Hi this is going to be an official account for FOSDEM.org in the future #patience-please #Free #Libre #Open-source

@fosdem Hi there, welcome to the fediverse.

Who are your sponsors this year? Will you have the world’s #1 surveillance capitalist (Google) as your primary sponsor again?

What’s FOSDEM’s official stance on surveillance capitalism? Are you ethically/morally opposed to the business model of tracking/profiling people to manipulate their behaviour for profit or do you support it (being neutral in this, as in any situation of injustice, takes the side of the oppressor).

Look forward to your answer.

@aral We are a conference and platform for and about free and open source software. As such we welcome all free and open source developers from all over the world, regardless of their affiliation. We use donations to make this event possible. We aren't selective about sponsors and sources of donations, for sponsors have no influence on the selection of the contents for the event.

@fosdem That “free” word you keep using refers to “freedom”.

”We aren’t selective about about sponsors and sources of donations” is tone-deaf, reckless, & simply not acceptable in 2018 for any group that seeks legitimacy in the ethics of what they do.

Palantir develops open source (palantir.github.io) and also helps ICE find & deport asylum seekers. By your (lack of) ethical standards, they would be welcome as a sponsor.

Please see fundingmatters.tech and review your stance on this.

As long as @fosdem remains wilfully ignorant of the role they play in legitimising surveillance capitalism by ignoring the ethics of their sponsorship choices, I encourage any group who purports to care about human rights to boycott their event.

@indie and I will be boycotting it until such time as their policies forbid sponsorship by (and thus legitimisation of) surveillance capitalists like Google (their main sponsor last year), Facebook, and Palantir.


Dear @how,

I would strongly urge the Decentralised Internet and Privacy track to reconsider its involvement in @fosdem unless FOSDEM takes a principled stance against surveillance capitalism and disallows sponsorship by (and thereby legitimisation of) surveillance capitalists like Google (their primary sponsor last year), Facebook, and Palantir.

@indie will have nothing to do with the event until such time.

I’d be happy to discuss organising our own event in Europe instead.


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@aral @indie @fosdem @how Would berlin be an option if this does not happen? Around the same time last year some of us involved in gnunet and secushare (lynX and others) organized a day of talks and workshops there.

@ng0 @indie @fosdem @how I’d definitely be up for that. I want to see an international meet-up around this issue; I just don’t want it sponsored by (or legitimising) surveillance capitalists like Google.

@ng0 @aral @indie @fosdem

Well, Berlin is always an option, but it's very remote :)

@how @aral Berlin wouldn't be my first choice either, as I'm located in the Ruhrarea ;) Amsterdam, Brussels, local cities, all closer than Berlin.

@ng0 @how Amsterdam is easy for me to get to (direct flight). Plus lots of lovely folks there like Waag, De Balie, etc. Hmm… 🤔

@ng0 @aral @indie

Maybe we can do it in Brussels anyway, and why not at the same time as FOSDEM. That would take advantage of people's presence who are used to go there at this time of the year. FSPG Free Software People Gathering, not only developers. :)

@how @indie @fosdem PS. In case the thread isn’t showing for you: fosstodon.org/@fosdem/10097828

This is FOSDEM’s stance on the issue. If Palantir wanted to be a sponsor, FOSDEM’s response would be along the lines of “Sure, sir. Right this way, sir. Thank you, sir.” Their current policy is that they’ll accept money from anyone, ethics be damned.


@aral @indie @fosdem

Wow, the responses show a complete lack of historical knowledge and political consciousness.

'Neutrality' works only among equals. When you're oppressed, neutrality is collaboration with the oppressor, @fosdem

When Microsoft acquires Github, IBM Redhat, etc., it's not neutral: it's a direct attack on the possibility to pursue the free software movement. Being neutral here is like waiting for the hammer to fall on your heads.

@aral @fosdem @indie

Note that I've seen an M$ presentation proposal, and it's not exactly welcome.

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