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You are here: Home Free Software Supporter 2022 Free Software Supporter -- Issue 168, April 2022

Free Software Supporter -- Issue 168, April 2022

by Free Software Foundation Contributions Published on Apr 04, 2022 07:04 PM

Welcome to the Free Software Supporter, the Free Software Foundation's (FSF) monthly news digest and action update -- being read by you and 228,186 other activists. That's 542 more than last month!

Join our team fighting for freedom! The FSF is expanding, and we are currently looking for a program manager, temporary bookkeeper, and summer interns. If you are interested in one of these opportunities, please apply. If you know someone who might be interested, please forward and share. Thank you!

TABLE OF CONTENTS

  • Antitrust Day: Tech monopolies shouldn't be allowed to control app stores
  • Take the next step in "living liberation": Watch the LibrePlanet 2022 videos today!
  • LibrePlanet: "Living Liberation" day two retrospective, and motivation for freedom
  • Day one reflections for LibrePlanet: "Living Liberation"
  • Free Software Awards winners announced: SecuRepairs, Protesilaos Stavrou, Paul Eggert
  • EARN-IT threatens encryption and therefore user freedom
  • Freedom from coercion
  • Artificial Intelligence (AI) Act: Free software is key!
  • An erroneous preliminary injunction granted in Neo4j v. PureThink
  • Stop invasive remote proctoring: Pass California's student Test Taker Privacy Protection Act
  • Keeping one's home tidy
  • New crypto sanctions bill targets publishing code, facilitating transactions
  • First ever eco-certified computer program: KDE's popular PDF reader Okular
  • March GNU Emacs news
  • Join the FSF and friends in updating the Free Software Directory
  • LibrePlanet featured resource: Cipilot Watch Group
  • GNU Spotlight with Amin Bandali: Eleven 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: https://www.fsf.org/free-software-supporter/2022/april

Encourage your friends to subscribe and help us build an audience by adding our subscriber widget to your Web site.

Miss an issue? You can catch up on back issues at https://www.fsf.org/free-software-supporter.

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


Antitrust Day: Tech monopolies shouldn't be allowed to control app stores

From April 4

There are currently two tech antitrust bills currently on the US Senate floor: the Open App Markets Act (OAMA), and the American Innovation and Choice Online Act (AICOA). These are two separate bills, their general focus remains the same: preventing large tech corporations from behaviors that that take away people's freedom. This article highlights how the two bills can help further the goals of the free software movement in an important way, and gives instructions for how you may contact your senator and congressperson to express your support.

Take the next step in "living liberation": Watch the LibrePlanet 2022 videos today!

From March 29

Both days of LibrePlanet 2022: "Living Liberation" featured a wide range of speakers covering how nearly every topic you can think of relates to one common concept: free software. This year, we worked hard to get the videos published closer to the event, and this time, we managed within a week! The LibrePlanet 2022 program page has links to all recorded videos, audio, and accompanying slides. You can watch them on MediaGoblin, in the LibrePlanet archives, and on the FSF's PeerTube channel.

LibrePlanet: "Living Liberation" day two retrospective, and motivation for freedom

From March 20

The second day of this year's LibrePlanet conference offered an array of informative and delightful talks. In our blog post, we highlight some of the exciting topics such as using the command line for graphic design, the state of free software mobile operating system Replicant, a keynote by Hundred Rabbits, discussions on free software in education, a closing keynote by the FSF's newly appointed executive director, Zoë Kooyman, and the FSF president, Geoffrey Knauth, and more.

Day one reflections for LibrePlanet: "Living Liberation"

From March 19

Among some of the highlights from day one of this year's LibrePlanet conference were free software hactivism within public administrations, an opening keynote with Marleen Stikker of Waag, the challenges and opportunities to "building an ethical e-book," and more. Our blog post from day one provides screenshots and an overview of some of the noteworthy moments.

Free Software Awards winners announced: SecuRepairs, Protesilaos Stavrou, Paul Eggert

From March 19

During LibrePlanet, the FSF announced the recipients of the 2021 Free Software Awards, which are given annually at the conference to groups and individuals in the free software community who have made significant contributions to the cause for software freedom. This year's recipients of the awards are Paul Eggert, Protesilaos Stavrou, and SecuRepairs. Please join us in congratulating and thanking them for their work.

EARN-IT threatens encryption and therefore user freedom

From March 10

Are you "hiding" when you lock the door of your home every day, just because the government is not permitted to enter it without a warrant? Is it "hiding" to seal the envelope of the card you're sending your Valentine? The "Eliminating Abusive and Rampant Neglect of Interactive Technologies" (EARN-IT) Act currently on the floor of the US Senate seems to suggest that end-to-end encryption can be used for no other purpose than hiding criminal activity. As this affects everyday users who may just be using these tools for lawful purposes, we urge US citizens to call their congressperson.

Freedom from coercion

From March 30 by Kyle Rankin

"As a software user, be thoughtful about the software you depend on, especially for security- or business-critical applications. Are you safe from coerced backdoors or software bans if governments lean on your vendors?" This post offers free software as the solution as it allows you (or someone you appoint) to inspect the code running on your computers. Free software, and only free software, allows you to easily revoke trust, fully own and control keys, and audit your digital supply chain.

Artificial Intelligence (AI) Act: Free software is key!

From March 30 by Free Software Foundation Europe

Free Software Foundation Europe (FSFE) calls on the European Parliament to "include requirements to release AI under a free software license." They identify three important pillars that guide their demands: innovation, control, and trustworthiness. Read the article, FSFE's dedicated document for decision makers, and the discussion thread to learn more about the FSFE's advocacy in a topic of worldwide relevance.

An erroneous preliminary injunction granted in Neo4j v. PureThink

From March 30 by Bradley Kuhn

Neo4j, Inc. v. PureThink, LLC, an ongoing case in the Northern District of California, has been receiving increased attention in public discourse, and it has implications for copyleft and free software licenses. In this article, Kuhn writes, "While it's true that part of the summary judgment decision in the lower court bodes badly for an important provision in AGPLv3 section 7, paragraph 4, the good news is that the case is not over, nor was the appeal (decided this month) even an actual appeal of the decision itself!"

Stop invasive remote proctoring: Pass California's Student Test Taker Privacy Protection Act

From March 24 by Jason Kelley

While "many educators have likewise recommended against remote proctoring," companies like Proctorio, ProctorU, and ExamSoft continue to insert their freedom-denying services into schools. They "collect all manner of private data on students and test takers, from biometric information to citizenship status to video and audio of a user's surroundings." California's Student Test Taker Privacy Protection Act (STTPPA) seeks to remedy some of the most glaring issues the emergence of such self-described "remote proctoring" presents, but more work remains to be done to help assure software freedom and privacy for school administrators, teachers, and students. As the FSF has reported upon previously, proprietary software enables companies to use their unjust power to leverage more and more personal data.

Keeping one's home tidy

From March 21 by Ludovic Courtès

GNU Guix, a "transactional package manager and an advanced distribution of the GNU system that respects user freedom," has a handy way of managing and sharing configuration files called "Guix Home." This well-written and informative article explains the rationale behind Guix Home as well as how to use it in your everyday workflow. The FSF is Guix's fiscal sponsor, and you can donate to support the project's work.

New crypto sanctions bill targets publishing code, facilitating transactions

From March 17 by Jerry Brito & Peter Van Valkenburgh

A bill by US Senator Warren and other Democratic co-sponsors calls for "sanctioning technologists and users merely for the act of publishing [free software] or facilitating communication among network participants." Read more about this bill and its potential impact to developers and maintainers of free software, node operators, and miners.

First ever eco-certified computer program: KDE's popular PDF reader Okular

From March 16 by Joseph Veaugh-Geiss

In February 2022, Okular was awarded the Blue Angel environmental label, the official environmental label awarded by the German government. "The four freedoms have always put free software at the forefront of sustainable software design. What is new is that [free software] values are now recognized as being directly related to sustainability by organizations such as the German Environment Agency (Umweltbundesamt), who developed the award criteria."

March GNU Emacs news

From March 28 by Sacha Chua

In these issues: Note-taking in GNU Emacs with howm, tweaking appearance with font-patcher, upcoming GNU Emacs events, many new packages, and more!

Join the FSF and friends in updating the Free Software Directory

Tens of thousands of people visit directory.fsf.org 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, April 8 from 12pm to 3pm EDT (16:00 to 19:00 UTC). Details here:

LibrePlanet featured resource: Copilot Watch Group

For this month, we are highlighting the Copilot Watch Group, which provides information about the implications of auto-generated code, generated by way of machine learning, trained on software (mostly free/libre and copyleft) hosted on GitHub. You are invited to adopt, spread, and improve this important resource.

March GNU Spotlight with Amin Bandali: Eleven new GNU releases!

Message from Amin Bandali, who is taking over Mike Gerwitz's role for GNU Spotlight:

Hello! I'm Amin Bandali, and starting this month I'm taking over the GNU Spotlight from my fellow GNU hacker and free software activist Mike Gerwitz. Mike, thank you so much for all your work over the past four years for curating and preparing the monthly GNU Spotlight, which is a personal favorite part of the Free Software Supporter for me. I will do my best to continue in your steps in bringing exciting news on new releases of GNU packages to our dear readers.

Eleven new GNU releases in the last month (as of March 27, 2022):

For announcements of most new GNU releases, subscribe to the info-gnu mailing list: https://lists.gnu.org/mailman/listinfo/info-gnu.

To download: Nearly all GNU software is available from https://ftp.gnu.org/gnu/, or preferably one of its mirrors from https://www.gnu.org/prep/ftp.html. You can use the URL https://ftpmirror.gnu.org/ 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 https://www.gnu.org/server/takeaction.html#unmaint if you'd like to help. The general page on how to help GNU is at https://www.gnu.org/help/help.html.

If you have a working or partly working program that you'd like to offer to the GNU project as a GNU package, see https://www.gnu.org/help/evaluation.html.

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 Oberbeck
  • Andy Kopra
  • Denis López
  • James Wilson
  • Jason Self
  • Morten Lind
  • Russell Hernandez Ruiz
  • Stéphane Bortzmeyer
  • Valerio Poggi

You can add your name to this list by donating at https://donate.fsf.org/.

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:

  • Dr. Detler Steuer (GNU Emacs)
  • Ignacio Casso San Roman (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: https://www.fsf.org/free-software-supporter/2022/abril

Para cambiar las preferencias de usuario y recibir los próximos números del Supporter en español, haz click aquí: https://my.fsf.org/civicrm/profile/create?reset=1&gid=34&id={contact.contact_id}&{contact.checksum}

Le Free Software Supporter est disponible en français. Pour voir la version française cliquez ici: https://www.fsf.org/free-software-supporter/2022/avril

Pour modifier vos préférences et recevoir les prochaines publications du Supporter en français, cliquez ici: https://my.fsf.org/civicrm/profile/create?reset=1&gid=34&id={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 https://my.fsf.org/join. 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! https://my.fsf.org/join

The FSF is always looking for volunteers (https://www.fsf.org/volunteer). 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 (https://www.fsf.org/campaigns) and take action on software patents, Digital Restrictions Management, free software adoption, OpenDocument, and more.

Do you read and write Portuguese and English? The FSF is looking for translators for Free Software Supporter. Please send an email to campaigns@fsf.org with your interest and a list of your experience and qualifications.


Copyright © 2022 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 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/.

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