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You are here: Home FSF News Activists and experts gather in Cambridge for ethical tech conference to celebrate software freedom on March 23-24

Activists and experts gather in Cambridge for ethical tech conference to celebrate software freedom on March 23-24

by Molly de Blanc Contributions Published on Mar 14, 2019 05:00 PM

CAMBRIDGE, Massachusetts, USA -- Thursday, March 14, 2019 -- Next weekend, the Free Software Foundation (FSF) presents the eleventh annual LibrePlanet free software conference in Cambridge, March 23-24, 2019, at the Stata Center at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. LibrePlanet is an annual conference for people who care about their digital freedoms, bringing together software developers, policy experts, activists, and computer users to learn skills, share accomplishments, and tackle challenges facing the free software movement, including 3D printing, cryptography, medical devices, privacy, security, and current issues in software licensing. LibrePlanet 2019 will focus on the exploration of software freedom and how to bring to life trailblazing, principled new technologies.

LibrePlanet 2019 will include four keynotes. Tarek Loubani, an emergency physician, will talk about his work on making medical devices accessible through free designs that meet medical industry standards. Micky Metts, a member of the Agaric Design Collective, will talk about your collective and individual roles in maintaining your freedoms, with free software as the foundation. Bdale Garbee, longtime free software contributor and former Debian Project Leader, will tell us about the fun in free software, using personal anecdotes as examples. Richard Stallman, founder of the FSF and president of the board of directors, will discuss current issues facing user freedom, and announce the winners of the 2018 Free Software Foundation awards.

"What makes LibrePlanet great is how it brings everyone from old hand activists to new free software enthusiasts from around the world to exchange ideas, collaborate, and take on challenges to software freedom," said John Sullivan, executive director of the FSF. "We run the event using entirely free software, putting our ideals into action. This conference builds the software community, by offering opportunities for those who cannot attend to participate remotely via watching a multi-channel livestream and online voice and text conversations."

In addition to keynote presentations, LibrePlanet will include: 36 sessions; a party and a hack night on Saturday; an exhibit hall with exciting free software projects, nonprofits, and companies; and community organized meetups. Sessions include such topics as "The Tor Project: State of the Onion," "Australia's decryption law and free software," "Free software in the 3D printing community," and the "The Right to Repair & the DMCA." There will be talks on activism, case studies, communities, licensing and legal issues, and technical issues.

Attendees may register online until Tuesday, March 19 at 10:00 EDT, after which point they can register onsite at the conference, space permitting. Attendance is gratis for students and FSF members. Journalists interested in press passes should contact

LibrePlanet is financially supported in part by Red Hat and Private Internet Access.

About LibrePlanet

LibrePlanet is the annual conference of the Free Software Foundation. What was once a small gathering of FSF members has grown into a larger event for anyone with an interest in the values of software freedom. LibrePlanet is always gratis for associate members of the FSF and students. Sign up for announcements about the LibrePlanet conference here.

LibrePlanet 2018 was held at MIT from March 24-25, 2018. About 350 attendees from all over the world came together for conversations, workshops, and keynotes centered around the theme of "Freedom Embedded." You can watch videos from past conferences at, including keynotes by Deb Nicholson, Seth Schoen, and Benjamin Mako Hill.

About the Free Software Foundation

The FSF, founded in 1985, is dedicated to promoting computer users' right to use, study, copy, modify, and redistribute computer programs. The FSF promotes the development and use of free (as in freedom) software -- particularly the GNU operating system and its GNU/Linux variants -- and free documentation for free software. The FSF also helps to spread awareness of the ethical and political issues of freedom in the use of software, and its Web sites, located at and, are an important source of information about GNU/Linux. Donations to support the FSF's work can be made at Its headquarters are in Boston, MA, USA.

More information about the FSF, as well as important information for journalists and publishers, is at

Media Contact

Molly de Blanc
Campaigns Manager
Free Software Foundation
+1 (617) 542 5942

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