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You are here: Home Free Software Supporter 2021 Free Software Supporter - Issue 161, September 2021

Free Software Supporter - Issue 161, September 2021

by Free Software Foundation Contributions Published on Aug 04, 2021 12:14 PM

Welcome to the Free Software Supporter, the Free Software Foundation's (FSF) monthly news digest and action update -- being read by you and 226,872 other activists. That's 602 more than last month!


  • FSF job opportunity: Outreach and communications coordinator
  • FSF announces JShelter browser add-on to combat threats from nonfree JavaScript
  • Keeping your freedom intact when registering or renewing as a DMCA agent
  • A wake-up call for iPhone users -- it's time to go
  • Youth Hacking 4 Freedom: coding competition for teenagers about to start
  • Introducing GNOME 41
  • The digital death of collecting
  • Meet the self-hosters taking back the Internet one server at a time
  • Delays aren't good enough -- Apple must abandon its surveillance plans
  • Nitter and other Internet reclamation projects
  • September GNU Emacs news
  • Join the FSF and friends in updating the Free Software Directory
  • LibrePlanet featured resource: LibreMelbourne
  • GNU Spotlight with Mike Gerwitz: 15 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!

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

FSF job opportunity: Outreach and communications coordinator

From September 2nd

Reporting to the executive director, the outreach and communications coordinator works closely with our campaigns, licensing, technical, and operations teams to plan, write, edit, publish, and promote high-quality, effective materials, both digital and printed. These materials are a critical part of advancing the FSF's work in support of the GNU Project, free software adoption, copyleft licensing, and freedom on the Internet; and against Digital Restrictions Management (DRM), software patents, and proprietary software. Nearly every publication from the FSF goes through this public-facing position, tying together our work across various constituencies.

FSF announces JShelter browser add-on to combat threats from nonfree JavaScript

From September 30th

BOSTON, Massachusetts, USA -- Thursday, September 30th, 2021 -- The Free Software Foundation (FSF) today announced the JShelter project, an anti-malware Web browser extension to mitigate potential threats from JavaScript, including fingerprinting, tracking, and data collection. The project is supported by NLnet Foundation's Next Generation Internet (NGI) Zero Privacy & Trust Enhancing Technologies fund. Collaborators include Libor Polčák and Bednář Martin (Brno University of Technology), Giorgio Maone (NoScript), and Ana Isabel Carvalho and Ricardo Lafuente (Manufactura Independente). The JShelter browser add-on is in development and the first release is available.

Keeping your freedom intact when registering or renewing as a DMCA agent

From September 30th

DMCA agent registration only lasts three years before it must be renewed. Use these add-ons to register and renew without the use of nonfree JavaScript.

Users shouldn't be forced to use nonfree software when interacting with their own government. Every user has the right to control their own computing, and the government shouldn't be forcing you to download and install proprietary software just to take advantage of its services.

A wake-up call for iPhone users -- it's time to go

From September 2nd

In the last few weeks, Apple announced that it will begin actively monitoring the photos and videos stored on the iPhones of its users in the United States. Apple is describing its surveillance system as a way to monitor for Child Sexual Abuse Material (CSAM), but whatever it claims it is searching for, what it really is is a way to use proprietary software to constantly search and spy on its users' devices. Technological ethics groups around the world have highlighted the grave implications and dangerous precedent these practices set for a user's privacy and right to control their own device. In short, Apple has stated it will roll out two types of surveillance to all iPhone models receiving a forthcoming update: one which compares photos stored on the device to hashes of a database of known CSAM hashes, and one which (optionally) alerts parents of sexual materials sent from their child's iPhone.

Update: As a response to global public outcry, Apple has temporarily postponed its new surveillance system. As we imagine that any changes it decides to make will fall short of the full freedom Apple users deserve, we encourage you to keep voicing your objections -- especially to Tim Cook directly.

Youth Hacking 4 Freedom: coding competition for teenagers about to start

From September 28th by FSFE

The Free Software Foundation Europe (FSFE) is a charity that empowers users to control technology. To inspire the younger generation to software freedom, the FSFE is organizing the coding competition ‘Youth Hacking 4 Freedom' (YH4F), where teenagers from all around Europe have the chance to compete in a fair and fun way. The winners receive a cash prize and a trip to Brussels with other young hackers.

The YH4F competition includes an online opening day to welcome everyone on board, in a kick-off event on Sunday 10 October, 5pm CEST. The FSFE will present the competition and answer questions. Please find more information on how to join at .

Introducing GNOME 41

From September 23rd, by Allan Day, Link Dupont, Matthias Clasen

GNOME 41 is the product of 6 months work by the GNOME project. It includes a number of significant improvements and new features, as well as a large collection of smaller enhancements.

The most notable changes in this release include an improved software app, new multitasking settings, and enhanced power management features. With these changes, GNOME is smarter, more flexible, and offers a richer and more engaging experience than ever before.

The digital death of collecting

From September 18th by Kyle Chayka

I am rearranging my music collection -- looking at the album covers, hearing snippets of the songs in my head as I see each one and recall the memories attached to it. There are the albums I listen to all the time and then those I only pick up once in a while so as not to dull their effects. The overall list is something only I could have come up with, a compendium of the music that’s important to me personally.

Actually, it might be more correct to say that my record collection has been rearranged for me: I opened the Spotify app on my laptop a few weeks ago and found that everything I had saved was in disarray.

Meet the self-hosters taking back the Internet one server at a time

From September 2nd by John Kehayias

It's no secret that a small handful of enormous companies dominate the Internet as we know it. But the Internet didn't always have services with a billion users and quasi-monopolistic control over search or shopping. It was once a loose collection of individuals, research labs, and small companies, each making their own home on the burgeoning World Wide Web.

That world hasn't entirely died out, however. Through a growing movement of dedicated hobbyists known as self-hosters, the dream of a decentralized Internet lives on at a time when surveillance, censorship, and increasing scrutiny of Big Tech has created widespread mistrust in large Internet platforms.

Delays aren't good enough -- Apple must abandon its surveillance plans

From September 3rd by Cindy Cohn

Apple announced today that it would “take additional time over the coming months to collect input and make improvements” to a program that will weaken privacy and security on iPhones and other products. EFF is pleased Apple is now listening to the concerns of customers, researchers, civil liberties organizations, human rights activists, LGBTQ people, youth representatives, and other groups, about the dangers posed by its phone scanning tools. But the company must go further than just listening, and drop its plans to put a backdoor into its encryption entirely.

Nitter and other Internet reclamation projects

From September 23rd by Drew DeVault

The World Wide Web has become an annoying, ultra-commercialized space. Many Web sites today are prioritizing the interests of the company behind the domain, at the expense of the user’s experience and well-being. This has been a frustrating problem for several years, but lately there’s been a heartwarming trend of users fighting back against the corporate web and stepping up to help and serve each other’s needs in spite of them, through what I’ve come to think of as Internet reclamation projects.

September GNU Emacs news

From September 27th by Sacha Chua

In these issues: the EmacsConf office hour, alternatives to use-package, tips on how to format strings in Emacs Lisp, 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 Libera.Chat, and usually include a handful of regulars as well as newcomers. Libera.Chat is accessible from any IRC client -- Everyone's welcome!

The next meeting is Friday, October 8th from 12pm to 3pm EDT (16:00 to 19:00 UTC). Details here:

LibrePlanet featured resource: LibreMelbourne

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 highlighting LibreMelbourne, an up and coming LibrePlanet local group for free software supporters in the Melbourne area. Even if you're not in Melbourne, you can join their online IRC meetings!

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

GNU Spotlight with Mike Gerwitz: 15 new GNU releases!

15 new GNU releases in the last month (as of September 27, 2021):

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

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:

  • Adam Jung
  • Adam Van Ymeren
  • Benjamin Smith
  • The Huisking Foundation, Inc.
  • Mathew Woodyard
  • Nathan Maynes
  • René Genz
  • Takeshi Nishimatsu

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:

  • Daniel Fleischer (GNU Emacs)
  • Daniel Laurens Nicolai (GNU Emacs)
  • Tomasz Konojacki (GNU Emacs)
  • Yikai Zhao (GNU Emacs)

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 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 associate 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 © 2021 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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