The growing international population of free software activists are dedicating their personal time and energy on a collaborative project that aims to raise awareness for the social and technological values of free software. One of them is Binary Freedom. I talked to Christian Fernandez, who is one of the coordinators. Here are his answers.
TM: What is Binary Freedom?
CF: Binary Freedom is a collective of internationally-located, like-minded individuals who act autonomously to defend people's electronic rights and educate them about those rights. The movement was originally started in Boston because the founders saw an important gap between organizations like the FSF and the needs of the people in the street. Binary Freedom is not meant as an alternative to the FSF, but as a complimenting organization.
TM: Where is Binary Freedom located?
CF: Binary Freedom has locations all across the world, but their web presence is at binaryfreedom.info.
TM: Have you been active already? What projects have you worked on?
CF: Binary Freedom has participated in many solidarity campaigns and helped make many things possible. Autonomously acting activists in Boston distributed FDs with GNU/Linux at a Vista release party; we helped make corrections in Linux+ Magazine, called on Steve Jobs to make DRM-free music, and helped defend students who were wrongfully suspended in New York for exercising their free speech rights. Most importantly, Binary Freedom has organized activists and formed a new type of grassroots organization. Some more victories can be found at our victories page.
TM: What are your actual ultimate goals?
CF: Binary Freedom represents a voice for free software activists. While groups like the FSF provide legal assistance, funding, and philosophical guidance, Binary Freedom takes these things and puts them into practice. Binary Freedom activists get out into the street and make change happen for the free software community.
Binary Freedom aims to educate people about and help them to exercise their rights, promote the widespread adoption of GNU/Linux, and give the free software community a grassroots organization to carry their voice.
TM: I heard about your recent activities in Massachusetts... what is going on, and how is it going?
CF: We have created a campaign to make the MA government exclusively use free software through Deval Patricks's constituent representation website. You may find out more about the campaign here
TM: Have other people started similar campaigns in other areas?
CF: Yes! Autonomous groups in other areas already have startedcampaigns. Use of proprietary software by governments and corporations is the last wall the free software community has to crush and it is easy. People should contact their representatives and post their information to the Binary Freedom website.
TM: What obstacles have you faced?
CF: Unfortunately, companies like Microsoft have thrown around their financial and political weight to combat our work. They defeated a measure in Florida through lobbying and the only way this abuse will stop is if we continue to fight them.
Thank you for your interview Christian!