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FSF gives freedom-respecting videoconferencing to all associate members

Item posted by Wensheng XIE <wxie> on Thu 28 May 2020 11:10:51 PM UTC.

Dear Chinese Translators:

Are you interested in having a video conference using Jitsi?

As a valued associate member of the Free Software Foundation (FSF), we are now offering you free "as in freedom" videoconferencing, to help you push back against increased societal pressure to use nonfree software for communicating with collaborators, friends, and loved ones during the COVID-19 pandemic, and after.

Try out our FSF associate member videoconferencing

Only current FSF members can create a channel on the server, but nonmembers are then able to join you. It's a good opportunity to showcase why you are an FSF member!

We have been raising the alarm about encroachments upon user freedom by popular remote communication tools since social distancing guidelines were issued. You might have seen our recent publications warning users about widely used nonfree applications for remote communication and education, like Zoom.

As promised at LibrePlanet 2020, we have formed a working group to document and address major issues facing free software communication platforms, and this project is part of that effort. Another initiative in our free communication toolbox is a collaborative resource page created to steer users to applications that respect them. This will help you and the people you care about to stay away from conferencing tools like Zoom, which requires users to give up their software-related freedoms, and which has been a recent focal point of criticism due to problems ranging from security issues to privacy violations.

The platform we use to offer ethical videoconferencing access is Jitsi Meet. We used it previously to stream and record our annual LibrePlanet conference for an online audience after the COVID-19 pandemic forced us to cancel the in-person event. Choosing Jitsi Meet is only the first step to addressing the problems posed to freedom by services like Zoom and Facebook. Even users that start a call via a server running Jitsi could still be vulnerable if that server depends on or shares information with third parties. The FSF made changes to the code we are running, in order to enhance privacy and software freedom, and published the source code, to motivate others to host their own instances. The FSF instance does not use any third party servers for network initialization, and does not recommend or link to any potentially problematic services.
How to communicate freely with everyone you know

In order to provide a sustainable and reliable service, we are offering the ability to create conversations on the server exclusively to associate members, and it is only intended for personal, noncommercial use. You can create a channel by logging into the server using your member credentials; (your account username is wxie). Any person or group can then participate in the conversation. Nonmembers can be invited, but cannot start a channel.

To use the system, follow these steps:

    Go to https://jitsi.member.fsf.org/;

    Create a room (for privacy reasons it is better to use something random as a name);

    Click on "I am the host" in the modal window to be asked for your membership credentials.

You are now the moderator of the room. Other guests can join using the same URL, without needing to login. For extra privacy, we recommend giving the room a password by clicking on the "i" icon in the bottom right.

best regards,
wxie

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