Welcome to the Free Software Supporter, the Free Software Foundation's (FSF)
monthly news digest and action update -- being read by you and 206,775
other activists. That's 1,322 more than last month!
FSF call for Boston volunteers next week
If you are in the Boston area and want to help the FSF, come to the
Spring Fundraiser Envelope Stuff-A-Thon starting Tuesday, June 11 at
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can let you know about other opportunities in your area.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
- Six more devices from ThinkPenguin, Inc. now FSF-certified to Respect Your Freedom
- LibrePlanet 2019 videos now live!
- If regulators won't stop the sale of cell phone users' location data, consumers must
- Snapchat employees abused data access to spy on users
- RMS appears on list of this year's top 25 tech influencers
- GNU Guix 1.0.0 released
- FSF Latin America releases GNU Linux-libre 5.1-gnu as their sanitized kernel
- People are clamoring to buy old insulin pumps -- because they can be hacked
- It’s the middle of the night. Do you know who your iPhone is talking to?
- Alexa has been eavesdropping on you this whole time
- Conservancy news round-up
- GCC 9 release series
- Join the FSF and friends in updating the Free Software Directory
- LibrePlanet featured resource: Libreplanet conference talk transcriptions
- GNU Spotlight with Mike Gerwitz: 18 new GNU releases!
- GNU Toolchain update: Support GNU Toolchain
- Richard Stallman's speaking schedule and other FSF events
- Thank GNUs!
- GNU copyright contributions
- Take action with the FSF!
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Six more devices from ThinkPenguin, Inc. now FSF-certified to Respect Your Freedom
From May 16th
The FSF has awarded Respects Your Freedom (RYF) certification to a
batch of six devices from ThinkPenguin, Inc.: the Penguin USB 2.0
External USB Stereo Sound Adapter (TPE-USBSOUND), the USB to Parallel
Printer Cable (TPE-USBPARAL), the PCIe eSATA / SATA 6Gbps Controller
Card (TPE-PCIESATA), the 5.1 Channels 24-bit 96KHz PCI Express Audio
Sound Card (TPE-PCIESNDCRD), the Wireless N PCI Express Dual-Band Mini
Half-Height Card (TPE-NHMPCIED2), and the Penguin Wireless N Mini PCIe
Card (TPE-NMPCIE). The RYF certification mark means that these
products meet the FSF's standards in regard to users' freedom, control
over the product, and privacy.
This latest collection of devices makes ThinkPenguin the retailer with
the largest catalog of RYF-certified devices. Congratulations to
ThinkPenguin, and thank you for your commitment to software freedom!
LibrePlanet 2019 videos now live!
From May 13th
At the LibrePlanet 2019 conference,
the FSF recorded 40 speaker sessions -- over 24 hours of video, and
they are now online on our GNU MediaGoblin
instance. All videos are brought to
you in a Digital Restrictions Management
downloadable, free format.
If regulators won't stop the sale of cell phone users' location data, consumers must
From May 28 by Aaron Mackey
A Motherboard investigation revealed in
how any cellphone users’ real-time location could be obtained for
$300. The pervasiveness of the practice, coupled with the extreme
invasion of people’s privacy, is alarming.
The reporting showed there is a vibrant market for location data
generated by everyone’s cell phones -- information that can be
incredibly detailed and provide a window into people’s most sensitive
and private activities. The investigation also laid bare that cell
phone carriers AT&T, Sprint, and T-Mobile, and the many third parties
with access to the companies’ location data, have little interest or
incentive to stop.
The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) expected that once this was
exposed, the US Federal Communication Commission (FCC) would take
action, but months later, nothing has happened. So they're asking for
your help: read the link below to learn how to share your story.
Snapchat employees abused data access to spy on users
From May 23rd by Joseph Cox
Several departments inside social media giant Snap have dedicated
tools for accessing user data, and multiple employees have abused
their privileged access to spy on Snapchat users, Motherboard has
Two former employees said multiple Snap employees abused their access
to Snapchat user data several years ago. Those sources, as well as an
additional two former employees, a current employee, and a cache of
internal company emails obtained by Motherboard, described internal
tools that allowed Snap employees at the time to access user data,
including in some cases location information, their own saved Snaps
and personal information such as phone numbers and email
RMS appears on list of this year's top 25 tech influencers
From May 11 by Business Insider India
According to a survey of over 30,000 developers, these are the top 25
people who will have the most influence in technology in 2019, and
we're not surprised to find Richard Stallman, founder of the FSF and
the GNU Project, on the list. But please remember, we advocate free
software, not open source!
GNU Guix 1.0.0 released
From May 10 by Ricardo Wurmus
On May 2, the GNU Guix project announced the
of version 1.0 of the Guix software manager. Since the project’s
beginnings a little more than seven years ago, nearly 300 volunteers
from all over the world have contributed more than 50,000
improvements. Guix now provides a huge collection of bit-reproducible
free software packages consisting of close to 10,000 applications and
libraries from a wide range of categories, including gaming, music
production, video editing, programming, and specialized scientific
FSF Latin America releases GNU Linux-libre 5.1-gnu as their sanitized kernel
From May 6 by Alexandre Oliva
The Free Software Foundation Latin America team has released GNU
Linux-libre 5.1-gnu as their sanitized kernel. GNU Linux-libre 5.1-gnu
sources and tarballs are now available at
hasn't required any deblobbing changes since -rc7-gnu.
People are clamoring to buy old insulin pumps -- because they can be hacked
From April 29th by Sarah Zhang
The ability to jailbreak an old insulin pump enables diabetics to
connect it to free software and convert it into a system that
effectively replaces the regulatory system of a healthy pancreas. The
software in personal medical devices must be free, so that
modifications like this do not depend on the use of bugs.
It’s the middle of the night. Do you know who your iPhone is talking to?
From May 28 by Geoffrey A. Fowler
On a recent Monday night, a dozen marketing companies, research firms
and other personal data guzzlers got reports from my iPhone. At 11:43
p.m., a company called Amplitude learned my phone number, email and
exact location. At 3:58 a.m., another called Appboy got a digital
fingerprint of my phone. At 6:25 a.m., a tracker called Demdex
received a way to identify my phone and sent back a list of other
trackers to pair up with.
And all night long, there was some startling behavior by a household
name: Yelp. It was receiving a message that included my IP address --
once every five minutes.
Apple's recent ads bragged that “What happens on your iPhone stays on
your iPhone.” My investigation suggests otherwise. (And because you
can't probe your iPhone's software, because it's nonfree, you have no
way of knowing the extent of this violation.)
Alexa has been eavesdropping on you this whole time
From May 6th by Geoffrey A. Fowler
Would you let a stranger eavesdrop in your home and keep the
recordings? For most people, the answer is, "Are you crazy?" Yet
that's essentially what Amazon has been doing to millions of us with
its assistant Alexa in microphone-equipped Echo speakers. And it's
hardly alone: Bugging our homes is Silicon Valley's next frontier.
Amazon's claim that "customers have control" is a blatant lie: you can
manually delete past recordings if you know exactly where to look and
remember to keep going back, but you cannot actually stop Amazon from
making these recordings, if you're bothering to use the Echo at
all. They can do as they like with these recordings, and the FBI could
collect the whole database every day, or scan it every hour.
Conservancy news round-up
From May 28 by Deb Nicholson
May is for code releases! Check out these videos, blog posts from
member projects, code releases and upcoming events.
GCC 9 release series
From May 3 by GCC
The GNU project and the GCC developers are pleased to announce the
release of GCC 9.1.
This release is a major release, containing new features (as well as
many other improvements) relative to GCC 8.x.
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 is welcome!
The next meeting is Friday, June 7, from 12pm to 3pm EDT (16:00 to
19:00 UTC). Details here:
LibrePlanet featured resource: Libreplanet conference talk transcriptions
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 conference talk
transcriptions, which makes these talks accessible to an even wider
segment of our audience. If you're good at transcribing audio, we
encourage you to add your own submissions! You can find the full list
of videos at https://media.libreplanet.org/u/libreplanet/tag/libreplanet-2019-video/,
and transcriptions are at https://libreplanet.org/wiki/LibrePlanet:Conference/2019/Transcripts/.
Do you have a suggestion for next month's featured resource? Let us
know at email@example.com.
GNU Spotlight with Mike Gerwitz: 18 new GNU releases!
18 new GNU releases in the last month (as of May 28, 2019):
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.
This month, we welcome Wolf as co-maintainer of gengetopt.
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
Richard Stallman's speaking schedule
For event details, as well as to sign-up to be notified for future
events in your area, please visit https://www.fsf.org/events.
So far, Richard Stallman has the following events this month:
- June 6, 2019, Brno, Czech Republic, "Computing, freedom, and privacy"
- June 6, 2019, Brno, Czech Republic, "The free software movement"
Other FSF and free software events
- August 23-28, Thessaloniki, Greece, GUADEC, the GNOME User and Developer European Conference
- September 7-13, Milan, Italy, Akademy 2019
- September 16-20, Huntsville, AL, USA, GNU Radio Conference 2019 (GRCon)
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:
- Catalin Francu
- David Klann
- Deepak Ponvel Chermakani
- Emil Volcheck
- Hideki IGARASHI
- Mikhail Pomaznoy
- Minoru Sekine
- Shon Burton
You can add your name to this list by donating at
GNU copyright contributions
Assigning your copyright to the Free Software Foundation helps us
defend the GNU GPL and keep software free. The following individuals have
assigned their copyright to the FSF in the past month:
- Anthony Rossini (Emacs)
- Bowen Hu (GNU Radio)
- Joel Rosdahl (Emacs)
- Matthew Newton (Emacs)
- Moises Torres Aguilar (Wget)
- Neil Roberts (Emacs)
- Serghei Iakovlev (Emacs)
- Stefan Kangas (Emacs)
- Sungbin Jo (Emacs)
- Tejas Joshi (GCC)
- ThePhD (GCC)
Want to see your name on this list? Contribute to GNU and assign your
copyright to the FSF.
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
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Copyright © 2019 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