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Read and share online: https://www.fsf.org/free-software-supporter/2021/october
Welcome to the Free Software Supporter, the Free Software Foundation's (FSF)
monthly news digest and action update -- being read by you and 226,872
other activists. That's 602 more than last month!
TABLE OF CONTENTS
- FSF job opportunity: Outreach and communications coordinator
- Keeping your freedom intact when registering or renewing as a DMCA agent
- A wake-up call for iPhone users -- it's time to go
- Youth Hacking 4 Freedom: coding competition for teenagers about to start
- Introducing GNOME 41
- The digital death of collecting
- Meet the self-hosters taking back the Internet one server at a time
- Delays aren't good enough -- Apple must abandon its surveillance plans
- Nitter and other Internet reclamation projects
- September GNU Emacs news
- Join the FSF and friends in updating the Free Software Directory
- LibrePlanet featured resource: LibreMelbourne
- GNU Spotlight with Mike Gerwitz: 15 new GNU releases!
- FSF and other free software events
- Thank GNUs!
- GNU copyright contributions
- Translations of the Free Software Supporter
- Take action with the FSF!
View this issue online here: https://www.fsf.org/free-software-supporter/2021/october
Encourage your friends to subscribe and help us build an audience by
adding our subscriber widget to your Web site.
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Want to read this newsletter translated into another language? Scroll
to the end to read the Supporter in French or Spanish.
FSF job opportunity: Outreach and communications coordinator
From September 2nd
Reporting to the executive director, the outreach and communications
coordinator works closely with our campaigns, licensing, technical,
and operations teams to plan, write, edit, 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, 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.
From September 30th
BOSTON, Massachusetts, USA -- Thursday, September 30th, 2021 -- The
Free Software Foundation (FSF) today announced the JShelter project,
an anti-malware Web browser extension to mitigate potential threats
collection. The project is supported by NLnet Foundation's Next
Generation Internet (NGI) Zero Privacy & Trust Enhancing Technologies
fund. Collaborators include Libor Pol?ák and Bedná? Martin (Brno
University of Technology), Giorgio Maone (NoScript), and Ana Isabel
Carvalho and Ricardo Lafuente (Manufactura Independente). The JShelter
browser add-on is in development and the first release is available.
Keeping your freedom intact when registering or renewing as a DMCA agent
From September 30th
DMCA agent registration only lasts three years before it must be
renewed. Use these add-ons to register and renew without the use of
Users shouldn't be forced to use nonfree software when interacting
with their own government. Every user has the right to control their
own computing, and the government shouldn't be forcing you to download
and install proprietary software just to take advantage of its
A wake-up call for iPhone users -- it's time to go
From September 2nd
In the last few weeks, Apple announced that it will begin actively
monitoring the photos and videos stored on the iPhones of its users in
the United States. Apple is describing its surveillance system as a
way to monitor for Child Sexual Abuse Material (CSAM), but whatever it
claims it is searching for, what it really is is a way to use
proprietary software to constantly search and spy on its users'
devices. Technological ethics groups around the world have highlighted
the grave implications and dangerous precedent these practices set for
a user's privacy and right to control their own device. In short,
Apple has stated it will roll out two types of surveillance to all
iPhone models receiving a forthcoming update: one which compares
photos stored on the device to hashes of a database of known CSAM
hashes, and one which (optionally) alerts parents of sexual materials
sent from their child's iPhone.
Update: As a response to global public outcry, Apple has temporarily
postponed its new surveillance system. As we imagine that any changes
it decides to make will fall short of the full freedom Apple users
deserve, we encourage you to keep voicing your objections --
especially to Tim Cook directly.
Youth Hacking 4 Freedom: coding competition for teenagers about to start
From September 28th by FSFE
The Free Software Foundation Europe (FSFE) is a charity that empowers
users to control technology. To inspire the younger generation to
software freedom, the FSFE is organizing the coding competition ‘Youth
Hacking 4 Freedom' (YH4F), where teenagers from all around Europe have
the chance to compete in a fair and fun way. The winners receive a
cash prize and a trip to Brussels with other young hackers.
The YH4F competition includes an online opening day to welcome
everyone on board, in a kick-off event on Sunday 10 October, 5pm CEST.
The FSFE will present the competition and answer questions. Please
find more information on how to join at https://yh4f.org.
Introducing GNOME 41
From September 23rd, by Allan Day, Link Dupont, Matthias Clasen
GNOME 41 is the product of 6 months work by the GNOME project. It
includes a number of significant improvements and new features, as
well as a large collection of smaller enhancements.
The most notable changes in this release include an improved software
app, new multitasking settings, and enhanced power management
features. With these changes, GNOME is smarter, more flexible, and
offers a richer and more engaging experience than ever before.
The digital death of collecting
From September 18th by Kyle Chayka
I am rearranging my music collection -- looking at the album covers,
hearing snippets of the songs in my head as I see each one and recall
the memories attached to it. There are the albums I listen to all the
time and then those I only pick up once in a while so as not to dull
their effects. The overall list is something only I could have come up
with, a compendium of the music that’s important to me personally.
Actually, it might be more correct to say that my record collection
has been rearranged for me: I opened the Spotify app on my laptop a
few weeks ago and found that everything I had saved was in disarray.
Meet the self-hosters taking back the Internet one server at a time
From September 2nd by John Kehayias
It's no secret that a small handful of enormous companies dominate the
Internet as we know it. But the Internet didn't always have services
with a billion users and quasi-monopolistic control over search or
shopping. It was once a loose collection of individuals, research
labs, and small companies, each making their own home on the
burgeoning World Wide Web.
That world hasn't entirely died out, however. Through a growing
movement of dedicated hobbyists known as self-hosters, the dream of a
decentralized Internet lives on at a time when surveillance,
censorship, and increasing scrutiny of Big Tech has created widespread
mistrust in large Internet platforms.
Delays aren't good enough -- Apple must abandon its surveillance plans
From September 3rd by Cindy Cohn
Apple announced today that it would “take additional time over the
coming months to collect input and make improvements” to a program
that will weaken privacy and security on iPhones and other products.
EFF is pleased Apple is now listening to the concerns of customers,
researchers, civil liberties organizations, human rights activists,
LGBTQ people, youth representatives, and other groups, about the
dangers posed by its phone scanning tools. But the company must go
further than just listening, and drop its plans to put a backdoor into
its encryption entirely.
Nitter and other Internet reclamation projects
From September 23rd by Drew DeVault
The World Wide Web has become an annoying, ultra-commercialized space.
Many Web sites today are prioritizing the interests of the company
behind the domain, at the expense of the user’s experience and
well-being. This has been a frustrating problem for several years, but
lately there’s been a heartwarming trend of users fighting back
against the corporate web and stepping up to help and serve each
other’s needs in spite of them, through what I’ve come to think of as
Internet reclamation projects.
September GNU Emacs news
From September 27th by Sacha Chua
In these issues: the EmacsConf office hour, alternatives to
use-package, tips on how to format strings in Emacs Lisp, and more!
Join the FSF and friends in updating the Free Software Directory
Tens of thousands of people visit https://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 Libera.Chat, and usually include a handful of
regulars as well as newcomers. Libera.Chat is accessible from any IRC
client -- Everyone's welcome!
The next meeting is Friday, October 8th from 12pm to 3pm EDT (16:00 to
19:00 UTC). Details here:
LibrePlanet featured resource: LibreMelbourne
Every month on the LibrePlanet
wiki, we highlight one
resource that is interesting and useful -- often one that could use
For this month, we are highlighting LibreMelbourne, an up and coming
LibrePlanet local group for free software supporters in the Melbourne
area. Even if you're not in Melbourne, you can join their online IRC
Do you have a suggestion for next month's featured resource? Let us
know at firstname.lastname@example.org.
GNU Spotlight with Mike Gerwitz: 15 new GNU releases!
15 new GNU releases in the last month (as of September 27, 2021):
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
FSF and other free software events
- October 10, online, FSFE Youth Hacking 4
- October 17-19, Raleigh, North Carolina, ATO
- November 5-6, Seattle, Washington, SeaGL 2021
- November 27-28, online, EmacsConf
2021, EmacsConf Call for
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:
- Adam Jung
- Adam Van Ymeren
- Benjamin Smith
- The Huisking Foundation, Inc.
- Mathew Woodyard
- Nathan Maynes
- René Genz
- Takeshi Nishimatsu
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 (and allowed public appreciation) in the past month:
- Daniel Fleischer (GNU Emacs)
- Daniel Laurens Nicolai (GNU Emacs)
- Tomasz Konojacki (GNU Emacs)
- Yikai Zhao (GNU Emacs)
Want to see your name on this list? Contribute to GNU and assign your
copyright to the FSF.
Translations of the Free Software Supporter
El Free Software Supporter está disponible en español. Para ver la
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Para cambiar las preferencias de usuario y recibir los próximos
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Le Free Software Supporter est disponible en français. Pour voir la
version française cliquez ici: https://www.fsf.org/free-software-supporter/2021/octobre
Pour modifier vos préférences et recevoir les prochaines
publications du Supporter en français, cliquez ici:
O Free Software Supporter está disponível em português:
Para alterar as preferências do usuário e receber as próximas
edições do Supporter em português, clique aqui:
Take action with the FSF!
Contributions from thousands of individual associate 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, and more.
Copyright © 2021 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