As the end-of-the-year gift-giving season approaches, we have a dilemma: how do we give the people in our lives the gifts they want without subjecting them to software that violates their user freedoms? So many new gadgets are loaded with digital gremlins that can take all of the fun out of the holidays, using proprietary software to sneak surveillance, Digital Restrictions Management (DRM), and other malware in along with the functions we actually want these items to serve.
Every year, the Free Software Foundation (FSF) offers you an easy solution: our Ethical Tech Giving Guide! The Giving Guide is back with version 9, and loaded with tech you can feel good about giving your loved ones -- and it also highlights some dangerous devices that are better left on the shelf.
We create resources like the Ethical Tech Giving Guide because software freedom is necessary to our overall freedom. Will you propel the free software movement to new frontiers by supporting the FSF? Our annual fundraiser is happening right now, and we want to welcome 400 new Associate Members before December 31st. As a special bonus, all new and renewing Annual Associate Members ($120+) can choose to receive a set of enamel pins. Become a member or make a donation today.
2018 has been an exciting year for user freedom. There have been multiple new additions to our Respects Your Freedom (RYF) certification program, with around 50 new products just waiting to be reviewed. Many of the products in the Giving Guide are RYF-certified, so you can give them knowing you're giving the most ethical technical toys you can. The Giving Guide has a huge assortment of digital gifts that will delight your family and friends, including:
- Digital media, including ebooks and movies;
- Laptops and tablets;
- 3D printers;
- Accessories to help keep your computer as free as you want it to be; and
- A list of nonprofit charities working hard for your digital rights.
When you're buying gifts this year, please remember that we're not just trying to protect ourselves from spyware, surveillance, and other threats brought on by proprietary software. This encroachment of our rights as users doesn't just affect us. It's not enough to choose to not buy a Google Home or Amazon Alexa for ourselves -- we need to help keep these proprietary technologies out of the homes of our families, friends, and loved ones. We can do this by educating them about threats and helping them to make better choices -- and to give you a hand, we've included talking points with each Giving Guide item to explain why the proprietary alternative is a bad buy.
Share the Guide with your friends and use it yourself! Host a Giving Guide Giveaway. You can tell your story about using the Guide on social media by tagging @fsf or using the hashtag #givefreely.
Happy holidays and happy hacking!