My candidacy in FSFE’s Fellowship Election 2015

Dear FSFE Fellow,

For those of you reading this post because you’re trying to decide who to vote for in the upcoming Fellowship Election (which starts 20 February), I’ve tried to provide a little bit of information about myself and my candidature.

About me

I’m FSFE’s Deputy Coordinator Netherlands. I’ve been a Fellow since 2008. You can read about some of the things I’ve done for FSFE last year in my blog post about FSFE Netherlands in 2014.

I also volunteer at (Dutch digital rights organisation) Bits of Freedom‘s Privacy Café (and other CryptoParties).

I’m currently studying Computer Science & Cyber Security at Radboud University in the Netherlands.

I’m interested in Privacy, Security, Free Software, Freedom and (Digital) Civil Rights; as well as Mathematics, Computer Science and Software Development. I also enjoy teaching and speaking.

My goals

I’m highly motivated to do more for the FSFE. I’d like to:

  • continue the Dutch team’s transborder activities with Fellows from Germany and Belgium;
  • be more active on team@;
  • and improve communication & cooperation with (Dutch) Fellows, other organisations & communities, and the general public.

Being a Fellowship representative would provide me with a great opportunity to do this (and more).

Who to vote for?

I think Max & Nicolas would be great Fellowship representatives as well and we seem to share many of the same goals.

So I’m not going to tell you why you should elect me instead of one of them — although I certainly hope you’ll vote for me.

Instead, I want to tell you that no matter who wins the election, I intend to work together with Max & Nicolas — and all of you — to make FSFE even better.

You’ve already found your way to my blog, but you can also follow me on twitter. And if you’d like to get in touch with me, feel free to send me an email.

See you @ FOSDEM!

– Felix

FSFE Nederland in 2014

Nu 2015 in volle gang is, is hier een terugblik op wat er in Nederland gebeurd is in 2014; en een vooruitblik op wat er gaat komen in 2015.


Veranderingen in 2014

Regelmatige bijeenkomsten

Doordat er een aantal fellows in (de buurt van) Nijmegen wonen, hebben we nu regelmatige bijeenkomsten bij Linux Nijmegen.

Nederlands Team

We hebben nu een Nederlands Team! Bestaande uit André, Jeroen, Kevin, Maurice, Nico, Roel, Willem, en mijzelf. We zijn te bereiken via

Nederlandse vertalingen

Dankzij André & Nico gaat het hard met de Nederlandse vertalingen en het proeflezen. Bedankt!

Privacy Café

Ik ben nu “stamgast” bij het Privacy Café van Bits of Freedom (waar ik bezoekers ook probeer te vertellen over het belang van Vrije Software en FSFE folders uitdeel).

Events in 2014


We begonnen het jaar met een CryptoParty bij Linux Nijmegen op 14 januari.


Maurice en ik waren in 2014 een aantal keer op bezoek bij onze naburige fellowshipgroep in Düsseldorf.


Er was een Benelux Fellowshipmeeting bij FOSDEM 2014.


Ik was bij EPFSUG‘s “Trust your friends” event in het Europees Parlement, met onder andere de officiële lancering van DebianParl.

Free Software Pact

We hebben Nederlandse kandidaten in de Europese verkiezingen gevraagd het Free Software Pact te ondertekenen; een aantal deden dat en sommigen zijn zelfs gekozen!

Het belang van Vrije Software

I schreef over Het belang van Vrije Software.

Privacy Café Utrecht

Ik hield een lightning talk over het belang van Vrije Software bij een Privacy Café in Utrecht.

Fellowshipmeeting in Utrecht

Er was een Nederlandse Fellowshipmeeting in Utrecht op 24 mei bij de tweemaandelijkse bijeenkomst van de NLLGG.

Germanophone Team Meeting

Maurice en ik waren bij FSFE’s Germanophone Team Meeting 2014. I hield een workshop over Privacy en Vrije Software.


Maurice, Kevin en ik spraken op T-DOSE. We waren er met heel wat fellows, en natuurlijk met de FSFE stand.


André, Maurice, Willem en ik bezochten onze buren bij OpenRheinRuhr. Ik heb zelfs nog wat T-shirts verkocht bij de FSFE stand.


We zijn begonnen contact op te nemen met Nederlandse bedrijven en organisaties om geld op te halen voor het werk van de FSFE in 2015.


Maurice en ik waren op het 31ste Chaos Communication Congress en bezochten ook de FSFE assembly.


Privacy Café Nijmegen

I heb het eerste Privacy Café in Nijmegen georganiseerd.


Nicolas Dietrich, Max Mehl en ik zijn kandidaten in de Fellowshipverkiezing 2015.


Tot ziens op FOSDEM 2015! Ik zal vermoedelijk regelmatig achter of bij de FSFE stand te vinden zijn. Er komt ook weer een Benelux Fellowshipmeeting.

… en meer

We hebben de ambitie om nog meer te doen in 2015 (nu we een groter Nederlands Team hebben) en we zijn nog op zoek naar ideeën (en we kunnen jouw hulp gebruiken).

Als je ideeën of suggesties hebt voor ons werk in 2015, ons een vraag wil stellen, of als je gewoon hallo wilt zeggen, kun je contact met ons opnemen via of via de (publieke) Benelux mailing list (waar ook discussies en aankondigen te vinden zijn).

Dat was het voor nu. Ik ben enthousiast om nog meer te doen in 2015. Bedankt allemaal!

– Felix

FSFE Netherlands in 2014

Now that 2015 is in full swing, here’s a look back at what happened in the Netherlands in 2014; and a peek forward at what’s to come in 2015.


Changes in 2014

Regular Meetings

With several fellows living in or around Nijmegen, we now have regular meetings at Linux Nijmegen.

Dutch Team

We now have a Dutch Team! Consisting of André, Jeroen, Kevin, Maurice, Nico, Roel, Willem, and myself. Contact us at

Dutch Translations

André & Nico are doing a wonderful job translating & proofreading. Thank you!

Privacy Café

I became a regular volunteer at Bits of Freedom‘s Privacy Café (where I also try to tell visitors about the importance of Free Software and hand out FSFE leaflets).

Events in 2014


We started the year with a CryptoParty at Linux Nijmegen on 14 January.


Maurice and I visited our neighbouring fellowship group in Düsseldorf several times in 2014.


We had a Benelux Fellowshipmeeting at FOSDEM 2014.


I attended EPFSUG‘s “Trust your friends” event at the European Parliament, which featured the official launch of DebianParl.

Free Software Pact

We asked Dutch candidates in the European elections to sign the Free Software Pact; several did and some of them were elected!

The Importance of Free Software

I wrote about The Importance of Free Software.

Privacy Café Utrecht

I held a lightning talk about the importance of Free Software at a Privacy Café in Utrecht.

Fellowshipmeeting in Utrecht

We had a Dutch Fellowshipmeeting in Utrecht on 24 May at the Dutch Linux Users Group (NLLGG)‘s bimonthly meeting.

Germanophone Team Meeting

Maurice and I attended FSFE’s Germanophone Team Meeting 2014. I led a workshop on Privacy and Free Software.


Maurice, Kevin and I spoke at T-DOSE. A lot of Dutch fellows were there, and of course we brought the FSFE booth.


André, Maurice, Willem and I visited our neighbours at OpenRheinRuhr. I even sold a few T-shirts at the FSFE booth.


We’ve started contacting Dutch companies and organisations to raise funds for FSFE’s work in 2015.


Maurice and I attended the 31st Chaos Communication Congress and also visited FSFE’s assembly.


Privacy Café Nijmegen

I organised the first Privacy Café in Nijmegen.

Fellowship Election

Nicolas Dietrich, Max Mehl and I are candidates in the Fellowship Election 2015.


See you at FOSDEM 2015! I’ll probably spend a fair amount of time behind or near the FSFE booth. There will also be another Benelux Fellowshipmeeting.

… and more

We’re ambitious to do even more in 2015 (now that we have a bigger Dutch Team) and we’re still looking for ideas (and we can use your help).

If you have ideas or suggestions for our work in 2015, want to ask a question, or if you just want to say hi, feel free to contact us at or via the (public) Benelux mailing list (which also features discussions and announcements).

That’s it for now. I’m excited to do even more in 2015. Thanks everyone!

– Felix

Privacy Café Nijmegen

In spite of the snow the first Privacy Café in Nijmegen was a success!

With (only) four volunteers (from Bits of Freedom and the Free Software Foundation Europe) we managed to help 60 to 80 visitors to better protect their privacy.

Some of the Linux Nijmegen folks came by as well.

The Dutch “menu” can be found here (pdf) and the slides here. English versions can be found here (pdf) and here.

For some background on the Privacy Café in English, see my earlier post.

I’d like to thank all volunteers and visitors! See you next time.

– Felix

Privacy Café Nijmegen

Ondanks de sneeuw was het eerste Privacy Café in Nijmegen een succes!

Met (maar) vier vrijwilligers (van Bits of Freedom en de Free Software Foundation Europe) hebben we zo’n 60 tot 80 mensen kunnen helpen hun privacy beter te beschermen.

Een paar mensen van Linux Nijmegen kwamen ook nog even langs.

De menukaart staat hier (pdf) en de presentatie hier.

Alle vrijwilligers en bezoekers bedankt! Tot de volgende keer.

– Felix


T-DOSE 2014 was held two weeks ago. A lot of Dutch fellows were there, and of course we brought the FSFE booth.


On Saturday, I gave a talk about the “Internet of Things” and Kevin Keijzer about Discrimination of free software (users) in education; Maurice spoke on Sunday about “Digital Sovereignty For Europe” (youtube).

I also volunteered at the Privacy Café (see also this earlier post).

– Felix


T-DOSE 2014 is alweer voorbij. We waren er met heel wat fellows, en natuurlijk met de FSFE stand.


Zaterdag sprak ik over het “Internet of Things” en Kevin Keijzer over Discriminatie van vrije software(gebruikers) in het onderwijs; Maurice sprak zondag over “Digital Sovereignty For Europe” (youtube).

Ook hielp ik als vrijwilliger bij het Privacy Café.

– Felix

My T-DOSE talk: The “Internet of Things”: Opportunities and Dangers

I recently gave a talk at T-DOSE, where I also helped out at the FSFE booth and the Privacy Café.

The slides are on github and you can watch the talk on youtube.

The abstract:

The “Internet of Things” is around the corner. What does this mean for us as software developers? And what are the dangers and opportunities when it comes to Freedom, Privacy and Security?

We live in interesting times. The time that a “computer” was a room full of electronics, or even a beige box on a desk is behind us. Computers are everywhere. And there will soon be even more of them, in even more places.

The IoT provides us with wonderful opportunities to remotely monitor, manage and automate. And we as a software development community are the ones building it.

But security is too often an afterthought (if that). Now that the IoT is around the corner, security is not just something that impacts those beige boxes on our desks — or the smartphones we carry around — but also the medical devices that monitor our health and keep us alive, the automobiles we drive, the electronics that monitor our homes, and the public infrastructure we depend on. It now impacts public safety, human life, privacy, freedom and democracy.

Who is responsible for making sure the systems and devices that make up the IoT are under the control of their users? Whether we like it or not, the responsibility for ensuring freedom, privacy, security, and (digital) civil rights rest on our shoulders. So instead of asking ourselves (as we usually do) “can we do this?”, we should ask ourselves “should we do this?

We need development practices that take security into account. We need to build systems that are secure from the ground up. And we need Free Software to make sure that the answer to “who controls our computers?” — including the IoT — is “the users”.

But we also need relevant authorities to ensure policies and laws mandate privacy and security and ensure open standards. And we need public awareness of the impact of the IoT on — and the importance of — privacy and security.

The IoT is on its way. It’s up to us to build it right. And to have lots of fun along the way.

– Felix

Workshop on Privacy and Free Software

I led a workshop on Privacy and Free Software at FSFE’s Germanophone Team Meeting 2014. Here’s a summary.

Privacy Café

The Privacy Café is an initiative of Dutch digital rights organisation Bits of Freedom. Its purpose is to teach people to protect their privacy. They call it “digital self-defence”.

Whilst the Privacy Café has a lot in common with CryptoParties, there are some notable differences:

  • It usually takes place in a public library (instead of e.g. a hackerspace).
  • It targets a non-technical audience (which is why a public library is a very good venue).

The Privacy Café has a “menu” with

  • starters like Firefox, https everywhere,, choosing good passwords, automatic updates, screen locking, hard disk encryption;
  • main courses like Tor, GnuPG, OTR, Tails;
  • and desserts like,,

Volunteers from Bits of Freedom and hackerspaces (and sometimes FSFE) are there to answer questions, help people choose from the menu and install and configure the software.

Sometimes, there are also lightning talks. I gave one about the importance of Free Software at the Privacy Café in Utrecht.

Handouts: → Dutch (april), → Dutch (may), → English (june)

Software Freedom

The people that go to a Privacy Café are already aware of issues surrounding privacy and freedom. This gives us an opportunity to tell them about Free Software. A good place to start is by asking them “who controls the software?”.

Remarks from the Workshop

  • The timing is right, since awareness of privacy themes is very high at the moment and those who worry about privacy are already aware of the importance of freedom. This makes it much easier to show the link between freedom and control and Free Software.
  • It is unfortunate that the theme of Free Software is not already at the foreground, even though it is necessary for privacy.
  • We need all four freedoms, not just the ability to audit the software (i.e. source availability).
  • The menu metaphor is good (like the tools metaphor in the “tools leaflet”).
  • Using a public library as a venue is good, since it takes privacy out of the domain of hackers and “nerds” and makes it more approachable for non-technical people.
  • Free Software and encryption can be made more attractive with proper attention to presentation (e.g. websites and handouts).

Ideas from the Workshop

  • Making it more “fun” by using symbols (for signatures), stickers (for laptops) to show e.g. what “level” one has achieved.
  • Finish Lucile’s privacy flyer draft so it can be used for similar events.
  • Organise something similar (e.g. in Unperfekthaus).

non-free encryption software

What to do when those groups who teach encryption do so using non-free software?

  • Working together is desirable, so we have more Free Software people in the group and can explain our topic.
  • We should keep emphasising that only Free Software can ensure security (Kerckhoffs’s principle).
  • FSFE will never promote non-free software, and advises volunteers to also not recommend non-free software, but rather explain the issues mentioned above.

Links from the Workshop

– Felix