Democracy requires Free Software
talk by Matthias Kirschner
Matthias Kirschner is President of FSFE. In 1999 he started using GNU/Linux and realised that software is deeply involved in all aspects of our lives. Matthias is convinced that this technology has to empower society not restrict it. While studying Political and Administrative Science he joined FSFE in 2004.
He helps other organisations, companies and governments to understand how they can benefit from Free Software -- which gives everybody the rights to use, understand, adapt and share software -- and how those rights help to support freedom of speech, freedom of press or privacy.
Matthias loves playing with his son, and in his spare time assists in wilderness first aid seminars, enjoys comics like XKCD and Transmetropolitan; Monty Python and Die Ärzte.
No video of the event yet, sorry!
Throughout history technology has influenced society. Reading, writing, arithmetic, agriculture, printing and radio are all examples of developments that changed the way we interact through trade, art and science. The most important cultural technology of the 21st century is software. It runs our workplaces, laptops, mobile phones as well as less obvious places like trains, cars, televisions, washing-machines, fridges, and many other devices. Today it depends on software how the government can implement laws, who will be able to join which university or job, or if and how long people might end up in jail.
The Free Software Foundation Europe (FSFE) empower people to control technology; and thereby democratize software. If just a few can understand and control software it is a danger for democracy. Instead we must ensure that power is distributed by empowering people to shape this central technology.
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