the FSF giving guide guides users toward non-free software

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chaosmonk

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A rejoint: 07/07/2017

I just came across this year's FSF Giving Guide.

=> https://www.fsf.org/blogs/community/fsf-giving-guide-its-the-thought-that-counts-so-think-freedom

It recommends several pieces of hardware, most of which are RYF-certified, but one of which is the Librem 5.

It claims,

> The FSF has carefully vetted PureOS's commitment to user freedom with our guidelines for fully free systems.

Even a ~30 minute insepection of PureOS is enough to determine that it does not follow the FSDG, so either the FSF has not carefully vetted PureOS, or they have and have chosen to mislead people.

=> https://trisquel.info/en/forum/another-path#comment-150090

=> https://trisquel.info/en/forum/another-path#comment-150091

The guide also states,

> Please note that the cellular modem still contains nonfree baseband firmware. This nonfree software does not have access to the main CPU or memory. The device can be used for other purposes without the baseband firmware. We list it here because of the ubiquity of cell phones and the fact that this is the best option of which we're currently aware.

For the sake of argument I will accept this, but the FSF does not mention that this is not the only the Librem 5's only non-free firmware. At minimum, there is also the non-free firmware for the WiFi card.

=> https://source.puri.sm/Librem5/redpine-firmware-nonfree

Unlike the Librem 5, the PinePhone is already shipping and can be purchased and used now. The PostmarketOS edition is just as free as PureOS will be by the time the Librem 5 ships, as the only non-free software inlcuded is non-free firmware for the PinePhone's WiFi card. PmOS has some software that is free but not FSDG-compliant, like pip, Firefox, and Chromium, but PureOS has all this software too. Freedom-wise, there is no reason to recommend the Librem 5 and not the PmOS edition of the PinePhone.

The FSF has a reputation for being very strict with its recommendations, and people who follow the FSF's recommendations assume that vendors have been held to a high standard. It is disappointing to see the FSF make special exceptions for Purism with no transparency around their decisions.

Purism has been advertising for years now that the Librem 5 will ship with an "FSF-endorsed distro," and I've seen people take this to mean that the Librem 5 will not require firmware blobs. Now the FSF is explicitly telling people to buy the device, reinforcing that assumption. Anyone who preorders the device under this impression is being guided toward non-free software by the FSF. Meanwhile, Pine64 has been honest and transparent about the freedom limitations of their phone, and they have been punished for their good behavior in the form of people waiting for the Librem 5 instead of buying the PinePhone under the impression that the former will be more free.

andyprough
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A rejoint: 02/12/2015

I don't see the PostmarketOS edition in the Pine store now. And the stuff I would be interested in buying is always out of stock it seems. Bit of a shame, I might have bought myself a Christmas present.

I looked at the Librem stuff the other day. Looked very pretty but super pricey.

We should take a poll. Why won't you be buying a phone or laptop from Librem this year?
a) Too pricey
b) Not as libre as advertised
c) Actually, I WILL be buying one

I'll bet "too pricey" would be a well represented poll response. They aren't as libre as advertised, but they are still more libre than most, and seem to be working somewhat hard in that direction.

chaosmonk

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A rejoint: 07/07/2017

> I'll bet "too pricey" would be a well represented poll response.

Yes, probably.

> They aren't as libre as advertised

Yes.

> but they are still more libre than most

Yes, but that would also be true of any phone shipping with LineageOS, GrapheneOS, Replicant, UBports, Plasma Mobile, or PostmarketOS. If being more libre than the status quo is sufficient to warrant recommendation by the FSF, there are many devices they could recommend, so why give the Librem 5 special treatment?

> and seem to be working somewhat hard in that direction.

Where exactly do you get the idea that they are working hard in that direction? When it comes to freedom they seem quite lazy. For example, years ago they were asked to remove Chromium from their repo due to freedom issues, and then they claimed that they did, but it's still there, last updated 6 days ago. So either they simply did not bother to remove it, or they did try to remove it but made some sort of error and never bothered to make sure it had actually been removed. It is really not that hard for Debian-based distro to comply with the FSDG, and the fact that Purism hasn't addressed Debian's freedom issues, even when specifically asked to, says a lot about their priorities.

=> https://repo.pureos.net/pureos/pool/main/c/chromium/

Don't get me wrong, Purism has been doing some good work. They are responsible for libhandy and Phosh, which have made a GNOME-like experience possible on mobile devides like the PinePhone and Librem 5. That is great for people who like GNOME and want to run something like it on their phone, and it likely would not have happened if Purism hadn't invested resources into it. However, while that work is valuable, it is unrelated to the freedom status of Purism's distro or products.

andyprough
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A rejoint: 02/12/2015

> "When it comes to freedom they seem quite lazy. For example, years ago they were asked to remove Chromium from their repo due to freedom issues, and then they claimed that they did, but it's still there, last updated 6 days ago."

I doubt that has anything to do with laziness. More like trying to keep their customers from freaking out when they pay $800+ for a phone or $1600+ for a laptop and can't watch Netflix. Whiny consumers are a powerful force. And keep in mind, $800 and $1600 are bare minimums - most are probably spending significantly more on their Librem devices.

chaosmonk

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A rejoint: 07/07/2017

> I doubt that has anything to do with laziness. More like trying to keep their customers from freaking out when they pay $800+ for a phone or $1600+ for a laptop and can't watch Netflix. Whiny consumers are a powerful force.

I was assuming good faith and that including Chromium in the repo after saying they removed it was due to sloppiness. Also, I think that Debian's version of Chromium does not have DRM working out of the box anyway, but I'm not 100% sure since I've never tried. You may be right though.

andyprough
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A rejoint: 02/12/2015

I would not assume good faith or a simple mistake. Purism is clearly all about the money, their branding and advertising makes that very obvious. Which is understandable - they should be focused on sales, or they would end up bankrupt very quickly. Very slim margins in selling computers. That $800+ phone and the $99 a month "secure" phone service they are selling using the AT&T/T-Mobile backbone is probably going to be what keeps them in business.

chaosmonk

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A rejoint: 07/07/2017

> $99 a month "secure" phone service they are selling using the AT&T/T-Mobile backbone

I never really got what this was. Is there anything unique about it, or they just reselling AT&T service under their brand? I found out a while ago that "PureVPN" is actually just PIA resold under Purism's brand. Maybe the Librem 5 will just be rebranded PinePhone.

andyprough
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A rejoint: 02/12/2015

> I never really got what this was. Is there anything unique about it, or they just reselling AT&T service under their brand?

It's apparently a sim card they are selling, and here's the claim they make: "Major cellular providers are creating unified customer identifiers based on customer account information (name, address, billing information) and unique identifiers on your mobile devices so they can “identify users across multiple devices and serve them relevant advertising. Librem AweSIM adds an extra layer of privacy to your customer data to protect you from targeted tracking. We register your phone number in our name on your behalf and keep your personal and financial data private and out of the hands of companies who would sell it to others."

I guess if it's true then you would narrow down your exposure to one point of failure, but of course Purism being in US jurisdiction is going to have almost no defenses against subpoenas. So it's a lot of money each month for something called "privacy" which probably isn't something you could rely on as true privacy.

Still, if Purism were to prove themselves to be an ethical steward of data, then it's possible that this could be greater privacy than with other phone plans. Although not nearly as private as paying cash for a burner phone + plan.

Magic Banana

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A rejoint: 07/24/2010

Have you written that to Greg Farough (gregf [at] fsf.org), FSF's Campaigns Manager, who wrote the piece of news you linked to? It may have an effect on the guide or at least answer some of your questions.

GNUser
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A rejoint: 07/17/2013

That could prove to be a useful line of action indeed. Hey MB, seems someone has spent quite a load of time downvoting your posts... I have noticed in different threads even...

chaosmonk

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A rejoint: 07/07/2017

I just sent him an email.

PublicLewdness
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A rejoint: 03/15/2020

I agree. The PinePhone should have been mentioned along with the Librem 5 or none of them should have. Both have the same issues regarding closed source firmware.

koszkonutek
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A rejoint: 03/19/2020

I might be quite late for this thread, but I could not resist and not mention the fact, that Librem 5 was already in the guide a year ago...

https://www.fsf.org/blogs/community/ethical-tech-giving-guide-freedom-is-the-gift-that-keeps-on-giving

chaosmonk

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A rejoint: 07/07/2017

Lol, thanks for pointing that out. I thought it was funny that the giving guide is recommending a product that won't ship in time for the holidays. Now I wonder how many people are still waiting for their holiday gift from last year.

gaseousness
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A rejoint: 08/25/2020

"
The Modem switch controls power to the M.2 modem card.
The WLAN/Bluetooth switch controls power to the combined M.2 WiFi/Bluetooth module.
The Camera/Microphone switch controls power to the camera and microphone.
"

https://docs.puri.sm/Librem_5/General/Kill_Switches.html

Maybe that's the reason it's considered the best option?

chaosmonk

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A rejoint: 07/07/2017

In case anyone's wondering, I never received a reponse to the email I sent at Magic Banana's suggestion, so I still don't know why the FSF endorsed PureOS and is recommending the Librem 5. I can think of a couple possible reasons:

(1) The giving guide says, "Like many companies, Purism has made financial contributions to the FSF's work, but that is not a consideration when deciding what products we list in this Guide." Maybe this is not true.

(2) Maybe the FSF has always been this careless inits endorsements and recommendations and blindly takes distros and vendors at their word, and Purism is simply the first (AFAIK) to take advantage of this.

lutes
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A rejoint: 09/04/2020

(3) Maybe The FSF is simply dysfunctional. Someone already acknowledged here that adding PureOS to the list of recommended distros was "an oversight" [1] after insisting "without giving away internal details", that the process was in fact "the longest endorsement process [they]'ve ever seen" [2]. Which understandably leaves one perplexed.

[1] https://trisquel.info/en/forum/another-path#comment-150101
[2] https://trisquel.info/en/forum/fsf-adds-pureos-list-endorsed-gnulinux-distributions#comment-124960

gaseousness
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A rejoint: 08/25/2020

good point on "For the sake of argument I will accept this, but the FSF does not mention that this is not the only the Librem 5's only non-free firmware. At minimum, there is also the non-free firmware for the WiFi card." @chaosmonk

"PureOS on the Librem 5 is the same OS we use on our other products "
"The Librem 5 is a phone built on PureOS, a fully free, ethical and open-source operating system that is not based on Android or iOS."
-https://puri.sm/products/librem-5/
^ Misleading, I'd rather they be upfront and make it clear that it is a deal with the devil (or running any non-free software)?

" the PinePhone can now last approx 10 hours on the battery alone. Now, I recognize that this may seem underwhelming compared to our Android or iPhone smartphones, "
-https://www.pine64.org/2020/03/15/march-update-manjaro-on-pinebook-pro-pinephone-software/
^ shipping with manjaro by default, which includes snapd like ubuntu, interesting? "What is to stop the devil from offering to install a GNU/Linux distro such as Ubuntu, which offers the user other attractive nonfree programs, not solely the ones needed for the machine's hardware to function at all?" -http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/install-fest-devil.html

if we compare https://www.pine64.org/ to https://puri.sm/, at least purism mentions the word freedom, despite quite a bit of potentially misleading sale-pitches?

is there any videos of the new fsf president doing some public speaking, tried searching ddg and invidious but couldn't seem to find anything?

is there any device that could fit in one's pocket and run on 100 percent free software and have wireless and/or be a somewhat practical solution?

chaosmonk

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A rejoint: 07/07/2017

> if we compare https://www.pine64.org/ to https://puri.sm/, at least purism mentions the word freedom

As more and more people become aware of social problems having to do with software, more and more companies are going to pop up trying to capitalize on this trend. They will echo some activist rhetoric and pay lip service to certain values, with the goal of persuading people that these problems can be solved by participating in the company's business model. This will be very tempting to believe, as participation in the company's business model will be easier than real activism or making meaningful lifestyle changes. If all a company has to do to win you over is use the word "freedom", then you will be easily taken in.

If the Librem 5 ever ships, it will be pretty similar to the Pinephone. Most criticisms of the Librem 5 will also apply to the Pinephone and vice versa. However, Pine64's claims about what the Pinephone is are pretty modest. It is an affordable smartphone that can run free operating systems outside the Android ecosystem. They don't exaggerate its level of security or privacy, or claim that it is a solution to mass surveillance. Their customers know what they are getting.

eric23
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A rejoint: 06/30/2017

What should this deceptive tactic be called? freewashing, freedomwashing? If your familiar with greenwashing...

lutes
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A rejoint: 09/04/2020

I'd go for librewashing. Just look at the name of the devices.

As for the FSF, I am left both puzzled and curious: what mysterious internal details could possibly get a multi-year process to result in an oversight?

gaseousness
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A rejoint: 08/25/2020

https://invidious.snopyta.org/watch?v=wAk72UnwU4E

^ notice how they show off a non-free application just as they say "some apps that fall in line with our software philosophy"?

GrevenGull
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A rejoint: 12/18/2017

But didn't you just say in another thread that you had bought and tested the PinePhone and that it was basically useless for a non-technical person, and was still missing some key features even for a technical person?

Or has that situation changed? Am I missing something?

Also the point others have made that the Librem have kill switches.

Don't get me wrong - I, as many others here, dislikes the Purism business model, but I'm being the devil's advocate here.

chaosmonk

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A rejoint: 07/07/2017

> But didn't you just say in another thread that you had bought and tested the PinePhone and that it was basically useless for a non-technical person, and was still missing some key features even for a technical person?

You mean like a year ago? Back when I was testing the Braveheart edition of the Pinephone? It is no longer useless for a non-technical person. The community editions have been shipping for months. There is still room for improvement, but it's a lot further along in the process than the Librem 5 has gotten.

> Also the point others have made that the Librem have kill switches.

So does the Pinephone.

> I'm being the devil's advocate here.

I've never gotten why people feel the need to do this. Doesn't the devil have enough advocates as it is?

lutes
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A rejoint: 09/04/2020

> I've never gotten why people feel the need to do this.

Due process and fair trial. Also, looking smart.

> Doesn't the devil have enough advocates as it is?

I agree. If anything, the FSF needs more scrutiny, not less.

chaosmonk

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A rejoint: 07/07/2017

> Due process and fair trial.

This isn't a courtroom, but if it was, I'd hope the defense's lawyer would do better than "So, playing devil's advocate..."

> Also, looking smart.

I can't recall a time that a "devil's advocate" argument was particularly impressive or convincing. Normally if someone has a good point, they'll just make their point and not feel a need to distance themselves from what they are saying.

> If anything, the FSF needs more scrutiny, not less.

I agree, though I want to clarify that I wouldn't call the FSF or Purism "the devil", I was just going along with the use of the expression.

lutes
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A rejoint: 09/04/2020

> I was just going along with the use of the expression.

Sorry, mine were just lighthearted comments triggered by your going along with the use of the expression.

This is indeed obviously a purely rhetorical expression but I have heard good points from people arguing in favor of unpopular opinions or figures. Rhetorical precautions are sometimes necessary in order to make one's voice heard, though I have not seen such a situation happen often on this forum.

EDIT: as a side note, this wikipedia page seems quite accurate about the origin of the expression : https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Devil%27s_advocate. The role had much less to do with defending any sort of devil than with cautiously examining the merits of a saint. More like a saint's prosecutor.

GrevenGull
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A rejoint: 12/18/2017

To add to my last comment - I would understand why the FSF feels like this is the best option and a sort of compromize for people in need of a smartphone.

Of course you could buy a Samsung Galaxy S2 and flash Replicant on it - but for a lot of people that's not an option.

chaosmonk

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A rejoint: 07/07/2017

The Librem 5 is also not an option yet. You can pre-order it, but until it ships you cannot use it. When it does, it will not be better freedom-wise than the Pinephone. How is a device that does not yet exist a more practical compromise than a similar device that does exist?

Also, making practical compromises is not something the FSF does with its distro and hardware endorsements. It's something that I think the FSF probably *should do*. It would be great to have a serious conversation about when and why compromises are acceptable, or to rate distros and devices on a scale and detailing their nuanced pros and cons rather than trying to split the world into "good" and "bad". That's not what's currently happening though. Instead the FSF has laid out clear standards for what they consider acceptable, and then makes exceptions to those standards for Purism.

GrevenGull
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A rejoint: 12/18/2017

I was of the understanding that the purism phone was completely finished and ready to buy. And as of your comment above regarding Pinephone: cool! I am glad to hear :)

I am currently using a replicant phone, would you recommend to get a Pinephone instead? Do I need to flash anything or otherwise tinker with it?

chaosmonk

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A rejoint: 07/07/2017

> I was of the understanding that the purism phone was completely finished and ready to buy.

Out of curiosity, where did you get that impression?

> I am currently using a replicant phone, would you recommend to get a Pinephone instead?

Freedomwise, the Pinephone is a little better than Replicant devices in that it does not require a non-free bootloader. They are otherwise pretty similar. If you're happy with Replicant there's not a big reason to switch.

lutes
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A rejoint: 09/04/2020

> Out of curiosity, where did you get that impression?

Maybe from this 12/2019 statement:

"Since the Librem 5 USA is being made in parallel with the regular Librem 5, we are able to offer this version quickly with shipping starting in Q3 2020 (meaning about a 6 to 9 month lead time from order placement to order delivery)." [1]

Even if I could, I would not put $1,999 on a gadget anyway, so I do not have more info about the actual shipping schedule.

[1] https://puri.sm/posts/librem-5-usa

lutes
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A rejoint: 09/04/2020

Since I was also curious about the current state of affairs, I looked slightly further and found that shipping had seemingly started by November 18, 2020:

https://puri.sm/posts/librem-5-mass-production-phone-has-begun-shipping

https://www.reddit.com/r/Librem5/comments/jzps4s/i_have_received_my_librem_5_evergreen_heres_my

GrevenGull
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A rejoint: 12/18/2017

> Out of curiosity, where did you get that impression?

I'm not sure. But I went to both the product page of Librem 5 and the product page of the Pinephone to take a look.

If you read the description on the Pinephone product page it clearly states that this is *intended for developers and community members* as in not your average Joe.

chaosmonk

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A rejoint: 07/07/2017

As Lutes says, it looks like the Librem 5 is indeed shipping now to the first people who preordered it. However, it still appears to only be available for preoreder. My guess is that this is because they have several years of orders to fulfill before they start fulfilling new ones.

> If you read the description on the Pinephone product page it clearly states that this is *intended for developers and community members* as in not your average Joe.

I already acknowledged that the Pinephone has room for improvement. Same is true of the Librem 5. According to this recent review by someone who finally got their Librem 5, it sounds like the Librem 5 is still lagging behind the Pinephone in terms of usability (no working camera yet). Once again, this is a case of Pine64 being modest and transparent, Purism not doing the same, and gullible readers taking this to mean that the Librem 5 is better than the Pinephone.

=> https://www.reddit.com/r/Librem5/comments/jzps4s/i_have_received_my_librem_5_evergreen_heres_my

GrevenGull
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A rejoint: 12/18/2017

Right.

I'm very on the fence about buying the Pinephone.

Since you seem very updated about this, may I ask of you what it is exactly you get from a Pinephone now, what works and what doesn't.

And if I order the Pinephone from their website today, will it have a free OS on delivery without me needing to flash anything?

lutes
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A rejoint: 09/04/2020

> I, as many others here, dislikes the Purism business model

Why? They could be totally transparent and still be using the same business model. In fact, being more transparent would fit their business model even better.

> It is disappointing to see the FSF make special exceptions for Purism with no transparency around their decisions.

The devil seems indeed to be in the lack of transparency. I still do not understand why the FSF has accepted to play the Purism misleading game, or failed to uphold their own standards. I cannot believe that Purism's donations were high enough to buy the FSF (though of course I might just be naive) to the point that they had to put their device on the top of their Giving Guide. Have smartphones really become that priority? I have just read the list in the reverse order, it already made much more sense.

Also, in what way are Google and Android so much better than Apple/iOS or Microsoft that it does not deserve more than a passing mention?

chaosmonk

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A rejoint: 07/07/2017

> Also, in what way are Google and Android so much better than Apple/iOS or Microsoft that it does not deserve more than a passing mention?

I found that a little odd as well. iPhones are a little worse than Android devices in terms of freedom and planned obsolescence, but Android is far worse in terms of privacy. Both are garbage.

amuza
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A rejoint: 02/12/2018

Seeing this thread now.

chaosmonk, did you get any answer from the FSF?

If not, would you like to try again? Just in case something went wrong.

There are also some other addresses that could be used, like

name at domain

name at domain

or some others at https://www.fsf.org/about/staff-and-board/

chaosmonk

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A rejoint: 07/07/2017

> chaosmonk, did you get any answer from the FSF?

No.

> There are also some other addresses that could be used, like

The forum replaces email addresses with "name at domain", so they are not readable in your post.

amuza
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A rejoint: 02/12/2018

info at fsf dot org

campaigns at fsf dot org

Please let me know if you would like to keep trying. Thanks.

chaosmonk

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A rejoint: 07/07/2017

I don't want to spend much more of my time and energy dicussing this issue. However, below is a summary of the FSDG issues I am aware of that affect PureOS (it's information I've shared already, but here I compile it all in one place). You or anyone else interested in doing so may edit it as you see fit and send the information to anyone you think would be interested.

PureOS uses Debian's kernel instead of Linux-libre. While Debian's kernel is deblobbed, it induces the user to install non-free firmware via messages printed while booting. The FSF is aware that Linux behaves this way when non-free firmware is missing, which is why Linux-libre, removing these references to non-free firmware. Debian not only retains these messages, but patches[1] the kernel to display an additional message linking to a wiki page[2] with instructions to install the firmware from Debian's non-free repository.

The Purism forum contains many threads in which users guide each other toward installing non-free software. Not only does Purism not enforce any guidelines that prevent such non-FSDG threads, but on at least one occasion[3] a Purism employee has instructed a user to add Debian's non-free repository in order to install non-free firmware.

PureOS contains both Firefox[4] and Chromium[5] in its repositories. These packages are specifically mentioned in the FSF's explanation[6] of why it does not endorse Debian. Purism has been asked to remove Chromium and claimed to have done so, but both Chromium and Firefox are stil in PureOS's repository and up-to-date with their versions in Debian.

PureOS includes package managers configured to point to repositories containing non-free software, including snap[7] and pip[8].

There are many known freedom issues in Debian-based distributions which have already been addressed in Trisquel. Not all of them are as obvious as the issues listed above, but since they have already been discovered and addressed in Trisquel there is no excuse not to be aware of them, especially since (as I understand it) PureOS used to be based on Trisquel. While some of the changes that Trisquel makes are specific to Ubuntu, most of the FSDG-related ones apply to Debian as well. For example, hplip[9] prompts the user to download and install a non-free utility.

Purism's official code forge also contains a repository[10] dedicated to the Librem 5's upgradeable non-free WiFi firmware.

Years after receiving the FSF's endorsement, it appears that Purism has hardly begun to address the freedom issues in Debian. It has been said[11] that the decision to endorse PureOS was a "multi-year process", and yet PureOS blatantly violates the FSDG in ways that should be clear after a few hours of inspection. The issues listed above can be spotted without even trying PureOS. One can simply browse their repository, website, and code forge. If the FSF did not bother to check the kernel, the forum, popular browsers, or known freedom issues in Debian-based distros, it is unclear what they *did* check.

[0] https://www.fsf.org/givingguide/v11/?pk_campaign=frfall2020&pk_source=giving

[1] https://salsa.debian.org/kernel-team/linux/-/blob/master/debian/patches/debian/firmware_class-refer-to-debian-wiki-firmware-page.patch

[2] https://wiki.debian.org/Firmware

[3] https://forums.puri.sm/t/wifi-not-working/1249

[4] https://repo.pureos.net/pureos/pool/main/f/firefox-esr/

[5] https://repo.pureos.net/pureos/pool/main/c/chromium/

[6] https://www.gnu.org/distros/common-distros.en.html

[7] https://repo.pureos.net/pureos/pool/main/s/snapd/

[8] https://repo.pureos.net/pureos/pool/main/p/python-pip/

[9] https://devel.trisquel.info/trisquel/package-helpers/blob/etiona/helpers/make-hplip

[10] https://source.puri.sm/Librem5/redpine-firmware-nonfree

[11] https://trisquel.info/en/forum/fsf-adds-pureos-list-endorsed-gnulinux-distributions#comment-124960

amuza
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A rejoint: 02/12/2018

Thank you. I have also written them. Let's see if we can get some clarification from them.

amuza
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A rejoint: 02/12/2018

I got a reply from the FSF and permission to share it here. Please find it below:

- - - -

Hi, Amuza,

On Mon Jan 11 16:53:12 2021, name at domain wrote:
> Dear Free Software Foundation,
>
> I am writing you regarding the FSF Giving Guide.
>
> Some people are confused or concerned about its contents, specifically
> about the Librem 5 device. It seems possible that there could have
> been
> a mistake from the Free Software Foundation or that we are not
> understanding something.
>
> Those confusions or concerns have been explained in detail in a forum
> thread titled "the FSF giving guide guides users toward non-free
> software", belonging to the "General Free Software Talk" forum at
> trisquel.info. This is its link:
>
> https://trisquel.info/en/forum/fsf-giving-guide-guides-users-toward-
> non-free-software#comment-form
>
> I think it would be comforting if the Free Software Foundation could
> somehow clarify the doubts exposed in the mentioned thread. Maybe
> writing directly in that thread, answering here, adding a note at the
> the FSF Giving Guide, or as best suits you.

Thanks for writing in. We know about these issues, and our licensing
team is currently working on getting them sorted out with Purism.
Unfortunately, problems like this can take a while to resolve
effectively. But I'll pass your message along to them as well.

We believe that Purism will do the right thing here, so have decided
to keep the Librem 5 on the Guide. The operative phrase in its section
on the Giving Guide is "tentative recommendation," as we haven't
evaluated it yet. This doesn't mean that it's been RYF-certified or
that we endorse it, only that it runs an FSDG GNU/Linux distribution
and looks promising from our point of view.

I think it might be helpful to clarify a few things about the Guide.
Its main purpose is to advocate free software to a nontechnical
audience who probably isn't aware of it already, as in normal times
the campaigns team and FSF volunteers hand out printed copies at malls
and tech stores to people shopping as part of the holiday rush. In a
short amount of space, we need to try and discourage this audience
from buying the nonfree device they may have gone to the store
specifically to get, and instead choose an option that better respects
their freedom. Since this audience is likely nontechnical, and may
look at it only for a fraction of a second before throwing their
printed copy away, it isn't a place where we can go into very fine
technical matters. Most people we run into at the mall are also
already set on buying something -- often a mobile phone -- and so it's
important to have something we can recommend, rather than just tell
them that they shouldn't buy an iPhone.

When we make our annual revisions to the Guide, we're thinking about
these limitations, and approach it by thinking of what the current
"state of the art" is when it comes to freedom. No mobile phone has
been RYF-certified, and so the current "state of the art" in this case
would be a phone that runs a free operating system but which might
have other flaws. Aside from the FSDG issues we're working with Purism
on, the Librem 5 and phones running Replicant fit this description.
With this being the case, and as at the time of the Guide's writing we
couldn't find a vendor that had Replicant phones in stock, we decided
to stick with our tentative recommendation of the Librem 5.

I hope this helps, and feel free to share this message verbatim on the
forum. Please also feel free to write me if you have feedback on our
approach to the Guide, as we're always open to that as well.

Best,
-Greg

--
Greg Farough // Campaigns Manager
Free Software Foundation

Join the FSF and help us defend software freedom: https://my.fsf.org

lutes
Hors ligne
A rejoint: 09/04/2020

Thanks for taking time to write to them and post their answer here.

> problems like this can take a while to resolve effectively.

Meanwhile, some OSs are kept waiting outside while another can enjoy first place in the Giving Guide sofa without doing much about it except sitting on a device that intrinsically breaches both privacy and software freedom. Because of mysterious internal details that decency seemingly forbids exposing in broad daylight. A whole lot of shaking going on.

> Since this audience is likely nontechnical, and may look at it only for a fraction of a second before throwing their printed copy away, it isn't a place where we can go into very fine technical matters.

May I suggest: "We are talking to idiots anyway, so let us not embarrass ourselves with principles." It would be shorter, clearer and truer.

I might soon receive a Pinephone, as a gift. I think the FSF is actively pushing for expensive vibrators so people understand the hidden message and buy a Pinephone. That also explains the €1,999 price tag for the localized brand.

chaosmonk

I am a member!

I am a translator!

Hors ligne
A rejoint: 07/07/2017

This does not explain why PureOS is endorsed by the FSF.

gaseousness
Hors ligne
A rejoint: 08/25/2020

maybe purism seemed more genuine with their use of "freedom" lingo at the time while they were seeking a fsf 100 percent free ranking distro?

"We're giving it a tentative recommendation because the company has publicly committed to doing the right things for prioritizing user freedom and privacy, and because we have evaluated and endorsed the operating system it will run."
-https://www.fsf.org/givingguide/v11/?pk_campaign=frfall2020&pk_source=giving

at least they used the word "tentative"? but i wasn't aware that pinephone has killswitches as well, so it is weird to me they excluded the pinephone but included the overpriced librem 5.

amuza
Hors ligne
A rejoint: 02/12/2018

I have been trying to catch up with the Purism issues treated in different threads of the forum. I can understand why chaosmonk does not want to spend much more of their time and energy on this issue. Thank you for your work and patience.

> I hope this helps, and feel free to share this message verbatim on the forum. Please also feel free to write me if you have feedback on our approach to the Guide, as we're always open to that as well.

They seem to be kindly open to our feedback, I think that is good, but I would prefer to do it in a more open, direct and transparent way than having me as a messenger.

If we agreed that the FSF could do better on this topic, we could try to reach a common agreement on what we would like the FSF to do or to stop doing on this topic. Per instance: remove Librem 5 from the Giving Guide, or add a note to the Giving Guide clarifying freedom facts about Librem 5, or add other devices with explanatory notes too, or whatever we agree.

What would be your easy and clear demand to the FSF about all this Purism thing?

If we managed to agree on something, we could try to organize some kind of common request to the FSF.

lutes
Hors ligne
A rejoint: 09/04/2020

I would suggest one of these two things could be done:

1. explain why PureOS is endorsed by the FSF. That would obviously remove the sting that keeps stirring this (imho) distressing conversation and at least move it to a more constructive discussion about the process and criteria applied by the FSF.

2. remove PureOS from their list of endorsed GNU/Linux distros.

The FSF is obviously too important an asset for free software (I mean...how does this even need to be stated) for it to tarnish its own reputation and undermine its own work by leaving such an oversight unaddressed.

That said, nothing is absolutely irreplaceable.

amuza
Hors ligne
A rejoint: 02/12/2018

By the way, my request would be: Remove Librem 5 from the Giving Guide.

And to support it I would just copy the explanations and facts chaosmonk has exposed.

lutes
Hors ligne
A rejoint: 09/04/2020

Maybe put it last on the list with a clear warning that mobile phones are among the least free devices an OS can be run on and clear info about the actual state of the phone (no working camera for instance, as mentioned above in this thread). Also, mention the limitations of PureOS in term of the FSF criteria for software freedom. And add the pinephone after a random draw to determine which will appear before the other.

Or focus on the OS instead.