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SecureDrop and Alexandre Oliva are 2016 Free Software Awards winners

Sáb, 25/03/2017 - 17:15

The Award for Projects of Social Benefit is presented to a project or team responsible for applying free software, or the ideas of the free software movement, to intentionally and significantly benefit society. This award stresses the use of free software in service to humanity.

This year, SecureDrop received the award, which was accepted by Conor Schaefer, Senior DevOps engineer for Freedom of the Press Foundation.

SecureDrop is an anonymous whistleblowing platform used by major news organizations and maintained by Freedom of the Press Foundation. Originally written by the late Aaron Swartz with assistance from Kevin Poulsen and James Dolan, the free software platform was designed to facilitate private and anonymous conversations and secure document transfer between journalists and sensitive sources. It has been used in newsrooms across the world, including the Intercept, Associated Press, the Washington Post, the Guardian, ProPublica, and the New Yorker.

In his speech, Stallman emphasized the importance of whistleblowers in the maintenance of a free society. "[SecureDrop] provides a necessary channel for whistleblowers to communicate through."

"At Freedom of the Press Foundation, we believe strongly that an obstinate and cantankerous press is fundamental to keeping populations informed and empowered," Schaefer said when accepting the award. "Secure and anonymous communication is more important today than ever before, and is vital for protecting high-risk individuals such as investigative journalists and their confidential sources.

"SecureDrop is one way we try to tackle that problem, by defending the right of the press to inform the public. The project is the result of hard work by security engineers and contributors in the free software community. Under the hood, it's a medley of free software tools, and could not exist without the vibrant free software movement to depend on.

"On behalf of Freedom of the Press Foundation, thank you, to everyone in the free software community, to those brave enough to fight to inform the public, and to the Free Software Foundation in particular. It's a privilege to work with you all. Keep fighting the good fight, we're right there with you."

The Award for the Advancement of Free Software goes to an individual who has made a great contribution to the progress and development of free software, through activities that accord with the spirit of free software.

This year, it was presented to Alexandre Oliva. An advocate of free software and the GNU Project, Oliva's impact has been felt far beyond his home in Brazil, from giving talks about free software to his role as maintainer of linux-libre, the fully free version of the kernel Linux. A leader in the robust Latin American free software community, he started a project to reverse engineer the proprietary software used by Brazilian citizens to submit their taxes to the government, giving people there the opportunity to complete this interaction almost entirely with free software, and offering inspiration (and free code) for those wanting to tackle this common issue elsewhere.

Stallman said that he is "especially impressed with [Oliva's] project Softwares Impostos. His project provides a free replacement for proprietary software required by the [Brazilian] government to submit taxes." Stallman praised the efficacy of Oliva's work and the dedication it showed to creating and maintaining software that has significant impact while respecting user freedoms. "In many years, he had his updates ready before the official software came out."

"I first met Richard 21 years ago," Oliva said. "That defined the rest of my life. I've shared his message—our message—since then and now I think I know that I've been doing it right."

About the Free Software Foundation

The Free Software Foundation, 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 https://donate.fsf.org. Its headquarters are in Boston, MA, USA.

More information about the FSF, as well as important information for journalists and publishers, is at https://www.fsf.org/press.

Media Contacts

John Sullivan
Executive Director
Free Software Foundation
+1 (617) 542 5942
campaigns@fsf.org

LibrePlanet free software conference returns to MIT this weekend, March 25-26

Mar, 21/03/2017 - 13:45

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. LibrePlanet 2017 will feature sessions for all ages and experience levels.

In accordance with the theme "The Roots of Freedom," the conference's sessions will examine the roots of the free software movement, including the Four Freedoms, the GNU General Public License and copyleft, and the community's focus on security and privacy protections. Other sessions will explore new ideas and current work that has arisen from those roots, reaching in to activism, the arts, business, and education.

Keynote speakers include Kade Crockford, Director of the Technology for Liberty Program at the American Civil Liberties Union of Massachusetts, special consultant to the Electronic Frontier Foundation and author Cory Doctorow, Changeset Consulting founder Sumana Harihareswara, and Free Software Foundation founder and president Richard Stallman.

This year's LibrePlanet conference will feature over 50 sessions, such as The secret life of the bitcoin blockchain, SecureDrop: Leaking safely to modern news organizations, and Accessibility, free software and the rights of people with disabilities, as well as workshops covering digital security for beginners, an introduction to the Ansible tool for system administrators, and an in-depth look at how to create reproducible software packages.

"The LibrePlanet conference has expanded over the years, from a relatively small meeting of Free Software Foundation members to a two-day conference with social gatherings, the contributions of dozens of speakers and volunteers, and hundreds of people exploring free software," said Georgia Young, program manager at the Free Software Foundation. "This year, people have the opportunity to do lots of hands-on learning, self-organize conversations about free software topics they're interested in, and even give an impromptu lightning talk. Whether grappling with worldwide concerns or using free software tools for the first time, there are lots of different ways to explore the roots of software freedom here."

Due to high demand, advance registration is closed, but attendees may register in person at the event. For those who cannot attend, this year's sessions will be streamed at https://libreplanet.org/2017/live/ and recordings will be available after the event at https://media.libreplanet.org/.

About LibrePlanet

LibrePlanet is the annual conference of the Free Software Foundation, and is co-produced by MIT's Student Information Processing Board. 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.

LibrePlanet 2016 was held at MIT from March 19-20, 2016. About 400 attendees from all over the world came together for conversations, demonstrations, and keynotes centered around the theme of "Fork the System." You can watch videos from past conferences at https://media.libreplanet.org, including the opening keynote, a conversation with NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden.

About the Free Software Foundation

The Free Software Foundation, 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 fsf.org and gnu.org, are an important source of information about GNU/Linux. Donations to support the FSF's work can be made at https://donate.fsf.org. Its headquarters are in Boston, MA, USA.

More information about the FSF, as well as important information for journalists and publishers, is at https://www.fsf.org/press.

Media Contact

Georgia Young
Program Manager
Free Software Foundation
+1 (617) 542 5942
campaigns@fsf.org

FSF Job Opportunity: Outreach & Communications Coordinator

Jue, 16/03/2017 - 09:01

Reporting to the executive director, the Outreach & Communications Coordinator works closely with our campaigns, licensing, and technical teams to edit, write, 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, free media formats, 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. The position's job functions are rooted in a mix of copy editing, substantive editing, writing, external outreach, and project management.

Examples of job responsibilities include, but are not limited to:

  • Stewarding the online publication and editing process for all departments, including copy editing, formatting, posting, maintaining material on our Web sites, and sending out e-mail messages to our lists
  • Producing and improving our monthly e-mail newsletter, the Free Software Supporter
  • Improving the effectiveness of our audio and video materials
  • Editing and building our biannual printed Bulletin
  • Promoting our work and the work of others in the area of computing freedom on social media
  • Helping to produce fundraising materials and assisting with our fundraising drives
  • Cultivating the community around the LibrePlanet wiki and network, including the annual conference
  • Working with and recruiting volunteers
  • Being an approachable, humble, and friendly representative of the FSF to our worldwide community of existing supporters and the broader public, both in person and online

Ideal candidates have at least one to three years of work experience in copy editing, writing, and free software; proficiency and comfort with professional writing and publications preferred. Because the FSF works globally and seeks to have our materials distributed in as many languages as possible, multilingual candidates will have an advantage. With our small staff of thirteen, each person makes a clear contribution. We work hard, but offer a humane and fun work environment at an office located in the heart of downtown Boston. The FSF is a mature but growing organization that provides great potential for advancement; existing staff get the first chance at any new job openings.

Benefits and Salary

This job is a union position that must be worked on-site at the FSF's downtown Boston office. The salary is fixed at $52,152/year and is non-negotiable. Other benefits include:

  • Full family health coverage through Blue Cross/Blue Shield's HMO Blue program
  • Subsidized dental plan
  • Four weeks of paid vacation annually
  • Seventeen paid holidays annually
  • Weekly remote work allowance
  • Public transit commuting cost reimbursement
  • 403(b) program through TIAA
  • Yearly cost-of-living pay increases (based on government guidelines)
  • Conference travel opportunities
  • Potential for an annual performance bonus
Application Instructions

Applications must be submitted via email to hiring@fsf.org. The email must contain the subject line "Outreach & Communications Coordinator". A complete application should include:

  • Cover letter
  • Resume
  • Two recent writing samples
  • Three or more edits you would suggest to this job posting
  • Links to published works online (optional)

All materials must be in a free format (such as plain text, PDF, or OpenDocument). Email submissions that do not follow these instructions will probably be overlooked. No phone calls, please.

Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis until the position is filled. To guarantee consideration, submit your application by Sunday, April 9, 2017.

The FSF is an equal opportunity employer and will not discriminate against any employee or application for employment on the basis of race, color, marital status, religion, age, sex, sexual orientation, national origin, handicap, or any other legally protected status recognized by federal, state or local law. We value diversity in our workplace.

About the Free Software Foundation

The Free Software Foundation, 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 fsf.org and gnu.org, are an important source of information about GNU/Linux. Donations to support the FSF's work can be made at https://donate.fsf.org. We are based in Boston, MA, USA.

More information about the FSF, as well as important information for journalists and publishers, is at https://www.fsf.org/press.

GNU Toolchain now accepting donations with the support of the Free Software Foundation

Jue, 09/03/2017 - 13:29

A meeting of GNU Toolchain developers.

Donations made through the FSF will help speed development of the GNU Toolchain projects, for example by compensating developers working on critical components, upgrading servers and other infrastructure, and facilitating in-person opportunities for collaboration and project advocacy. Donations are accepted in US dollars, Euro and British Pounds (email donate@fsf.org for transfer info), and Bitcoin. Since the FSF is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, donations are tax deductible in the US, and many employers will match employee contributions.

The FSF will oversee use of the funds, advised by a committee made up of developers from the GNU Toolchain projects. Joel Brobecker, a committee member who is the Global Maintainer and Release Manager for the GNU Debugger, part of the GNU Toolchain, said:

"This is another great initiative from the FSF aimed at providing funds benefiting the GNU Toolchain and its sub-components. While these projects enjoy a strong and vibrant community of both users and contributors, this fund will help at the operational level, providing additional support towards the collaborative improvement and growth of these projects and their community. It will also help those projects move forward in new areas that collaboration alone could not reach. I am looking forward to seeing this fund in action."

GNU Toolchain projects maintain the standards-compliant compiler, header files, basic system libraries, and debuggers that provide a smooth and efficient experience for the GNU/Linux developer and user communities. Its subprojects include, among others: the GNU Compiler Collection (also known as GCC), the GNU C Library (also known as GLIBC), and the GNU Debugger (also known as GDB). Like all GNU software, the elements of the GNU Toolchain are freely available to copy, audit and improve.

Carlos O'Donell, another committee member who is FSF Steward and developer for the GNU C Library, said:

"The FSF has always been a forward looking organization, and they have shown it again today by creating this fund. It will enable the GNU Toolchain community to reach more users by focusing funding on key requirements faced by the entire GNU Toolchain community. Right out of the gate, we will be able to look at the continuous integration work being carried out by core projects like the GNU C Library and the GNU Debugger. This work needs support and maintenance to enable developers to accelerate the pace of innovation across all the supported configurations from servers down to embedded. It is really an exciting time for the GNU Toolchain."

Support for the GNU Toolchain is part of the FSF's Working Together for Free Software initiative, which connects software freedom advocates to projects that need their help. Other projects that have benefited from this program include the GNU Guix package manager, the Replicant free mobile operating system, and the federated Web media-publishing platform GNU MediaGoblin.

About the Free Software Foundation

The Free Software Foundation, 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 https://fsf.org and https://gnu.org, are an important source of information about GNU/Linux. Donations to support the FSF's work can be made at https://donate.fsf.org. Its headquarters are in Boston, MA, USA.

More information about the FSF, as well as important information for journalists and publishers, is at https://www.fsf.org/press.

About the GNU Operating System and Linux

Richard Stallman announced in September 1983 the plan to develop a free software Unix-like operating system called GNU. GNU is the only operating system developed specifically for the sake of users' freedom. See https://www.gnu.org/gnu/the-gnu-project.html.

In 1992, the essential components of GNU were complete, except for one, the kernel. When in 1992 the kernel Linux was re-released under the GNU GPL, making it free software, the combination of GNU and Linux formed a complete free operating system, which made it possible for the first time to run a PC without non-free software. This combination is the GNU/Linux system. For more explanation, see https://www.gnu.org/gnu/gnu-linux-faq.html.

Media Contacts

John Sullivan Executive Director Free Software Foundation +1 (617) 542 5942 campaigns@fsf.org

Photo by David Edelsohn under the Creative Commons Attribution License (cc-by) 4.0

Three devices from Vikings GmbH now FSF-certified to respect your freedom

Lun, 06/03/2017 - 07:17

These are their first products to be awarded RYF certification. The Vikings D16 Mainboard is the first server or workstation mainboard certified by the FSF. The Vikings D16 Mainboard is an ASUS KGPE-D16 with the boot firmware replaced with free software. It can be purchased from Vikings GmbH at https://store.vikings.net/libre-friendly-hardware/d16-ryf-certfied. The Vikings X200 libre-friendly laptop is a refurbished laptop that comes with a free bios pre-installed, and at the user's option, Trisquel GNU/Linux, a fully free operating system endorsed by the FSF. It can be purchased from Vikings GmbH at https://store.vikings.net/libre-friendly-hardware/x200-ryf-certfied. Vikings USB Stereo Sound Adapter is a peripheral sound card that requires no proprietary software or binary blobs to operate, and can be purchased from Vikings GmbH at https://store.vikings.net/libre-friendly-accessories/usb-sound-adapter-ryf-certified.

"The certification of the Vikings D16 Mainboard is particularly exciting. The FSF has been successfully using the same model of board for our servers, and we're glad to now officially certify it—the first piece of RYF hardware suitable for the data center," said the FSF's executive director, John Sullivan.

Certifying the mainboard along with the Vikings X200 libre-friendly laptop and Vikings USB Stereo Sound Adapter gives Vikings GmbH a healthy selection of RYF devices for sale.

"Vikings joins other great companies offering multiple RYF-certified devices, and has plans in the works for future RYF-worthy items. We look forward to working with them to certify even more hardware that comes with only freedom inside," said the FSF's licensing & compliance manager, Donald Robertson, III.

To learn more about the Respects Your Freedom hardware certification program, including details on the certification of all these devices, please visit https://fsf.org/ryf.

Hardware sellers interested in applying for certification can consult https://www.fsf.org/resources/hw/endorsement/criteria.

About the Free Software Foundation

The Free Software Foundation, 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 https://donate.fsf.org. Its headquarters are in Boston, MA, USA.

More information about the FSF, as well as important information for journalists and publishers, is at https://www.fsf.org/press.

About Vikings GmbH

Vikings GmbH is a company based in Germany and operates world-wide. It was started by Thomas Umbach, founder and CEO. Vikings is the world's first professional hosting company with a fully libre hosting platform stack. Our services are based 100% on libre boot firmware, 100% libre software and are powered by 100% certified green energy. Vikings is your one stop source for libre hosting services as well as libre servers and workstations.

Media Contacts

Donald Robertson, III
Licensing & Compliance Manager
Free Software Foundation
+1 (617) 542 5942
licensing@fsf.org

Vikings GmbH, Germany
+49 6196 202 82 0
hello@vikings.net

Image by Vikings GmbH is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, CC BY.

FSF Job Opportunity: Campaigns Manager

Mar, 28/02/2017 - 09:54

Reporting to the executive director, the Campaigns Manager works on our campaigns team to plan, carry out, evaluate, and improve FSF's advocacy and education campaigns. The team also works closely with other FSF departments, including licensing, operations, and tech. The position will start by taking responsibility for existing campaigns in support of the GNU Project, free software adoption, free media formats, and freedom on the network; and against Digital Restrictions Management (DRM), software patents, and proprietary software.

Examples of job responsibilities include, but are not limited to:

  • Planning and participating in online and physical actions to achieve our campaign goals
  • Setting specific goals for each action and then measuring our success in achieving them
  • Doing the writing and messaging work needed to effectively explain our campaigns and motivate people to support them
  • Overseeing or doing the graphic design work to make our campaigns and their Web sites attractive
  • Supporting and attending special events, including community-building activities and our annual LibrePlanet conference
  • Assisting with annual online and mail fundraising efforts
  • Working with our tech team on the technology choices and deployments—especially of web publication systems like Drupal and Plone—for our campaign sites
  • Being an approachable, humble, and friendly representative of the FSF to our worldwide community of existing supporters and the broader public, both in person and online

Ideal candidates have at least three to five years of work experience in online issue advocacy and free software; proficiency and comfort with professional writing and publications preferred. Because the FSF works globally and seeks to have our materials distributed in as many languages as possible, multilingual candidates will have an advantage. With our small staff of thirteen, each person makes a clear contribution. We work hard, but offer a humane and fun work environment at an office located in the heart of downtown Boston. The FSF is a mature but growing organization that provides great potential for advancement; existing staff get the first chance at any new job openings.

Benefits and Salary

This job is a union position that must be worked on-site at the FSF's downtown Boston office. The salary is fixed at $60,385/year and is non-negotiable. Other benefits include:

  • Full family health coverage through Blue Cross/Blue Shield's HMO Blue program
  • Subsidized dental plan
  • Four weeks of paid vacation annually
  • Seventeen paid holidays annually
  • Weekly remote work allowance
  • Public transit commuting cost reimbursement
  • 403(b) program through TIAA
  • Yearly cost-of-living pay increases (based on government guidelines)
  • Conference travel opportunities
  • Potential for an annual performance bonus
Application Instructions

Applications must be submitted via email to hiring@fsf.org. The email must contain the subject line "Campaigns Manager". A complete application should include:

  • Cover letter, including a brief story of a time you motivated and organized others to take action on an issue important to you
  • Resume
  • Two recent writing samples
  • Links to videos of any talks you have given (optional)
  • Graphic design samples (optional)

All materials must be in a free format (such as plain text, PDF, or OpenDocument). Email submissions that do not follow these instructions will probably be overlooked. No phone calls, please.

Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis until the position is filled. To guarantee consideration, submit your application by Sunday, March 12, 2017.

The FSF is an equal opportunity employer and will not discriminate against any employee or application for employment on the basis of race, color, marital status, religion, age, sex, sexual orientation, national origin, handicap, or any other legally protected status recognized by federal, state or local law. We value diversity in our workplace.

About the Free Software Foundation

The Free Software Foundation, 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 fsf.org and gnu.org, are an important source of information about GNU/Linux. Donations to support the FSF's work can be made at https://donate.fsf.org. We are based in Boston, MA, USA.

More information about the FSF, as well as important information for journalists and publishers, is at https://www.fsf.org/press.

ACLU Massachusetts Technology for Liberty Director Kade Crockford at LibrePlanet 2017

Lun, 06/02/2017 - 15:34

Kade Crockford is the Director of the Technology for Liberty Program at the ACLU of Massachusetts. Kade works to protect and expand core First and Fourth Amendment rights and civil liberties in the digital 21st century, focusing on how systems of surveillance and control impact not just society in general but their primary targets — people of color, Muslims, immigrants, and dissidents.

The Information Age produces conditions facilitating mass communication and democratization, as well as dystopian monitoring and centralized control. The Technology for Liberty Program aims to use the unprecedented access to information and communication to protect and enrich open society and individual rights by implementing basic reforms to ensure new tools do not create inescapable digital cages limiting what people see, hear, think, and do. Towards that end, Kade researches, strategizes, writes, lobbies, and educates the public on issues ranging from the wars on drugs and terror to warrantless electronic surveillance. Kade has written for The Nation, The Guardian, The Boston Globe, WBUR, and many other publications, and regularly appears in local, regional, and national media as an expert on issues related to technology, policing, and surveillance.

Kade Crockford of the American Civil Liberties Union of Massachusetts.

"It's exactly right that LibrePlanet this year will open with a discussion of technology and civil liberties led by an engaging expert in the field. We're looking forward to hearing Kade talk about the ACLU's work, how it relates to the free software movement's values, and how people knowledgeable about free software can help others protect their privacy and digital security." said John Sullivan, executive director of the Free Software Foundation.

In 2015, Kade discussed terrorism and civil liberties with Noam Chomsky in a moderated discussion organized by The Baffler. You can download and watch this video without proprietary JavaScript using youtube-dl. Already familiar to the free software community, Kade previously spoke at LibrePlanet 2014, delivering a talk titled "The Creeping Techno-surveillance State: How Can We Fight Back?" with Josh Levy of Free Press.

At LibrePlanet 2017, Kade will discuss how technologists can enlist in the growing fight for civil liberties.

About LibrePlanet

LibrePlanet is the annual conference of the Free Software Foundation. Begun as a modest gathering of FSF members, the conference now is a large, vibrant gathering of free software enthusiasts, welcoming anyone interested in software freedom and digital rights. Registration is now open, and admission is gratis for FSF members and students.

For the fourth year in a row, LibrePlanet will be held at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's (MIT) Stata Center in Cambridge, Massachusetts, on March 25th and 26th, 2017. Co-presented by the Free Software Foundation and MIT's Student Information Processing Board (SIPB), the rest of the LibrePlanet program will be announced soon. The opening keynote at LibrePlanet 2016 was a conversation between US National Security Agency whistle-blower Edward Snowden and the American Civil Liberties Union's Daniel Kahn Gillmor.

About the Free Software Foundation

The Free Software Foundation, 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 fsf.org and gnu.org, are an important source of information about GNU/Linux. Donations to support the FSF's work can be made at https://donate.fsf.org. Its headquarters are in Boston, MA, USA.

More information about the FSF, as well as important information for journalists and publishers, is at https://www.fsf.org/press.

Media Contact

Georgia Young Program Manager Free Software Foundation +1 (617) 542 5942 campaigns@fsf.org

Photo of Kade Crockford by the ACLU of Massachusetts is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, CC BY.

Sumana Harihareswara's keynote will close LibrePlanet 2017

Mié, 25/01/2017 - 16:20

The annual free software conference will close on the evening of March 26th with Harihareswara discussing her experiences within free software and the things she has learned over the years, in a talk tentatively titled "Lessons, Myths, and Lenses: What I Wish I'd Known in 1998."

Photo of Sumana Harihareswara speaking at LibrePlanet 2016.

"Sumana's talk at LibrePlanet 2016 dealt with ways to make the free software community more welcoming, with humor, sharp insights, and deep conviction," said the FSF's Program Manager, Georgia Young. "We are very pleased to have her generous, thoughtful voice bring this year's conference to a close."

Sumana Harihareswara first started using GNU/Linux in the late 1990s. Since then, she has contributed to a number of projects (including GNOME, MediaWiki, Zulip, and GNU Mailman), and become a leader, speaker, and advocate for free software and communities. From 2014-2015, she served as a member of the Ada Initiative Board of Directors. Within the software industry, she has been a community manager, writer, and project manager, working with Collabora, GNOME, QuestionCopyright.org, Fog Creek Software, Behavior, and Salon.com.

Harihareswara is a veteran speaker, having delivered keynotes at Open Source Bridge, code4lib, and Wiki Conference USA. She has spoken at numerous conferences on a variety of topics, including PyCon and LibrePlanet, where, in 2016, she talked about the inessential weirdness in free software. Her stand-up comedy has been seen at AlterConf and science fiction conventions across America.

As a writer, her work appears on the website of her consultancy, Changeset Consulting, as well as her personal blog. She has written for numerous publications, including Crooked Timber, Geek Feminism, GNOME Journal, Linux World News, Model View Culture, Linux World News, GNOME Journal, The Recompiler, and Tor.com. In 2009, she co-edited and co-published the Thoughtcrime Experiments anthology with her spouse, who she met through Slashdot.

Harihareswara delivered a talk entitled "HTTP Can Do That?!" at PyCon2016 (you can download and watch this video without proprietary JavaScript using youtube-dl). At LibrePlanet 2016, she spoke on "The Inessential Weirdness in Free Software."

About LibrePlanet

LibrePlanet is the annual conference of the Free Software Foundation. Begun as a modest gathering of FSF members, the conference now is a large, vibrant gathering of free software enthusiasts, welcoming anyone interested in software freedom and digital rights. Registration is now open, and admission is gratis for FSF members and students.

For the fourth year in a row, LibrePlanet will be held at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's (MIT) Stata Center in Cambridge, Massachusetts, on March 25th and 26th, 2017. Co-presented by the Free Software Foundation and MIT's Student Information Processing Board (SIPB), the rest of the LibrePlanet program will be announced soon. The opening keynote at LibrePlanet 2016 was a conversation between US National Security Agency whistle-blower Edward Snowden and the American Civil Liberties Union's Daniel Kahn Gillmor.

About the Free Software Foundation

The Free Software Foundation, 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 fsf.org and gnu.org, are an important source of information about GNU/Linux. Donations to support the FSF's work can be made at https://donate.fsf.org. Its headquarters are in Boston, MA, USA.

More information about the FSF, as well as important information for journalists and publishers, is at https://www.fsf.org/press.

Media Contact

Georgia Young
Program Manager
Free Software Foundation
+1 (617) 542 5942
campaigns@fsf.org

The photo by Parker Higgins is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, CC BY.

FSF announces a major overhaul of free software High Priority Projects List

Mar, 17/01/2017 - 09:18

The HPP list highlights projects of great strategic importance to the goal of freedom for all computer users. A committee of free software activists, assembled in 2014, spent a year soliciting feedback from the free software community for the latest revision of the list.

"As the technological landscape has shifted over the last decade since the first version of the list was published, threats to users' freedom to use their computers on their own terms have changed enormously," said Benjamin Mako Hill, who is part of the High Priority Projects committee and also a member of the FSF's board of directors. "The updated High Priority Projects list is a description of the most important threats, and most critical opportunities, that free software faces in the modern computing landscape."

Launched in 2005, the first version of the HPP list contained only four projects, three of them related to Java. Eighteen months later, Sun began to free Java users.

While the FSF does not ask to run or control projects on the HPP list, it uses its position and visibility in the community to help bring them beneficial help and attention, including directly supporting development for some.

"We've seen the High Priority Projects List guide contributors and funding to important free software projects," said FSF executive director John Sullivan. "We are committed to making the list more active than it has been in the past, by drawing on the immense expertise in the free software community. I hope others will support us, both financially and with their input, so that this can become a sort of annual strategic plan for advancing computer user freedom."

The latest revision of the list includes nine project areas, encompassing software projects, advancements in free software-compatible hardware, and efforts to expand and deepen the inclusivity of the free software community. Also, there is now a changelog to document revisions to the list. The committee published a full explanation of its work in March, and several members of the committee shared its findings at last year's LibrePlanet conference.

The committee includes ginger coons, Máirín Duffy, Matthew Garrett, Benjamin Mako Hill, Mike Linksvayer, Lydia Pintscher, Karen Sandler, Seth Schoen, and Stefano Zacchiroli. Feedback on the HPP list, including suggestions for future revisions, is welcome at hpp-feedback@gnu.org.

About the Free Software Foundation

The Free Software Foundation, 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 fsf.org and gnu.org, are an important source of information about GNU/Linux. Donations to support the FSF's work can be made at https://my.fsf.org/donate. Its headquarters are in Boston, MA, USA.

More information about the FSF, as well as important information for journalists and publishers, is at https://www.fsf.org/press.

Media Contacts

Georgia Young
Program Manager
Free Software Foundation
+1 (617) 542 5942
campaigns@fsf.org

FSF Job Opportunity: Senior GNU/Linux Systems Administrator

Jue, 12/01/2017 - 08:00

This position, reporting to the executive director and working closely with the president, is an opportunity to make key contributions to the organization that started the GNU Project, launched the free software movement, and authored the GNU General Public License. The position is part of a technical team including a counterpart Senior Systems Administrator, a Web Developer, and many volunteers, tasked with maintaining and improving the FSF's technology infrastructure.

The ideal candidate will be a well-rounded GNU/Linux systems administrator who thrives on constant broad-based learning and problem-solving. They will also be familiar with the free software community and how it works; the position includes frequent contact and collaboration with volunteers and many GNU developers. Together, the Senior Systems Administrators have a great deal of influence over technology decisions within the FSF, and do crucial work empowering thousands of others to develop free software.

Examples of job responsibilities include, but are not limited to:

  • be a lead voice in the FSF's software system decision-making and policy positions in technical areas;

  • install and maintain fully free GNU/Linux systems on servers, desktops, laptops, and embedded devices;

  • support GNU developers and FSF representatives in their use of FSF-owned systems;

  • monitor and improve system security and network infrastructure;

  • spec, purchase, and maintain new equipment;

  • coordinate and mentor interns and volunteer systems administrators both in the office and remotely;

  • share in the on-call rotation to deal with core system emergencies;

  • blog and speak about the technologies used at the FSF;

  • run the tech at our annual LibrePlanet conference;

  • pitch in to help with organization-wide projects like our major fundraising activities;

  • fix bugs and submit patches upstream for the software we use, and

  • occasionally help design, write, and release new software when existing software doesn't fit the bill.

Applicants should have an undergraduate degree in a related field, at least five years of experience as a GNU/Linux systems administrator, and highlight their familiarity with any of the following:

  • apt-based GNU/Linux distributions;

  • TCP/IP, BGP, DNS, FTP, NFS, DHCP, iptables;

  • Libreboot and Coreboot;

  • Xen, KVM, CFEngine, RAID;

  • Drupal, Nginx, Apache2, CiviCRM, Plone, Zope, Mediawiki, Ikiwiki, Request Tracker, CAS, SQL, Squid;

  • Python, Bash, Perl, PHP, JavaScript, Ruby;

  • git, SVN, CVS;

  • Exim, Spamassassin, GNU Mailman; and

  • any physical hardware maintenance and hacking.

Because the FSF works globally and seeks to have our materials distributed in as many languages as possible, multilingual candidates will have an advantage. With our small staff of thirteen, each person makes a clear contribution. We work hard, but offer a humane and fun work environment at an office located in the heart of downtown Boston. The FSF is a mature but growing organization that provides great potential for advancement; existing staff get the first chance at any new job openings.

Benefits and Salary

This job is a union position that must be worked on-site at the FSF's downtown Boston office. The salary is fixed at $62,587/year and is non-negotiable. An on-site interview will be required with the executive director and other team members. Other benefits include:

  • full family health coverage through Blue Cross/Blue Shield's HMO Blue program,
  • subsidized dental plan,
  • four weeks of paid vacation annually,
  • seventeen paid holidays annually,
  • public transit commuting cost reimbursement,
  • 403(b) program through TIAA-CREF,
  • yearly cost-of-living pay increases (based on government guidelines), and
  • conference travel opportunities.
Application Instructions

Applications must be submitted via email to hiring@fsf.org. The email must contain the subject line "Senior Systems Administrator." A complete application should include:

  • cover letter,
  • resume, and
  • links to any published free software work.

All materials must be in a free format. Email submissions that do not follow these instructions will probably be overlooked. No phone calls, please.

Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis until the position is filled.

The FSF is an equal opportunity employer and will not discriminate against any employee or application for employment on the basis of race, color, marital status, religion, age, sex, sexual orientation, national origin, handicap, or any other legally protected status recognized by federal, state or local law. We value diversity in our workplace.

About the Free Software Foundation

The Free Software Foundation, 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 fsf.org and gnu.org, are an important source of information about GNU/Linux. Donations to support the FSF's work can be made at https://donate.fsf.org. We are based in Boston, MA, USA.

More information about the FSF, as well as important information for journalists and publishers, is at https://www.fsf.org/press.

LibrePlanet 2017 keynote announcement: Author and tech activist Cory Doctorow

Jue, 22/12/2016 - 10:32

Doctorow is a science fiction author, activist, journalist and blogger — the co-editor of Boing Boing and the author of many books, most recently In Real Life, a graphic novel; Information Doesn't Want to be Free, a book about earning a living in the Internet age; and Homeland, the award-winning, best-selling sequel to the 2008 young adult novel Little Brother.

His award-winning science fiction tackles issues relevant to software and user freedom, turning the theoretical risks of proprietary technology and copyright, ethical dilemmas of technology, and experiments in participatory culture into stories of very possible futures.

Serving as a special consultant to the Electronic Frontier Foundation on several occasions, he is currently working with them on Apollo 1201, an anti-Digital Restrictions Management (DRM) campaign. He co-founded the peer-to-peer free software company OpenCola, and serves on the boards and advisory boards of the Participatory Culture Foundation, the Clarion Foundation, the Metabrainz Foundation and The Glenn Gould Foundation.

Doctorow recently delivered a talk titled “Security and Feudalism: Own or Be Pwned” at the O’Reilly Security Conference in New York. At LibrePlanet, he will be speaking on "how we will kill all the DRM in the world in a decade."

Text adapted from https://craphound.com/bio/.

About LibrePlanet

LibrePlanet is the annual conference of the Free Software Foundation. Begun as a modest gathering of FSF members, the conference now is a large, vibrant gathering of free software enthusiasts, welcoming anyone interested in software freedom and digital rights. Registration is now open, and admission is gratis for FSF members and students.

For the fourth year in a row, LibrePlanet will be held at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's (MIT) Stata Center in Cambridge, Massachusetts, on March 25th and 26th, 2017. Co-presented by the Free Software Foundation and MIT's Student Information Processing Board (SIPB), the rest of the LibrePlanet program will be announced soon. The opening keynote at LibrePlanet 2016 was a conversation between US National Security Agency whistle-blower Edward Snowden and the American Civil Liberties Union's Daniel Kahn Gillmor.

About the Free Software Foundation

The Free Software Foundation, 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 fsf.org and gnu.org, are an important source of information about GNU/Linux. Donations to support the FSF's work can be made at https://donate.fsf.org. Its headquarters are in Boston, MA, USA.

More information about the FSF, as well as important information for journalists and publishers, is at https://www.fsf.org/press.

Photo courtesy of Jonathan Worth CC-BY

Media Contacts

Georgia Young
Program Manager
Free Software Foundation
+1 (617) 542 5942
georgia@fsf.org

LibrePlanet 2017 will return to MIT thanks to SIPB, March 25-26, 2017

Mié, 21/12/2016 - 15:20

This is the fourth year the FSF will partner with MIT's Student Information Processing Board (SIPB) to bring this two-day celebration of free software and software freedom to Cambridge, MA. Registration for LibrePlanet is now open, and admission is gratis for FSF members and students.

SIPB is MIT’s volunteer student group which has provided infrastructure and innovative services in computing since 1969. "SIPB has been an integral partner for LibrePlanet since 2014," said Georgia Young, FSF Program Manager. "The FSF deeply appreciates SIPB for extending their work with the MIT and Boston area community to include LibrePlanet."

MIT has a long history with free software. While at MIT, Richard Stallman first developed the GNU operating system, and later published the GNU Manifesto in 1985. In its 31 years of existence, several FSF board members have been affiliates of MIT.

LibrePlanet will be based out of the Stata Center, located in Cambridge, MA, near the Kendall stop on the MBTA Red Line.

About the Free Software Foundation

The Free Software Foundation, 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 fsf.org and gnu.org, are an important source of information about GNU/Linux. Donations to support the FSF's work can be made at https://donate.fsf.org. Its headquarters are in Boston, MA, USA.

More information about the FSF, as well as important information for journalists and publishers, is at https://www.fsf.org/press.

Photo courtesy of Camille King on Flickr. CC-BY-SA

Media Contacts

Georgia Young
Program Manager
Free Software Foundation
+1 (617) 542 5942
georgia@fsf.org