Open letter: Free choice in operating systems, software, and services!
mailbox.org supports an open letter by FSFE (Free Software Foundation Europe) in which the signatories demand a "universal right" from European Union legislators to run any software on any device. This includes the development of software and operating systems as well as services offered by manufacturers and a universal right to repair without hurdles built-in by the manufacturer. Nowadays, too many devices would be thrown away simply because manufacturers refuse to allow their customers to repair devices or run them with software from other manufacturers. It is not uncommon for manufacturers to encrypt bootloaders on smartphones or tablets, for example, just to prevent users from installing alternative software. This is not sustainable, says FSFE, and certainly not customer-friendly or market-driven:
"Software design is crucial for the ecodesign and sustainability of products and hardware. Free Software systems and services enable reuse, repurposing and interoperability of devices. The universal right to freely choose operating systems, software and services is crucial for a more sustainable digital society." FSFE
Open standards play an important role in FSFE's demands. Only these standards ensure that devices, software, and services can communicate freely with each other, independent of manufacturers and their proprietary products. Only in this way can a customer be sure that he can take his data with him at any time, for example by exporting it from mobile phones or internet services and importing it elsewhere.
Right to repair
FSFE also includes the right to repair in its open letter. This also includes the obligation for manufacturers to publish all necessary drivers, tools, and interfaces under a free software license as soon as devices are available on the market. Only then can developers, for example, develop free, independent, and data-saving operating systems on these devices as well, which can not only be more secure but also be available to the user with all necessary updates and security patches after the end of the manufacturer support.
Ban on technical hurdles
All legal, technical, or whatever obstacles in hardware and software that block the fulfillment of the three demands should be banned, FSFE said. The FSFE's open letter has been signed 38 times, the full letter can be found here.
mailbox.org also supports open standards
mailbox.org supports all these demands, for many years we have been relying on open source software and open standards, because we firmly believe that this is the only way for users to experience and verify the optimal (freedom of) choice, security, privacy, and reliability of the tools used.