Free tools in the EP

Thu, 11/10/2012 - 17:11 -- admin

14h30-16h30 Wednesday 7 November 2012
If you need a badge to enter the European Parliament in Brussels, please send an email to and tell that you are attending, then bring your passport or ID and come to the Accreditation Centre, see map and picture. Please be there at 14h00 since it takes a while to sign everybody in. Thanks!

invitation banner

Dear colleagues and friends,

I am excited to invite you to an event with the European Parliament Free Software User Group. It is the first meeting I am hosting as a Patron and it is therefore with great pleasure I look forward to meet with Jonas Smedegaard and Dimitrios Symeonidis and listen to them explaining how Linux is running on the FreedomBox, on Hedgehog and on a traditional computer in the EP.

Time: 14h30-16h30 Wednesday 7 November 2012 (download to your calendar)
Location: Room A8F388 (Altiero Spinelli building, 8th floor, elevator F, room A8F388)
If you don't have a badge please send a mail to, otherwise no registration necessary. Please note that registration is open and public.

I don't take any credit for Linux. And I suspect that my son still thinks that I'm an idiot in this field. But I take some pride in a sentence my first-born once used when he for the x time was asked why he made it free for all: "In my family money was never the issue around which everything moved." Linus' grandfather on his mother's side was a great mathematician. His grandfather on my side of the family-tree was a very creative and gifted poet. I think both grandfathers would be very proud to know that their combined mathematical skill and poetic gift now runs as Linux, and therefore in about every second smart phone and almost everywhere else, on servers all over the internet. But there is still not that much Linux in the Parliament. I think that can and will change, and I am looking forward to the day when the EP does not discriminate against a particular operating system or software license.

Please be warmly welcome on 7 November!

Nils Torvalds

Agenda for EPFSUG meeting 7 November 2012
14h30-16h30 in room A8F388

WELCOME Nils Torvalds, MEP

The European Parliament Free Software User Group is an open community of staff, assistants and Members of the European Parliament, and of supporters from the free software community. Its goals are to:

  • Assist people interested in using free software in the European Parliament
  • Drive adoption of free software in the European Parliament's information infrastructure
  • Push for use of open standards, to ensure equal access for citizens using free software
  • Work in cooperation with like-minded groups in Europe and around the world
What is FreedomBox? And when can I have one?
Jonas Smedegaard
The FreedomBox is a project to help you to stay in control of your own privacy on the internet. Why is this needed? Because you often loose or have to give up privacy rights in whole or in part when you participate in centralised social network platforms. Privacy concerned computer enthusiasts have practised protection of personal digital freedoms for quite some time now, using a range of well known and reliable technical tools. FreedomBox is aiming at putting those tools is a tiny low-power box, but improved to be dead-easy to use for anyone. Jonas will explain the current state of the FreedomBox project and explore and expose what is fundamentally at stake and show how each of you can turn the internet around to serve yourself and thereby all of us. And to do that in the EP, you might actually need a hedgehog to help you!
A technical note on the rules of the European Parliament.
Dimitrios Symeonidis
All desktop PCs in the European Parliament run one specific, locked-down version of a proprietary operating system. Dimitrios will explain in his presentation how to make Linux work on the EP's internal LAN, but also why you should not run Linux on your desktop PC. Still the Linux option remains attractive as an alternative for connecting your private laptop to the wireless EP-EXT. But what if in the future we had a choice? The Linux environment could maybe be almost as good as the standard desktop currently provided by the EP, both in terms of security, usability and comfort.
What's up and coming?
Erik Josefsson
The European Parliament Free Software User Group currently has four patrons: MEPs Indrek Tarand, Amelia Andersdotter, Alexander Alvaro and Nils Torvalds. Together they are supporting users of free software who work in the European Parliament and are willing to explore ways of incorporating free software in their work routines as far as rules of the House permit. Erik will give a short overview of what EPFSUG is planning in terms of meetings, applications and reach out.
Become a supporter!

Can't wait to learn more about free software?

Wednesday, 7 November, 2012 - 14:30