the early history of free software, Richard Stallman (RMS) often tells a story about his frustration with the locked-down software on a laser printer. In today's testimonial, an anonymous supporter details a much more recent incident that made it concrete to him how unjust, cruel, and arbitrary the restrictions imposed by software manufacturers can be.

Meet the latest Digital Restrictions Management (DRM) drones

From April 18

Back during the last round of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) anti-circumvention exemptions process, we wrote about the "DRM drones" who were opposing exemptions. These companies, along with the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), were trying to stifle the work of activists working to claw back a bit of freedom in the face of the DMCA's draconian provisions. A few years later, and it's a new round of the exemptions process, with perhaps some new faces, but the same old problem.

Private Internet Access: VPNs, education, and software freedom

From April 13

Private Internet Access was a generous supporter of LibrePlanet 2018 and the Free Software Foundation as a patron. As one of the largest VPN services available, they have customers all around the world. They recently announced their intention to release some of the software they produce under a free license.

Trisquel 8.0 LTS Flidas released

From April 5 by Ruben Rodriguez

Trisquel 8.0 has benefited from extensive testing, as many people have been using the development versions as their main operating system for some time. On top of that, the Free Software Foundation has been using it to run the LibrePlanet conference since last year, and it has been powering all of its new server infrastructure as well!

Registration is open for GNU Health Con 2018!

From April 22 by Luis Falcón Martín, MD

GNU Health Con is an annual conference that brings together enthusiasts and developers of the Free/Libre Health & Hospital Information System, and this is their tenth anniversary! Events include thematic sessions, free workshops, the presentation of the GNU Health Social Medicine awards, a 10th anniversary dinner, and a GNU Health Hack Day. The conference is from November 23-25, in Las Palmas, Spain.

Dr. Falcón also presented a talk on GNU Health at LibrePlanet 2018, "Free software as a catalyst for liberation, social justice, and social medicine."

AMD promises firmware fixes for security processor bugs but won't fix the fundamental problem

From March 20 by Peter Bright

AMD has responded to the reports last week of a range of security flaws affecting its Platform Security Processor (PSP) and chipset. The company acknowledges the bugs and says that, in coming weeks, it will have new firmware available to resolve the PSP bugs. These firmware fixes will also mitigate the chipset bugs. These security flaws are bad, but they're still secondary to the injustice of the Platform Security Processor (PSP), which is an intentional back door you can't control. AMD's fixes don't address that.

Microsoft services agreement bars offensive language

From March 28 by Simon Sharwood

Microsoft has imposed censorship on Skype and email, as well as its office suite, which is tethered to a Microsoft server, and a number of other disservices. Our advice, of course, isn't to "make sure you stay within the code of conduct" -- just close your accounts instead! As it stands, they're already forcing you to use nonfree software, and that's already an injustice.

Free Software Foundation announces crowdfunding campaign to buy Facebook (April Fools!)

From April 1

"When we received a 91.45 Bitcoin donation from the anonymous fund, we planned to use the money for several purposes, including bringing the free software movement to new audiences," said FSF executive director John Sullivan. "The recent scandal over Cambridge Analytica's illegal mass collection of Facebook user data has left the site's future up in the air. Our sysadmin team is ready to overhaul the entire site to become the world's largest privacy respecting, free software and free JavaScript-based social media platform. We're not sure yet what the name of the new site will be, but we're sure it will involve a clever acronym."

Appliance companies are lobbying to protect their DRM-fueled repair monopolies

From April 25 by Jason Koebler

The arguments that Dyson, LG, and Wahl are making to justify keeping software locked down in appliances are getting sillier every day. First, they're claiming that their products are too complex for ordinary people to learn to repair, and if you try to repair your electric razor, you'll burn your house down; next, they're claiming that if you let an independent professional into your house to repair your vacuum cleaner or toaster, they'll burgle your house (which somehow, a certificate from the company will automatically prevent).

More entries for the "Catalog of Missing Devices," courtesy of Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) supporters

From April 10 by Cory Doctorow

We're not sure how realistic these "missing devices" that EFF supporters came up with would be even without the unethical restraints of DMCA, but it's a great illustration of how creativity could flourish if DRM weren't stopping us.

GnuCash 3.0 released

From April 3 by Jonathan Corbet

The GnuCash development team proudly announces GnuCash 3.0, the first release in their new 3.x stable series.

TorBirdy 0.2.4 is released

From April 2 by Sukhbir Singh

TorBirdy is an extension for Mozilla Thunderbird that configures it to make connections over the Tor network. TorBirdy automatically enhances the privacy settings of Thunderbird and configures it for use over Tor -- think of it as Torbutton for Thunderbird.

GPL benefit sale: Refurbished LulzBot 3D printers

From April 17 by Aleph Objects

Have you been planning on buying a 3D printer? Get a more ethical printer while helping the FSF: in honor of the GPL, Aleph is giving customers 15% off of every factory refurbished LulzBot 3D printer, AND donating $50 to us!

Free Software Directory meeting recap

Check out the great work our volunteers accomplished at the April Free Software Directory meetings. Every week free software activists from around the world come together in #fsf on to help improve the Free Software Directory.

Join the FSF and friends in updating 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 version control, IRC channels, documentation, and licensing. The Free Software Directory has been a great resource to software users over the past decade, but it needs your help staying up-to-date with new and exciting free software projects.

To help, join our weekly IRC meetings on Fridays. Meetings take place in the #fsf channel on, and usually include a handful of regulars as well as newcomers. Freenode is accessible from any IRC client -- Everyone's welcome!

The next meeting is Friday, May 4, from 12pm to 3pm EDT (16:00 to 19:00 UTC). Details here:

LibrePlanet featured resource: FreedSoftware

Every month on LibrePlanet, we highlight one resource that is interesting and useful -- often one that could use your help.

For this month, we are highlighting FreedSoftware, which provides coordination for software projects to fill the gaps in 100% free software GNU/Linux distributions. You are invited to adopt, spread and improve this important resource.

Do you have a suggestion for next month's featured resource? Let us know at

GNU Spotlight with Mike Gerwitz: 14 new GNU releases!

For announcements of most new GNU releases, subscribe to the info-gnu mailing list:

To download: nearly all GNU software is available from, or preferably one of its mirrors from You can use the URL to be automatically redirected to a (hopefully) nearby and up-to-date mirror.

A number of GNU packages, as well as the GNU operating system as a whole, are looking for maintainers and other assistance: please see if you'd like to help. The general page on how to help GNU is at

If you have a working or partly working program that you'd like to offer to the GNU project as a GNU package, see

As always, please feel free to write to us at with any GNUish questions or suggestions for future installments.

GNU Toolchain update: Support GNU Toolchain

Donate to support the GNU Toolchain, a collection of foundational freely licensed software development tools including the GNU C Compiler collection (GCC), the GNU C Library (glibc), and the GNU Debugger (GDB).

Richard Stallman's speaking schedule

For event details, as well as to sign-up to be notified for future events in your area, please visit

So far, Richard Stallman has the following events this month:

Thank GNUs!

We appreciate everyone who donates to the Free Software Foundation, and we'd like to give special recognition to the folks who have donated $500 or more in the last month.

This month, a big Thank GNU to:

  • Alexandre Blanc
  • Cătălin Frâncu
  • Donald and Jill Knuth
  • Donnie Pennington
  • Edward Flick
  • Hiroshi Takekawa
  • Ms. Leah Rowe
  • Nicolae Carabut

You can add your name to this list by donating at

GNU copyright contributions

Assigning your copyright to the Free Software Foundation helps us defend the GPL and keep software free. The following individuals have assigned their copyright to the FSF in the past month:

  • John Shahid (Emacs)
  • Muir Manders (Emacs)
  • Robert Michael Irelan (Emacs)
  • Ruslan Bukin (GCC) (GNU Binutils) (GDB)
  • Russell Black (Emacs)
  • Tee Kiah Chia (GNU Binutils)
  • Xi Xu (Emacs)
  • Yuya Minami (Emacs)

Want to see your name on this list? Contribute to GNU and assign your copyright to the FSF.

Take action with the FSF!

Contributions from thousands of individual members enable the FSF's work. You can contribute by joining at If you're already a member, you can help refer new members (and earn some rewards) by adding a line with your member number to your email signature like:

I'm an FSF member -- Help us support software freedom!

The FSF is always looking for volunteers ( From rabble-rousing to hacking, from issue coordination to envelope stuffing -- there's something here for everybody to do. Also, head over to our campaigns section ( and take action on software patents, Digital Restrictions Management (DRM), free software adoption, OpenDocument, Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), and more.

Copyright © 2018 Free Software Foundation, Inc.

This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 Unported License. To view a copy of this license, visit

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