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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