FSF Ethical Tech Giving Guide v14

Here is the FSF Ethical Tech Giving Guide for this year (2023), which is released on an annual basis.


Looks like FSF taken Purism like Promising,because Purism not more True Free Software, That happened because too much opensource-ideology like Guido, Martin, Jonathon, Evangelos.

However there is one Light in the Horizon for true free software like before on Purism with: @francois-techene

Is it “ethical” to give “freedom” to those who do not want it?

  • Yes
  • No
0 voters
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You repeating this over and over again, but never explain anything. It sounds like clickbait without something to click. :smile:


I agree with you and i not want to be a Toxic user here so i slow down already about it. It is not easy to Explain because there are a lot thing to say but Purism do not following FSF Rules and that mean that Purism will be Bad to us or to me.


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You could create a single topic, maybe in Round Table, and make your case there, rather than polluting other topics.


What are you talking about? I get that the level of paranoia is considered normal for GNU/Linux’s free and non-proprietary software community and development, but I can’t say that FSF was, is, or will be, the true leader/guide/authority of the free software movement. I mean, all I see in FSF is a donation fundraising platform. Sure, they may at times be good at marketing and public relations, but its image is nothing without the production (of service and/or product). Yes, I get it, deep inside, we all, as humans, want to get that moola. Pretty unethical statement, but since this forum belongs to Purism, a company, its community ought to understand the ups and downs of development.


Oh, wait a minute. The post is a paroady to retort, critique, or even criticize the rhetoric of FSF. You actually meant you are being wary, or rather cynical, even pessimistic about FSF being an charitable organization. You see FSF as a Microsoft corporation variant with the front as a friendly charity? I see your point. I confer to an cautious approach than outright trust as well.

As for the opening post, I have something to say about that link. Yeah, the page is like cashing in on the holiday sales so one can say the spirit of the free software movement could be hampered to a degree. I guess you can say that the advertising promotion does not align to the spirit of Christmas. I will provide the rundown of the page in the next three paragraphs.

Ironically, the promotions, not giveaways, are not as free as one thought. For instance, the Replicant OS is not supported on all smartphones. This is a hypocritical proprietary fact, considering that GNU/Linux OS can be installed on any computer. The Vikings D8 Workstation FSF RYF-Certified desktop computer is not so available compared to Purism products and services. Although, one is encouraged to tinker and assemble with Vikings workstation and server accessories. Such marketing targets the do-it-yourself hobbyist audience, but maybe not enough for free software/firmware/hardware. As for the ThinkPenguin Penguin Wireless N USB Adapter for GNU / Linux, I must say that I am tempted to purchase one. You don’t get to see many convenient devices to work with GNU/Linux before. There is no guarantee that it will work with PureOS, but the sales says that it works with Debian v12. Most of Purism’s computer products have their own modems/wifi devices, but having a backup wifi and USB hub device combination wouldn’t hurt. The ThinkPenguin Free Software Wireless-N Mini VPN Router v3 is a VPN router. I am not an expert on VPN hardware so I have no comment. However, VPN is not a product, but a service. One would have to know the service.

If there is a saving grace, the page promotes Purism in its Promising Communities & Companies section. The company list is MNT, Vikings, PINE64, and Purism.

At the least, the Caveats section informs the user that as a disclaimer, there is no guarantee for free software in these promotions. Guarantee or perfection is a high note to strive for. In the light of this predicament, efforts are made to reach standards of a dream. That dream is not free software by definition, but free software as a pilot towards freedom.

How this topic relates to Purism’s General security & privacy chat forum section, would be a matter of discusion from those perspectives. At the given moment, I guess the FSF narrative to prefer other operating systems and computers over Purism products, would be an appalling insult. Yeah, it’s ridiculous to see Replicant, which didn’t seem to make big splashes, to be hailed as the free software standard of the smartphone operating system. Maybe, PureOS should mention its smartphone build in the List of Free GNU/Linux Distributions - GNU Project - Free Software Foundation page, but the word convenience should be enough.


It may also be useful to compare against the previous versions of this guide; some entries were shifted around or delisted entirely.

Especially since it’s limited to primarily old Samsung devices. I don’t think these old phones ever had VoLTE capability, but even if they did, installing a custom ROM immediately destroys VoLTE on any Samsung, as Samsung’s implementation is proprietary and can’t be built into a custom Android ROM. That makes these phones useless in the U.S. and many other countries, as 3G networks have been, or are being retired around the world. You wouldn’t even be able to activate a Replicant phone on any U.S. network due to the lack of VoLTE.


I think we can add HP (and a few others) to the “naughty” list:


The FSF is only concerned about freedom, not whether or not it is anonymous, secure, and/or practical for the average user in the real world.


Minor nitpick: Only useless to make voice calls. Can still use VoIP or a messaging service that supports voice calls. Can still use as a data-only device. Heck, can even still use as an offline-only device if that is what you want.

For me personally, yes, useless. :wink:


True, in some (most?) countries. In the U.S., however, you can’t even activate a phone on any carrier’s network unless it supports VoLTE on that network, possibly because of emergency service regulations. Our carriers don’t permit usage of a data-only SIM in phones, only in tablets, computers, and possibly portable “pocket wifi” devices.

But yeah, off-line, for sure. You could probably bypass official network activation and just use, e.g., an international SIM (or even an international data-only SIM like Vegolink’s), or JMP’s data-only SIM, and then simply “roam” on the host network. But you’d have to forego regular phone calls, unless you happen to pick up T-mobile’s 2G network sometimes [EDIT: re 2G calls, I’m referring to regular international SIMs that include calling and texting, not data-only SIMs], which is likely unreliable for coverage. And you could add a VOIP or XMPP number, of course. All this, again, without being an official customer of the U.S. local carrier.


Ah, OK.

How they know it’s a phone and how it is even legal to enforce such a restriction might be discussions for another time.

Possibly. Would require country-specific research.


I can confirm that both the Wireless N USB Adapter and the USB Bluetooth 4.0 Micro Adapter from ThinkPenguin work on PureOS.

Note about the Wireless N USB Adapter from ThinkPenguin:

Debian 7, 8, 9, 10, & 11 require the installation of firmware. 11 has free firmware in the repository. Just apt install firmware-ath9k-htc . See our support documentation for details.

I think it’s important to point out a few things:

  1. Prices went up on the ThinkPenguin site a few years ago for shoppers in the USA (because of the trade war with China that our previous president started).

  2. If you add the Adapter For Connecting USB Type-A Devices To Type-C Ports to your oder when purchasing the Wireless N USB Adapter or the USB Bluetooth Adapter, the addon cost is significantly less than purchasing the Type-A To Type-C Adapter by itself. So if you wanted such an adapter, order one of the other adapters listed and scroll down to add the Type-A To Type-C Adapter.

  3. I also recommend the 3.3 FT / 1 M USB 3.2 Type-C Extension Cable. It is really useful for using with a dock for the Librem 5. I have the USB-C Hub from Purism’s shop connected to my TV and this USB 3.2 Type-C Extension Cable makes it more convenient to connect my Librem 5 to the dock.

I also recommend getting a Power Bank from the Purism shop.


So, I have not ever donated to the FSF and maybe all I know about them is from reading text based HTML pages from GNU and FSF in the last few years after I happened upon them. But in my case, my frustration with proprietary software in my life – in the long term – is so profound that when I read what these organizations tend to put out, I find myself believing that even if I cannot achieve free software as they describe it, or even if they were corrupt in some secret way as organizations, nevertheless the mere idea of what they are sharing seems accurate in a way that I don’t find other organizations to be as dedicated to being as accurate about.

For example, you used the words “not giveaways” and “not as free as one thought.” Again, I’m not personally affiliated with FSF, but wouldn’t they say you are botching the meanings of words? They seem to have said in many times and many places that they use the word “free” for only one of its English definitions – the equivalent of the word “libre” in Spanish – and decidedly not for the equivalent of the word “gratis” in Spanish. It almost seems like you are either unaware or trying to blur these distinctions, which seems like it would only muddy communications on the topic of an organization who tried so hard to be specific about their use of language.

Also, have you ever read through parts of the Linux kernel? You make this sweeping claim that GNU+Linux runs on “any computer” and Replicant doesn’t, but for me personally I feel like the GNU+Linux has such a sludge of different compatibility modules that it happens, presently, to support most systems you could happen to buy. I’m confused what you mean when you call it a “proprietary fact” that one does and one doesn’t. If they are both free as in freedom, couldn’t either one be modified to run on literally any device, ultimately? Current constraints preventing me from running Replicant as a PC operating system on a laptop, for example, might exist in today’s present iteration of the code.

But in what way is that a “proprietary fact?” Doesn’t it just mean that I, like everyone else on Earth, was too lazy to modify the code to run on a different system?

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You have not donated, and that’s okay. It’s your right of purchasing power, your freedom of purchasing power. Yes, when you read something, you have the right to decide for yourselves, the freedom to decide for yourselves. It’s your right to to choose how to sympathise or to choose how to doubt. You can even sympathise and doubt.

When I say “not giveaways” and “not as free as one thought”, I was referring to the actual free giveaway of GNU/Linux operating system software and of course, freedom as in liberty/libre. Yes, I meant, free giveaway as in gratis, my friend. True gratis. Let that be gratis software if you wish that way. You can pick an OS up from download, and install whatever it is. Don’t you think it is gratis? Of course, in the same manner, that giveaway allows the freedom and liberty/libre we seek to pursue in our lives/existence. We take this free download and free computing for granted. How often do you have gratis and libre? Not often.

You don’t have to be affiliated with the FSF. It’s not the brand name that counts, (whether it takes in the shape or form of monopolies, corporations, organizations, personalities, etc) it’s the idea that counts. While there are labels, there are also strict guidelines to uphold. One cannot just follow and accept false truths so blindly. There are masquerades of deception, puppetery, manipulation, espionage, sabotage, and usurpation. Some say these accusations are mere libel and slander, but any statement would be taken with a grain of salt. What it says about botching up words, is considered an impersonation of leadership/guide/judge/authority. While magnanimous in branding, the FSF is not the judge of standard, nor does it have the power to interpret such standards. Its relationship to you is not supposed to be a dictator in 1984, where you obey its order without question. Its relationship to you is supposed to be a guide, particularly of free software. In the free software movement, there is no absolute teacher, we are all still learning while imparting.

If freedom is the goal, then we should be as consistent as possible. Who gets to decide on the meaning of words? Who get to dictate their use? Your language is equal as theirs. The languages have not even touched the guidelines of free software, yet they became verdict.

On terms of “proprietary fact”, one must remember the definition of proprietary. Proprietary is property, ownership, copyright, and patent. It’s okay by itself. It’s how it’s used that determines whether proprietary infringes upon freedom of others.
In terms of concept and principle than jargon, I would like to parrot a message probably once forgotten in time.
Too much has the term proprietary flooded our minds like propaganda. It’s too narrow-minded in the parroting narrative. Before computers, proprietary means property. Property, property, property; that was mindset of control. Property this, property that. It’s like a slap of rights over chattel, deeds, and persons. Proprietary and property may include tyranny, empires, and slavery. It symbolizes power and control.

Yes, GNU/Linux and Replicant are considered free software. Yes, they both can be modified to run on any device. Although I must argue (no pun intended) that GNU/Linux or Linux can run on any computer machine. I’m not sure if Replicant can provide that same level of freedom. Of course, there’s BSD too as an alternative to GNU/Linux or Linux. Why not reach for the stars? I personally prefer such inclination.
My argument would extend beyond smartphones, but in the general sense, I would say you can do more computer stuff with GNU/Linux, Linux, BSD, and other similar OS.
As for Replicant, its support on smartphones seems to be quite limited. You have to buy certain phones in order to gain that freedom. That requirement just became a privilege, a proprietary likelihood. How many people can obtain that specific phone? A comeback or backwards compatibility would help Replicant. Plus, the support seems to be very monopolistic, very corporate in design. All other old phone brands could have gotten the same support, but it’s not happening. Talk about patents and trademarks. It’s almost like industrial espionage taken place. I am also concerned about a conspiracy of a potential UNIX System Laboratories, Inc. v. Berkeley Software Design, Inc. case that may arise from Replicant’s development. I hope that such cases will not bring down GNU/Linux’s development or the freedom software movement. Irony? Double standard? Maybe. Not to mention the proprietary firmware that we still have to deal with (applies to any computer device). We have a long way to go, but we’re getting there.

Your example about the Replicant being restrictive as a smartphone specific OS is a perfect indication of proprietary fact (can be referred as proprietary statement or property statement [I would use the word deed, but fact can be considered as truth/law/rule, where it applied to {almost} everybody]). You can’t install the OS on any computer or phone. To be fair, you can install GNU/Linux or BSD on computers, but there is a risk of performance issues and user configuration-based bricking. Still, they are considered freedom software by a high sense of confidence (OS installation successful).

I apologize for the long winded post. I try my best to keep its context as professional as possible.
The reason for writing up this fine print of a post is because “proprietary fact”, deals with lots of law school stuff. You wouldn’t start on computer stuff with proprietary obstruction.

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The votes on the poll have been quite interesting so far, and it has only been a week into December.



Giving someone something they don’t want is making waste. Is it ethical to make waste?