Pinned toot

Over the past year, my GNU Social timeline has gone almost completely silent; it seems that many people have moved to Mastodon and maybe those instances have stopped federating.

Further, GNU Social development has been stalled for a long time.

So this seems like an inevitable decision to give Mastodon a try. I'll start by following people and will post both on here and GNU Social initially. See

My wife and I are growing increasingly anxious about her giving birth at the end of April, given forecasts of the effect on our healthcare system in the United States, especially in New York.

It's not just about our exposure. Will beds be available if she has complications? Who will watch our children if any of us have symptoms? Will I even be able to be in the room? Will our newborn be safe? So much and more.

Social Responsibility Amid COVID-19 Outbreak:

As an activist for user freedom, I focus primarily on issues of social freedom and equality through the lens of technology. I think about how to level the playing field, to help those who are vulnerable.

But some of the most effective things we can do today to make our contribution to society has nothing to do with software. Please consider others, even if you don't worry about illness yourself.

This software, Nextstrain, is free software to aid epidemiological understanding and improve outbreak response, licensed under AGPLv3!

The 2019 Award for Projects of Social Benefit is @letsencrypt, whose inspiring application of free software principles has enabled thousands of people and organizations (including the FSF!) to help their users browse the Web securely.

Congratulations to Jim Meyering, the recipient of this year's Award for the Advancement of Free Software! Jim is a longtime contributor to the GNU coreutils and Gnulib; the entire free world has benefited from his contributions.

End-to-end encryption is the best way to protect privacy online. It can't co-exist with a requirement that online services scan everything.

I'm sad to see that the in-person conference was cancelled this year, but I think it was the right decision. This must have been a very difficult decision, especially for a conference run by a non-profit and volunteers, and also considering that some may not be able to get refunds on e.g. travel tickets.

But they'll still be streaming live this year:

I hope everyone reading this is in good health and I hope to see everyone in person in 2021.

How easy is it for a third party to identify your browser? Find out with Panopticlick.

Theory: Many young people aren't familiar with the concept of copying/sharing a program.

Mastodon says "What's on your mind?" But the problem is that so much is always on my mind that I have no idea where to start, quickly get overwhelmed, and then say nothing at all.

"Infrastructure is very important for free software, and it's unfortunate that so much free software development currently relies on sites that don't publish their source code, and require or encourage the use of proprietary software."

Install Privacy Badger to protect your browsing from spying ads and invisible trackers.

I'm sorry to say that I've decided to cancel my plans to attend this year. My wife has had a rough pregnancy so far and will be just about in her final month during the conference, on top of having to care for our other two children solo for the weekend, and I don't want to put her in that position.

I hope to see everyone next year, and I'm sorry again to those I was going to meet up with.

BREAKING: We’ve confirmed that the Ring doorbell app on Android covertly shares personally identifiable information on its users with third-party companies, including Facebook.

The biggest threat to our privacy online is third-party trackers’ slow, steady, relentless accumulation of relatively mundane data points about how we live our lives.

Looking back on 2019, one thing I'm happy to see is that concerns are becoming much more mainstream.

When I gave a talk at LP2017 just three years ago, I began by saying "this is not a tinfoil hat presentation". If I were to give that talk today, I could confidently omit that line, because 2019 has created a far more fucked up narrative than I ever could have.

(On the downside, I haven't been able to keep up with the deluge of privacy related issues over the past year.)

I chose not to submit a talk this year because I'm too busy, but I'm still planning to attend . I'm excited for the extra social time that I'll have---the previous four years I've confined myself to rehearsing talks in my hotel room.

If you're planning on attending, please lmk. If not, then please consider! FSF Associate Members are not charged for admission, and the FSF offers a travel fund to help those who may not otherwise be able to attend.

Show more
Mike Gerwitz's Mastodon Instance

Mike Gerwitz's personal Mastodon instance