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You are here: Home Free Software Supporter 2020 Free Software Supporter - Issue 143, March 2020

Free Software Supporter - Issue 143, March 2020

by Free Software Foundation Contributions Published on Feb 03, 2020 04:06 PM

Welcome to the Free Software Supporter, the Free Software Foundation's (FSF) monthly news digest and action update -- being read by you and 226,506 other activists. That's 1,364 more than last month!

Hot off the presses: A sneak peek at the LibrePlanet 2020 schedule

From February 20th

On March 14th and 15th, 2020, the free software community will come together at the Back Bay Events Center to learn, exchange ideas, catch up with friends, and plan the future of the movement.

Register today! As always, FSF associate members and students attend gratis.

You can now dive into the schedule of speakers already confirmed for LibrePlanet 2020, with some more surprises to come!

We also encourage you to use the newly redesigned LibrePlanet wiki page to learn about and organize your own social events in and around the conference.


  • Environmental activist Shannon Dosemagen joins FSF conference keynote lineup
  • Register today for LibrePlanet -- or organize your own satellite instance
  • Coming soon: A new site for fully free collaboration
  • Why freeing Windows 7 opens doors
  • Charity Navigator awards the FSF coveted four-star rating for the seventh time in a row
  • GNU-FSF cooperation update
  • "I Love Free Software Day": Swipe (copy)left on dating apps
  • Thank you for supporting the FSF
  • (pre-)FOSDEM +++ ILoveFS +++ Community
  • I Love Free Software Day on the go: The Replicant operating system in practice
  • Wearable microphone jamming: The "bracelet of silence" is also a bracelet of freedom!
  • Let's Encrypt has issued a billion certificates
  • GCC source repository converted to git
  • In case you ever want to unicycle 21,000 miles: You can find your way with OpenStreetMap!
  • February GNU Emacs news
  • Join the FSF and friends in updating the Free Software Directory
  • LibrePlanet featured resource: LibrePlanet:Conference/2020
  • GNU Spotlight with Mike Gerwitz: 22 new GNU releases!
  • FSF and other free software events
  • Thank GNUs!
  • GNU copyright contributions
  • Translations of the Free Software Supporter
  • Take action with the FSF!

View this issue online here:

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Miss an issue? You can catch up on back issues at

Want to read this newsletter translated into another language? Scroll to the end to read the Supporter in French, Spanish, or Portuguese.

Environmental activist Shannon Dosemagen joins FSF conference keynote lineup

From February 28th

Shannon Dosemagen is the second confirmed keynote speaker for the LibrePlanet conference. Dosemagen is the co-founder and current executive director of Public Lab, a nonprofit organization creating local environmental science solutions following the free software philosophy, and winner of the FSF's Award for Projects of Social Benefit. Shannon Dosemagen is an environmental health advocate and a community science champion, and is enthusiastic about free systems and technology that support the creation of a more just and equitable future. At LibrePlanet, Dosemagen will discuss her experience democratizing science to address environmental problem-solving.

Register today for LibrePlanet -- or organize your own satellite instance

From February 14th

We envision that some day there will be satellite LibrePlanet conference instances all over the globe livestreaming our annual conference on technology and social justice -- and you can create your own today! All you need is a venue, a screen, and a schedule of LibrePlanet events, which we'll be releasing soon. This year, a free software supporter in Ontario, Canada, has confirmed an event, and we encourage you to host one, too.

Coming soon: A new site for fully free collaboration

From February 25

As we said in an end-of-year post highlighting our work supporting free software development and infrastructure, the FSF is planning to launch a public code hosting and collaboration platform ("forge"), to launch in 2020. Members of the FSF tech team are currently reviewing ethical Web-based software that helps teams work on their projects, with features like merge requests, bug tracking, and other common tools.

The new site will complement the current GNU and non-GNU Savannah servers, which we will continue to support and improve, in collaboration with their awesome volunteer team.

Up next for the FSF tech team is to do more research about systems that have met our initial requirements, in order to find the best options available. Once we know what we're interested in, we'll start trying them out and performing more extensive tests.

Stay tuned to hear from us about the software stack we end up choosing, and for our site launch announcement!

Why freeing Windows 7 opens doors

From February 13th

Since its launch on January 24th, we've had an overwhelming amount of support in our call to "upcycle" Windows 7. After receiving just a little short of twice of our goal of 7,777 signatures, our next step was to mail Microsoft an upcycled hard drive along with the signatures to Microsoft's corporate offices. It's as easy as copying the source code, giving it a license notice, and mailing it back to us. As the guardian of the most popular free software license in the world, we're ready to give them all of the help we can. All they have to do is ask.

We want them to show exactly how much love they have for the "open source" software they mention in their advertising. If they really do love free software -- and we're willing to give them the benefit of the doubt -- they have the opportunity to show it to the world. We hope they're not just capitalizing on the free software development model in the most superficial and exploitative way possible: by using it as a marketing tool to fool us into thinking that they care about our freedom.

Charity Navigator awards the FSF coveted four-star rating for the seventh time in a row

From February 18th

This month, Charity Navigator, an independent evaluator of US-based nonprofit charities, awarded the FSF a four-star rating, the highest available. According to the confirmation letter from Charity Navigator president Michael Thatcher, this rating demonstrates the FSF's "strong financial health and commitment to accountability and transparency." This is our seventh time in a row receiving the coveted four-star rating! Only 7% of the charities that Charity Navigator evaluates have gotten this many in a row, and they assess over 9,000 charities a year.

GNU-FSF cooperation update

From February 6th

The Free Software Foundation and the GNU Project leadership are defining how these two separate groups cooperate. Our mutual aim is to work together as peers, while minimizing change in the practical aspects of this cooperation, so we can advance in our common free software mission.

Alex Oliva, Henry Poole and John Sullivan (board members or officers of the FSF), and Richard Stallman (head of the GNU Project), have been meeting to develop a general framework which will serve as the foundation for further discussion about specific areas of cooperation. Together we have been considering the input received from the public on and Comments from the community on this effort were solicited through February 13th.

"I Love Free Software Day": Swipe (copy)left on dating apps

From February 11th

Every year, Free Software Foundation Europe (FSFE) encourages supporters to celebrate Valentine’s Day as “I Love Free Software Day,” a day for supporters to show their gratitude to the people who enable them to enjoy software freedom, including maintainers, contributors, and other activists. It seems appropriate on this holiday to once again address how seeking love on the Internet is, unfortunately, laden with landmines for your freedom and privacy. But today, I’m also going to make the argument that our community should think seriously about developing a freedom-respecting alternative.

Thank you for supporting the FSF

From February 10th

On January 17th, we closed the Free Software Foundation (FSF)'s end of the year fundraiser and associate membership drive, bringing 368 new associate members to the FSF community.

It is your support of the FSF that makes all of our work possible. Your generosity impacts us on a direct level. It doesn't just keep the lights on, but is also the source of our motivation to fight full-time for software freedom. Your support is at the heart of our work advocating for the use of copyleft and the GPL. It's also what brought seventeen new devices to the RYF program this year, and is what drives our campaigning against Digital Restrictions Management (DRM). We are deeply grateful for the new memberships and donations we have received this year, not to mention the existing members and recurring donors that have enabled us to reach this point.

(pre-)FOSDEM +++ ILoveFS +++ Community

From February 26 by Erik Albers

From our own pre-FOSDEM event, to the exciting FOSDEM weekend, to I Love Free Software Day, February was full of exciting news for the FSFE. We used these occasions to present our work, as well as to offer communities around Europe the opportunity to present their own. Read about our booths and presentations, about love and upcoming events in our February Newsletter.

I Love Free Software Day on the go: The Replicant operating system in practice

From February 14th by André Ockers

On I Love Free Software Day 2020 I’d like to pay attention to and thank the Replicant operating system, which is in active development and empowers users to use free software on the go.

As a user with a non-technical background it was an honor and a privilege to attend the Replicant Birds of a Feather meeting at FOSDEM 2020. There I concluded that my choice for Replicant not only helps the environment and strengthens the sustainability of my hardware, but also that the project is in active development and will support more contemporary hardware.

Donate to the Replicant project at!

Wearable microphone jamming: The "bracelet of silence" is also a bracelet of freedom!

From February 19th by Yuxin Chen, Huiying Li, Shan-Yuan Teng, Steven Nagels, Zhijing Li, Pedro Lopes, Ben Y. Zhao, and Haitao Zheng

Researchers at the University of Chicago came up with a "bracelet of silence" to prevent Alexa and other in-home electronic spies from listening in on conversations. Since they published their source code, it's also a bracelet of freedom!

Let's Encrypt has issued a billion certificates

From February 27th by Josh Aas and Sarah Gran

Congratulations to Let's Encrypt, who issued their billionth certificate on February 27, 2020! Let's Encrypt is a free, automated certificate authority, run for the public’s benefit, which we use here at the FSF, and in this blog post, they used this milestone as an opportunity to reflect on what has changed for them, and for the Internet, leading up to this event.

GCC source repository converted to git

From January 13th by Joseph Myers

The repository is now open for commits. Snapshot generation and DATESTAMP updates from cron are now enabled. As of this reporting, scripts to update online documentation were in process but not finished. Please help with updating documentation for using git with GCC. has a list of things that ought to be covered in git.html and gitwrite.html (in the gcc-wwwdocs.git repository), most of which aren't covered yet, and in general any hints and tips about git usage that have come up in recent discussions should be added to the documentation if not already there.

In case you ever want to unicycle 21,000 miles: You can find your way with OpenStreetMap!

From February 9th by Caitlin Giddings

Next time someone tells you that Google Maps is necessary, tell them about this unicyclist who traveled 21,000 miles across the globe using OpenStreetMap via!

Nineteen-year-old Ed Pratt left his home in Somerset, England, on a mission to become the first person to circle the globe on a unicycle. Three years and 21,000 miles later -- after crossing Europe, the Middle East, Asia, Australia, New Zealand, and the US -- he rolled back to his starting point and a cheering 500-person crowd, successful in both his final dismount (he was worried about that) and a new record.

February GNU Emacs news

From February 24th by Sacha Chua

In these issues: ripgrepping with Helm, spicing up your prompt, introducing Org-Roam, Emacs finally learns to ctrl-F, and more!

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, March 6th, from 12pm to 3pm EST (17:00 to 20:00 UTC). Details here:

LibrePlanet featured resource: LibrePlanet:Conference/2020

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

For this month, we are once again highlighting LibrePlanet:Conference/2020, which provides information about the upcoming LibrePlanet conference, happening here in Boston on March 14-15! This page is here to help you facilitate meetups with other free software supporters at the conference, including themed dinners; you can also sign up to do a Lightning Talk at 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: 22 new GNU releases!

22 new GNU releases in the last month (as of February 28, 2020):

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.

This month, we welcome Sanjay Bhatnagar as maintainer of the new package fussy.

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.

FSF and other free software events

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:

  • Ed Price
  • Evan Klitzke
  • James Wilson
  • Pat Ryan
  • René Genz
  • Valerio Poggi

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 GNU GPL and keep software free. The following individuals have assigned their copyright to the FSF (and allowed public appreciation) in the past month:

  • Christophe Seguinot (GNU Radio)
  • Igor Antonio Auad Freire (GNU Radio)
  • Pieter van Oostrum (Emacs)
  • tsuucat (Emacs)
  • Vyacheslav Petrishchev (Wget)

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

Translations of the Free Software Supporter

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}

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, and more.

Copyright © 2020 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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