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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