Welcome to the Free Software Supporter, the Free Software Foundation's
(FSF) monthly news digest and action update -- being read by you and
192,853 other activists. That's 986 more than last month!
International Day Against DRM 2018 is coming September 18th!
International Day Against DRM (IDAD) is coming up! In two weeks, on September 18th, 2018, we'll be celebrating what the world could
look like without Digital Restrictions Management
need your help to make sure the message gets all the attention it
needs. We've been working hard preparing for IDAD 2018, and hope
you will join us for this year's actions. Read this blog to find
out how you can let the world know why you resist DRM!
TABLE OF CONTENTS
- Sign up for the FSF's next seminar on GPL Enforcement and Legal Ethics
- Apple App Store anniversary marks ten years of proprietary appsploitation
- Respects Your Freedom certification program continues to grow
- Stop US Supreme Court nominee Kavanaugh to protect free software!
- FSF job opportunity: Business operations manager
- Who's afraid of Spectre and Meltdown?
- Handshake provides a leg up: Conservancy has been gifted $200,000
- Your phone is listening and it's not paranoia
- Experts criticize West Virginia’s plan for smartphone voting
- A new pacemaker hack puts malware directly on the device
- Google employees protest secret work on censored search engine for China
- Five tips for helping children think critically about privacy
- Ring-KDE 3.0.0 has been released
- Announcing GNU Linux-libre 4.18-gnu
- Join the FSF and friends in updating the Free Software Directory
- LibrePlanet featured resource: LibrePlanet Artists
- GNU Spotlight with Mike Gerwitz: 13 new GNU releases!
- GNU Toolchain update: Support GNU Toolchain
- Upcoming FSF and free software events
- Thank GNUs!
- Take action with the FSF!
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Sign up for the FSF's next seminar on GPL Enforcement and Legal Ethics
From August 27
Registration is now open for the Free Software Foundation's seminar on
GPL Enforcement and Legal Ethics, which is being held on Thursday,
September 27th, 2018, at the UC Berkeley School of Law. As stewards of
the GNU family of licenses, we provide a wide variety of resources for
helping developers and lawyers alike to improve their understanding of
software freedom. In addition to published resources, we also
routinely provide in-person instruction in the form of continuing
legal education seminars. Register for the seminar
Apple App Store anniversary marks ten years of proprietary appsploitation
From July 31
It's been ten years since Apple opened the App Store. This created a
whole new industry through which third party app creators and Apple
itself found new ways to threaten user freedom with technical tricks
and legal loopholes. Since the beginning, we at the Free Software
Foundation have recognized the
and have reported on Apple on fsf.org and DefectiveByDesign, while
free software supporters around the world have been taking action.
Instead of allowing Apple to invade your privacy and violate your
freedom, we urge free software supporters to buy better devices, get
better software, contribute to projects like
and F-Droid, and spread the word about how Apple harms consumers.
Respects Your Freedom certification program continues to grow
From August 2
We recently had some exciting news for our Respects Your Freedom
program helps users to find hardware that they can trust to come with
freedom inside. When a retailer receives certification on a device, it
means users know they will receive hardware that meets with our strict
standards on free software and documentation. The Zerocat Chipflasher
and Minifree Libreboot X200 Tablet are now both certified to Respect
Stop US Supreme Court nominee Kavanaugh to protect free software!
From August 7
United States Supreme Court judges serve from the time they are
appointed until they die or choose to retire -- it's a lifetime
appointment. One judge recently stepped down, and Brett Kavanaugh was
nominated to fill the empty seat. He comes with a firm stance against
net neutrality. We need you to contact your congressional
representatives, asking them to vote against Kavanaugh's bid for the
Supreme Court of the United States.
FSF job opportunity: Business operations manager
From August 9
The FSF seeks a motivated and talented Boston-based individual to be
our full-time Business Operations Manager. This position, reporting to
the executive director, works as part of our operations team to ensure
the organization's financial, human resources, and administrative
functions run smoothly and in compliance with all legal and policy
Who's afraid of Spectre and Meltdown?
From July 31 by Alexandre Oliva
Freedom doesn't magically repel each and every threat, but freedom and
control of our software give us the opportunity to protect ourselves
and each other. That is, software freedom does not protect you from
remote NetSpectre attacks, but if all the software running on
computers under your control is free software, you can scan its source
code for remotely-exploitable gadgets, modify them so that they are no
longer exploitable, and be assured that none remain hiding in binary
blobs, because such blobs do not belong in free software.
Handshake provides a leg up: Conservancy has been gifted $200,000
From August 22 by Software Freedom Conservancy
Handshake has recently awarded funds to many critical free software projects. In particular Conservancy has been gifted
$200K for our ongoing work to support software freedom by providing a
fiscal home for smaller projects, enforcing the GNU GPL and undertaking
strategic efforts to grow and improve free software. Outreachy, the
organization offering biannual, paid internships for under-represented
people to work in free software (itself a member project of
Conservancy) has also been awarded $100,000 from these funds.
Your phone is listening and it's not paranoia
From June 4 by Sam Nichols
You know how Facebook seems to have an uncanny knack for serving you
ads based on conversations you've had in person? It's not paranoia:
third party applications on your phone have access to snippets of what
you're saying. The researcher cited in this article says there's "no
official understanding" of what triggers your phone to record your
conversations, but we know that someone at Facebook knows the answer
to this puzzle: they just don't have to tell you, and neither do any
of the other companies that use this technology.
Experts criticize West Virginia’s plan for smartphone voting
From August 7 by Timothy B. Lee
The state of West Virginia is planning to allow overseas voting via
smartphone in the 2018 election, and election security experts aren't
happy about it. The problem with using the app "Voatz" to cast your
ballot is precisely the problem with all nonfree software: you have no
way to tell if your vote has been compromised or tampered with,
because you have no control over how your phone works.
A new pacemaker hack puts malware directly on the device
From August 9 by Lily Hay Newman
For nearly two years, researchers Billy Rios of the security firm
Whitescope and Jonathan Butts of QED Secure Solutions have gone back
and forth with pacemaker manufacturer Medtronic, which makes Carelink
2090 pacemaker programmers and other relevant equipment that the
researchers say contain potentially life-threatening
vulnerabilities. There are so many reasons that this story is so
alarming, and one of them is that because the software delivery
network is proprietary, it would have been illegal for the researchers
to actually break in to confirm their suspicions. Companies like
Medtronics expect patients to trust that the electronic devices
implanted directly into your body are safe -- but neither you nor
people who professionally investigate product safety are allowed to
actually determine whether this is true.
Google employees protest secret work on censored search engine for China
From August 16 by Kate Conger and Daisuke Wakabayashi
Hundreds of Google employees, upset at the company’s decision to
secretly build a censored version of its search engine for China, have
signed a letter demanding more transparency to understand the ethical
consequences of their work. The refusal of tech workers to create
technology that violates human rights is a hopeful sign for the
future, and we hope that future actions in this "tech won't build it"
movement spread awareness that ALL nonfree software violates people's
Five tips for helping children think critically about privacy
From August 12 by Danica Sergison
These are great tips for helping kids understand how the connected
world works, and frankly they're also good tips to help adults
consider what you're sharing and who's looking at it as well. In any
case, whether your child is already engaging with the Internet or not,
there's no way that their life won't be affected by potential privacy
risks, so it's a good idea to start early in teaching them how to
navigate these issues.
Ring-KDE 3.0.0 has been released
From August 9 by Emmanuel Lepage
Ring-KDE 3.0.0 is a GNU Ring.cx client. GNU Ring is a secure and
distributed communication platform based on open standards. It enables
industry-standard technologies to work together, and provides audio
calls, video conferences, chat, screen sharing, and peer-to-peer file
transfer between you and your friends. Additionally, its use of open
standards allows you to bridge to various other systems like the main
phone network or SIP compatible devices. When joining the GNU Ring, no
servers or centralized accounts are needed. Unless you enable an
optional blockchain-based way to reserve your username against
takeover, nothing leaves your device. All your data is kept under your
control. Ring-KDE provides a simple wizard to help you create
credentials or import your personal information from other devices.
Announcing GNU Linux-libre 4.18-gnu
From August 12 by Alexandre Oliva
GNU Linux-libre 4.18-gnu sources and tarballs are now available at
It didn't require any deblobbing changes since -rc6-gnu. Binaries are
expected to show up over the next few days. Two new drivers had blob
requests and were cleaned up (psp-dev crypto and icn8505 touchscreen),
one was removed (atom isp), and there were plenty of needed
Join the FSF and friends in updating the Free Software Directory
Tens of thousands of people visit directory.fsf.org each month to
discover free software. Each entry in the Directory contains a wealth
of useful information, from basic category and descriptions to version
control, IRC channels, documentation, and licensing. The Free Software
Directory has been a great resource to software users over the past
decade, but it needs your help staying up-to-date with new and
exciting free software projects.
To help, join our weekly IRC meetings on Fridays. Meetings take place
in the #fsf channel on irc.freenode.org, and usually include a handful
of regulars as well as newcomers. Freenode is accessible from any IRC
client -- Everyone's welcome!
The next meeting is Friday, September 7, 2018, from 12pm to 3pm EDT
(16:00 to 19:00 UTC). Details here:
LibrePlanet featured resource: LibrePlanet Artists
Every month on LibrePlanet, we highlight one resource that is
interesting and useful -- often one that could use your help.
For this month, we are highlighting LibrePlanet Artists, which
provides information about the network of graphic designers,
photographers, illustrators, videographers, animators, and audio
engineers with a strong commitment to creating free artwork made
entirely with free software. You are invited to adopt, spread and
improve this important resource.
Do you have a suggestion for next month's featured resource? Let us
know at email@example.com.
GNU Spotlight with Mike Gerwitz: 13 new GNU releases!
For announcements of most new GNU releases, subscribe to the info-gnu
mailing list: https://lists.gnu.org/mailman/listinfo/info-gnu.
To download: nearly all GNU software is available from
https://ftp.gnu.org/gnu/, or preferably one of its mirrors from
https://www.gnu.org/prep/ftp.html. You can use the URL
https://ftpmirror.gnu.org/ to be automatically redirected to a
(hopefully) nearby and up-to-date mirror.
A number of GNU packages, as well as the GNU operating system as a
whole, are looking for maintainers and other assistance: please see
https://www.gnu.org/server/takeaction.html#unmaint if you'd like to
help. The general page on how to help GNU is at
If you have a working or partly working program that you'd like
to offer to the GNU project as a GNU package, see
As always, please feel free to write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org
with any GNUish questions or suggestions for future installments.
GNU Toolchain update: Support GNU Toolchain
Donate to support the GNU Toolchain, a collection of foundational
freely licensed software development tools including the GNU C
Compiler collection (GCC), the GNU C Library
(glibc), and the GNU
Upcoming FSF and free software events
- September 27, 2018, Berkeley, CA, Seminar on GPL Enforcement and Legal Ethics
- November 9, 2018, Seattle, WA, SeaGL 2018
- November 23, 2018, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Spain, GNU Health Con 2018
We appreciate everyone who donates to the Free Software Foundation,
and we'd like to give special recognition to the folks who have
donated $500 or more in the last month.
This month, a big Thank GNU to:
- Balta Katei
- Daniel Church
- Eric Brown
- ExtraHop Networks
- Håkon A. Hjortland
- Huan Truong, in honor of Minh Quang Duong
- John Poduska
- Jonathan Howell
- Judicaël Courant
- Marinos Yannikos
- Ralph Hockens
You can add your name to this list by donating at
Take action with the FSF!
Contributions from thousands of individual members enable the FSF's
work. You can contribute by joining at https://my.fsf.org/join. If
you're already a member, you can help refer new members (and earn some
rewards) by adding a line with your member number to your email
I'm an FSF member -- Help us support software freedom!
The FSF is always looking for volunteers
(https://www.fsf.org/volunteer). From rabble-rousing to hacking,
from issue coordination to envelope stuffing -- there's something
here for everybody to do. Also, head over to our campaigns section
(https://www.fsf.org/campaigns) and take action on software
patents, Digital Restrictions Management (DRM), free software
adoption, OpenDocument, Recording Industry Association of America
(RIAA), and more.
Copyright © 2018 Free Software Foundation, Inc.
This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0
Unported License. To view a copy of this license, visit