The Family Guide to Digital Freedom
Agenda
 Speaker introduction
 Note on the nature of this talk
 Role of software and...
The Family Guide to Digital Freedom
Speaker introduction
 Marco Fioretti (marco@digifreedom.net)
 freelance writer, acti...
The Family Guide to Digital Freedom
Note on the nature of this talk
● The Family Guide to Digital Freedom is not an experi...
The Family Guide to Digital Freedom
Role of software and digital technologies in society
 Software and digital technologi...
The Family Guide to Digital Freedom
What is being done to address the related problems
 Current efforts (FSF, FFII...) ar...
The Family Guide to Digital Freedom
What is being done to address the related problems (2)
 Is this enough? In my opinion...
The Family Guide to Digital Freedom
What I am trying to do
 The theme of this Congress is
“Free Software and Democratizat...
The Family Guide to Digital Freedom
What I am trying to do (2)
 I am trying to involve directly two very large groups of ...
The Family Guide to Digital Freedom
What I am trying to do (3)
 These two groups are:
− Parents
− Teachers
 They have to...
The Family Guide to Digital Freedom
Why is this important?
 Because doing otherwise would be greatly diminish the probabi...
The Family Guide to Digital Freedom
Why is this important? (2)
 It is not possible to achieve the necessary change soon e...
The Family Guide to Digital Freedom
How can they do it?
 Parents and teachers can turn themselves into digital activists ...
The Family Guide to Digital Freedom
Which information must be provided?
 Balanced information which
− avoids excesses and...
The Family Guide to Digital Freedom
Which information must be provided? (2)
 Balanced information which:
 does promote F...
The Family Guide to Digital Freedom
What I am doing to provide this information
 A book: the Family Guide to Digital Free...
The Family Guide to Digital Freedom
Obstacles I have found
 So far, this initiative has met both successes and failures
...
The Family Guide to Digital Freedom
Conclusion
 Involving all parents and teachers in discussions about digital rights is...
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The Family Guide to Digital Freedom, 2008 version

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  • A summary of my Family Guide to Digital Freedom, now readable online at http://stop.zona-m.net/2007/07/table-of-contents-of-the-family-guide-to-digital-freedom-2007-edition/ .

    This is one of my talks at a 2008 Congress in Quito, Ecuador, about Democratization of Knowledge (details at http://mfioretti.com/quito-ecuador-congress-free-sw-and-democratization-knowledge)
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The Family Guide to Digital Freedom, 2008 version

  1. 1. The Family Guide to Digital Freedom Agenda  Speaker introduction  Note on the nature of this talk  Role of software and digital technologies in society  What is being done to address the related problems  What I am trying to do and why  How I am doing it  Obstacles I have found  Conclusion Quito, Congreso Internacional “Software Libre y Democratización del Conocimiento October 21-24, 2008 1 Marco Fioretti ttp://mfioretti.net marco@digifreedom.net
  2. 2. The Family Guide to Digital Freedom Speaker introduction  Marco Fioretti (marco@digifreedom.net)  freelance writer, activist and teacher about open digital standards, Free Software, digital technologies and the their relations and impact on education, ethics, civil rights and environmental issues.  Regular contributor of Linux.com, Linux Journal, LinuxFormat and other online and printed magazines  Author of the Family Guide to Digital Freedom (http://digifreedom.net)  Memberships: − www.digistan.org: free and open digital standards for overall growth in the global economy − www.eleutheros.it: a Catholic Approach to Information Technology (co-founder) − www.OpenDocumentFellowship.com: adoption, use and development of the OpenDocument format − www.RULE-project.org (Run Up to date Linux Everywhere, co-founder)  Home page: http://mfioretti.net Quito, Congreso Internacional “Software Libre y Democratización del Conocimiento October 21-24, 2008 2 Marco Fioretti http://mfioretti.net marco@digifreedom.net
  3. 3. The Family Guide to Digital Freedom Note on the nature of this talk ● The Family Guide to Digital Freedom is not an experience of usage of Free Software in the alternative sector ● It is an experience of ● Promoting digital awareness and (among other things) Free Software in an alternative, complementary way ● Attempting to bring an Open Source attitude to circles and contexts where it is still almost totally absent Quito, Congreso Internacional “Software Libre y Democratización del Conocimiento October 21-24, 2008 3 Marco Fioretti http://mfioretti.net marco@digifreedom.net
  4. 4. The Family Guide to Digital Freedom Role of software and digital technologies in society  Software and digital technologies are essential in modern life  They influence practically everything we and our children do, from job opportunities to energy bills and active democracy  The quality of our lives and our civil rights heavily depend on how software is used around us!  This is true even for children, senior citizen and everybody who doesn't own or ever uses computers Quito, Congreso Internacional “Software Libre y Democratización del Conocimiento October 21-24, 2008 4 Marco Fioretti http://mfioretti.net marco@digifreedom.net
  5. 5. The Family Guide to Digital Freedom What is being done to address the related problems  Current efforts (FSF, FFII...) are mostly aimed at geeks and specialists  In 2006/2007 the FSF did start some efforts to involve “social activists”...  ...but it still seems to focus only on the ICT staff of structured organizations (cfr “Help everybody love Free standards and Free Software!”, http://www.ukuug.org/newsletter/16.3/#help__marco) Quito, Congreso Internacional “Software Libre y Democratización del Conocimiento October 21-24, 2008 5 Marco Fioretti http://mfioretti.net marco@digifreedom.net
  6. 6. The Family Guide to Digital Freedom What is being done to address the related problems (2)  Is this enough? In my opinion, NO.  Personally, I feel that all those initiatives are good, but not sufficient  I fear they may be too little, too late − This concept is discussed in more detail in my talk “Perspectives of Free SW as a Social Movement” Quito, Congreso Internacional “Software Libre y Democratización del Conocimiento October 21-24, 2008 6 Marco Fioretti http://mfioretti.net marco@digifreedom.net
  7. 7. The Family Guide to Digital Freedom What I am trying to do  The theme of this Congress is “Free Software and Democratization of Knowledge”  I am working to promote a democratization of the activism and educational initiatives which aim to guarantee civil rights and active citizenship through the use of digital technologies Quito, Congreso Internacional “Software Libre y Democratización del Conocimiento October 21-24, 2008 7 Marco Fioretti http://mfioretti.net marco@digifreedom.net
  8. 8. The Family Guide to Digital Freedom What I am trying to do (2)  I am trying to involve directly two very large groups of “social activists” which: − are and act everywhere − act earlier than other groups when it comes to create digital awareness and responsibility in younger generations − have been largely ignored, so far, by the FSF and other groups of Free Software and digital rights activists Quito, Congreso Internacional “Software Libre y Democratización del Conocimiento October 21-24, 2008 8 Marco Fioretti http://mfioretti.net marco@digifreedom.net
  9. 9. The Family Guide to Digital Freedom What I am trying to do (3)  These two groups are: − Parents − Teachers  They have to start playing an active role: − both as digital educators, towards their children and students − And personally, that is choose responsibly whenever they vote about, or buy, digital products or services Quito, Congreso Internacional “Software Libre y Democratización del Conocimiento October 21-24, 2008 9 Marco Fioretti http://mfioretti.net marco@digifreedom.net
  10. 10. The Family Guide to Digital Freedom Why is this important?  Because doing otherwise would be greatly diminish the probabilities of using digital technologies to build a truly open society (see my talk “Perspectives of Free SW as a Social Movement”)  Because education about digital issues is not technical, but is civic education, that is something that: − children should learn as soon as possible − responsile parents and teachers have always been bound to teach anyway − has solutions whose nature is not technical (fairness, equal opportunities, saving tax money...) Quito, Congreso Internacional “Software Libre y Democratización del Conocimiento October 21-24, 2008 10 Marco Fioretti http://mfioretti.net marco@digifreedom.net
  11. 11. The Family Guide to Digital Freedom Why is this important? (2)  It is not possible to achieve the necessary change soon enough without the involvement of parents, teachers and all other non-geeks citizens  For all these reasons, parents and teachers:  Must all become educators about the impact of digital technologies on everybody's life  Must be involved in the initiatives and lobbying which today are still, de-facto, the monopoly of a techno-savy elite Quito, Congreso Internacional “Software Libre y Democratización del Conocimiento October 21-24, 2008 11 Marco Fioretti http://mfioretti.net marco@digifreedom.net
  12. 12. The Family Guide to Digital Freedom How can they do it?  Parents and teachers can turn themselves into digital activists if they: − Have the right motivations − Receive the right information, in a format which is immediately:  understandable  usable and necessary in daily life (e.g. when voting or choosing their children's school  relevant Quito, Congreso Internacional “Software Libre y Democratización del Conocimiento October 21-24, 2008 12 Marco Fioretti http://mfioretti.net marco@digifreedom.net
  13. 13. The Family Guide to Digital Freedom Which information must be provided?  Balanced information which − avoids excesses and fanatism, even if only at the verbal level − doesn't require advanced technical skills − shows relationships among apparently unrelated issues, e.g. software and energy consumption − ... and the real importance of each of the factors (infrastructures, laws, software licenses...) which influence them (continues...) Quito, Congreso Internacional “Software Libre y Democratización del Conocimiento October 21-24, 2008 13 Marco Fioretti http://mfioretti.net marco@digifreedom.net
  14. 14. The Family Guide to Digital Freedom Which information must be provided? (2)  Balanced information which:  does promote Free Software  but is NOT centered on it  doesn't assume that everybody wants to be a programmer (avoid words like source code or software license as much as possible)  or that everybody should ever contribute directly to Free Software, in any way Cfr the “Seven things we're tired of hearing from Software Hackers”, http://digifreedom.net/node/56 Quito, Congreso Internacional “Software Libre y Democratización del Conocimiento October 21-24, 2008 14 Marco Fioretti http://mfioretti.net marco@digifreedom.net
  15. 15. The Family Guide to Digital Freedom What I am doing to provide this information  A book: the Family Guide to Digital Freedom http://digifreedom.net/node/84 − Content: the 50 things every parent should know about software and digital technologies − Divided in: − Digital Dangers − Solutions (what to know and what to do)  Forum and online community at digifreedom.net  Other educational material Quito, Congreso Internacional “Software Libre y Democratización del Conocimiento October 21-24, 2008 15 Marco Fioretti http://mfioretti.net marco@digifreedom.net
  16. 16. The Family Guide to Digital Freedom Obstacles I have found  So far, this initiative has met both successes and failures  The one main obstacle is always the same − Using the right words and attitude, explaining single technical issues to people without any technical background is (relatively) easy − The real difficult part is to make such people understand that it really is in their interest, and part of their teacher/parent responsibilities, to engage in these conversations and act in these fields Quito, Congreso Internacional “Software Libre y Democratización del Conocimiento October 21-24, 2008 16 Marco Fioretti http://mfioretti.net marco@digifreedom.net
  17. 17. The Family Guide to Digital Freedom Conclusion  Involving all parents and teachers in discussions about digital rights is still very difficult because of cultural and demographical reasons − most parents and other adults of today grew up without any exposure to these issues or relevant education: computers are still considered black magic boxes  Nevertheless, turning parent and teachers into digital activists remains a necessary and urgent task − today there is a huge market push to use computers and cell phones no-stop, everywhere, but only in a passive way, to receive advertising and other instructions  Everybody should try to involve teachers and parents in the schools of his or her neighborhood  Let's meet at http://digifreedom.net to discuss these issues and coordinate our efforts Quito, Congreso Internacional “Software Libre y Democratización del Conocimiento October 21-24, 2008 17 Marco Fioretti http://mfioretti.net marco@digifreedom.net

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